Monday, September 28, 2009

@#%* off, wind!

Last Tuesday, it started blowing a gale. The roof shook and the walls groaned and the windows and doors rattled day and night. We woke on Wednesday to a red dawn fit for the War of the Worlds and spent the day indoors, avoiding the dust. Ditto Thursday. By Friday, the air had cleared somewhat but still the wind blew. Saturday morning brought another dust storm, albeit not as dramatic as Wednesdays. By now, our eyes were red from the grit and the insides of our nostrils constantly caked with yuck. The mulberry tree is heavy with fruit and had assumed a very tousled look with branches bending to the ground. It's on the north-westerly side of the house and therefore taking the full brunt of the wind. On Friday, I ventured out in the gale to investigate its appearance and discovered it was basically split in two at a height of about a metre.

Yesterday, Mike and I armed ourselves with bits of timber and various tools and did our best to repair the damage. We have propped up the limb that has split away (a good two thirds of the tree), getting well mulberried as we worked, and did our best to bind up the split, using a metal star stake as a kind of splint. Surprisingly, the leaves don't seem to have wilted at all, but I'm not really too hopeful that the broken bit won't need to be removed eventually. So sad, it's a lovely tree, and is loaded with fruit. The flying foxes have obviously been around by the stains on the branches and Ewan McGregor is making short work of the fruit that is falling on the ground. Whoever heard of a dog eating mulberries?

Thankfully, the wind has eased today, although I did have to chase the clothesline round and round to hang out the laundry this morning. This evening, it is almost still. Hooray!

Every plant in the garden is coated with dust. Here's a lavender in the front garden, of course the photo didn't show the dust as much as I wanted it too!

And surprisingly, amongst the dry and dusty vegetation, there was this little frog, bright green in the leaves of the aquilegia. They sit on the walls of the house at night sometimes, and sing when it starts to rain. Rain! Wouldn't that be nice! Please let it rain soon!

Friday, September 25, 2009


Peace is flowering on the archway near the front door. It has more leaves and buds on it at the moment than I have seen in all the time we have been here. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have planted dwarf white irises around it's feet and it is enjoying the extra water. The irises came from my daughter's garden, dug out to make way for a house extension.

Also on the same archway is the yellow Banksia rose. So not meant for dinky garden arches - more suitable to cover the shearing shed, in my opinion. Still, it looks lovely in flower and the air is full of it's perfume.

What's new in the garden today

Everything is soo dusty after Wednesday's storm! The plants are coated, the verandah has changed from silvery grey to red and the driveway is now terracotta! They are kind of predicting more dust so I'm not sure if it's worth starting to clean everything yet.

The clematis I planted on the archway over the side gate has it's first flowers. Such a lovely thing, a beautiful colour but like everything else at the moment, tinged with a coating of red dust! It's called Aumann, which I believe is an Australian bred clematis. I had another in the garden at Castle Hill called The President - it was stunning! I loved it.

The other side of the archway has a Crepuscule rose growing on it, it has been knocked about by all the galeforce winds of late but surprisingly has a lot of buds coming. In front of the Crepuscule is a little patch of tiger lilies coming up, I hope that they flower this summer, I grew them from seed from a tiger lily bulb bought online on eBay. I LOVE getting little parcels of plants in the mail, it's like Christmas everday!