the memory of rain

It has been such a long time since any real rain fell in Melbourne. Although the punishing heat we’ve had so much of recently has abated for the moment, things are really dry.

If we’re lucky we might get 2mm on Wednesday but that won’t even wet the soil, let alone replenish our almost empty water tank.

It’s hard to remember but there was a time when the garden wasn’t parched.

Rain glistened on the christmas lilies:

And the fairies’ fishing rods:

And there were even actual flowers on the clematis vines:

But the garden is battling on without too many casualties. With the notable exception of that clematis and some dahlias, most of the plants out the front like it dryish.

But plants considered to be ‘drought tolerant’ in Europe or North America aren’t necessarily drought tolerant in Australia. You have to be tough to mix it with the locals down here as our non-irrigated nature strip planting is showing – while natives silver cushion bush, poa labillardieri and westringia are completely unfazed, mexican sage is really struggling.

And this guy wouldn’t stand a chance out there:

Meanwhile, biomass down the north side of the house has reached the point where it is creating a sheltered microclimate that is allowing thirstier things to thrive:

The bananas I tried moving to the back garden keep coming back:

But the brugmansia sheltering the avocado tree in the back garden is looking pretty sad and I’d just decided to get rid of it now that the avocado is hopefully big enough to hold its own – when it went and did this: