For a start, it’s cool. What a blessing here in the tropics – it’s amazing how much more physical you can get when you don’t overheat within the first five seconds of sinking the spade into the ground. It’s just wonderful to be able to get down, dirty and physical out in the fresh air and sunshine without running the risk of heat exhaustion and sunstroke. Make the most of it. In just a few short weeks it could very well be hot again.
About two months ago I planted a Daintree Penda close to my driveway as a feature tree. You see, this hard-to-get plant produces an artificial-looking flush of almost blue leaves every time it grows, and for that reason alone deserves to be seen. Unfortunately it’s dead now, and instead of being blue, its foliage is yellow and limp.
However I’m not blaming the tree because I know what I did wrong and I’m 100% at fault. My mistake was that I planted this poor little tree in an area that I knew would get waterlogged for much of the wet season. So basically I drowned it.
Continue reading “When Plants Drown”
Watching the news reports showing the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi, I was amazed to see all those leafless trees still standing. Sure, they are stripped bare, but they are still standing. And no doubt within a few months they’ll be green with foliage again, and after a couple of years the forests will start to regain some of their normality, just like after Cyclone Larry.
Continue reading “Gardening after the storm”
It’s been a while since we’ve had any decent rain, and we probably won’t get any until Christmas. Unless you have a good automated irrigation system set-up this is not going to be the best time of the year to be planting anything new in your garden.
Is your garden ready for it?
December is probably one of the most exciting times of the year for gardeners in the tropics as it’s usually the time when we see the strongest signs that the dry season is coming to an end and the real wet is about to start. It’s the time of the year when new plants get planted, and failures get excavated. Everything starts to grow like mad with the onset of warm heavy rains, and you assume you can just sit back and watch your garden grow. Unfortunately the weeds and lawn also go into overdrive and gardening turns into a race between you and everything green. So before you get left behind and your beautiful garden turns into an accidental jungle, there are a few things you should get on top of.
Many of us have a depressing area in the garden that gets completely waterlogged during the wet season. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the spot the kids sink into and lose their gumboots. You can’t even mow it during the wet because you’re afraid you’ll need a winch to get the mower out, and every plant you’ve ever planted there has turned into a lifeless stick.