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Monday, 27 August 2012

Wheather Update


It was raining in the afternoon yesterday and over the night. Even now as I write it, the rain is drizzling. I almost cannot believe it! Finally, the plants got some water and I after a while I will see for which one was too late. Thanks God, the rain came silently. There was no such a strong wind that crushed down the trees as in some regions of Croatia.
The days that follow will be sunny again but it will not be so hot any more. And, the new rain is coming for the weekend. Back to gardening again; the garden needs tiding up a bit.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Rain at last?


The present state: the temperature drop, strong wind and these clouds coming from the west. But, do they bring the rain? I wonder. 
We have the hottest the driest summer ever, and Croatia is the hottest country in the region. Note the dry branch on the oak tree at the end of my plot in the corner of the picture above! This oak is a great wind protection, I hope it won't dry out completely.
This is the misery in my garden...





Monday, 20 August 2012

Hot Days, Hot Chilli!


Can you imagine not being in the garden for more than a week? Well, that is exactly what I did. I simply have no heart to watch all the toil and trouble gone to the waste; scorched leaves, completely dry plants, no flowers and no fruits for that matter. We have water but are not allowed to irrigate the gardens with it so, I just let it be and wait what will happen. The private wells that most people do have in their gardens and yards  are exhausted too. And, there is no rain in the horizon, at least until the next Sunday. Longer, I am afraid and I am not a pessimist!
I went in the garden today only to find out the misery. But some plants seem to love this heath and drought. I picked up some chilli peppers and bit a tip of one - sooo hot! They are short and have funny colour.


Brussels sprouts are partly in shade during the day and maybe that is the reason they are doing well. They already have tiny sprouts in the leave axes.


And,  this Goosefoot likes sun. I just love the red colour of the whole plant. Looks great in the sun light.


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Old-fashioned House Asparagus


You are probably wondering where I am... well, I really have nothing to say and, I don't want to repeat myself. The drought would be the only theme so, I do not want to make you tired with this.
We yearn for some rain and it is so far away. Two more weeks without it!? I wonder what would survive in my garden.

In the house is all well, my Asparagus developed tiny flowers. 



Friday, 10 August 2012

Good Morning!


To my great surprise, it was raining a bit this night! The chances for a rain were almost zero and I left table clothes and cushions on the terrace. They got wet, of course, and I never thought I would be so happy because of that!
The weather men said yesterday it is the hottest summer ever - not only in Croatia. The water restriction Level 2 is in order; every 12 hours another part of the town had disconnected water supplies. Many people have the wells but it doesn't help much when water levels are so low.
This rain shower was real blessing from the sky. 
Plants fight against drought in many ways. Some drop a part of foliage like my Magnolia above or fold the leaves to diminish transpiration. For some others there is no help at all and they simply slowly die. Even watering doesn't help much. 


I have another problem with my ex - shade garden. The small tree that kept Hostas, Astilbes and other shade loving plants away from sun, suddenly died and I had to cut it off. I just have to find some other small or medium size tree to plant it on the same spot or I have to change the whole planting plan. The Hosta above suffers the drought but it also got sun burns.


Even ferns in the shade have dry and scorched tips. 



Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Hot Summer Continues


The tomato cropping season started well. Every day I pick up some fruits. Remember my big tomato plant from the last year? Well, some of the seeds survived the winter outside and now the new plant is growing from the brick paving crevice! Last year I had buckets of tomatoes from this single plant way out into Autumn (in spite of drought). I wonder if this one would be as productive as the previous one. Funny thing is - they have planted themselves by accident and do better than the the tomatoes in the vegetable garden.


I wonder how long the plants would tolerate this dry and hot weather. The drought slowly takes its toll. Many plants have scorched leaves or wilt. I do water a bit but, nothing does well as the good rain shower. Besides, the water restriction stage 1 is in order meaning no garden watering. So, I water only the necessary. The weatherman said no rain on the horizon for the long time. Reading other gardening blogs, I realized some have nothing but the rain, and the other suffer extremely dry weather. I wonder if it would be normal ever again. When I was a child, the so called 'summer storms' were  common. The quick shower watered the ground and streams of rainwater were running on the roadside drainage. We children used to walk bare-feet in this warm rain water.

Astilbe before the heath...

Have you noticed how the day became shorter? Only a few weeks ago I use to go in my garden at five o'clock in the morning before the heath. Now it is dark at this hour. I did some tiding up in the flower border but sometimes I think that leaving them as they are does them better - the thick growth and some weeds among the ornamentals keeps the ground in the shade and prevent the soil from overheating.
I think, I will forget all about beauty and only pray for the plants to survive. 





Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Astrantia


Some month ago my Astrantias finished flowering. They are interesting plants that love semi-shade and calcareous soil so, they should be well on the spot I have planted them. I really love the look of the inflorescence -  long, wide bracts and a bunch of tiny flowers in the middle. The whole inflorescence looks like a star - hence the name Astrantia, from Greek 'aster', the star. 

Astrantia major 'Shaggy'

The plants reach about 60 cm in height and have leaves that resemble parsley which is not surprising as they belong to the same family Apiaceae. Astrantia loves moist soil and plenty of organic matter in it. Now I have to water it regularly, otherwise it will die.

Astrantia major 'Roma'

There are several species of Astrantia and A. major cultivars are mostly used in ornamental gardens. I have three of the cultivars: 'Ruby Wedding', 'Roma' and 'Shaggy'.