Saturday, 2 February 2013

Summer in a Canberra garden

Sunday, 1pm - and I am looking out the window and giving thanks for the recent rains after such a long  hot dry spell.
I was seriously worried that the camellias that surround my paved courtyard would expire from the intense, and relentless, over 40 degree heat.  However, they are looking better since we've had a couple of decent falls of rain.

The ones in this corner in particular were suffering, as they are not protected by the japanese maple in the other corner.  As you can see, the erigeron edge/hedge is also looking a bit scrappy - I cut it back last weekend so hopefully it will reinvigorate for autumn.  It was hard work keeping the water up to them all during the heat wave.
All the camellias are 'Beatrice Emily'.  They get lovely pale pink flowers, with heart shaped petals and a yellow centre.  They have been in for a few years now - quite slow growing but I am looking foward to the day when they are a wall of cool, lush dark green.

I watered the vegie patch religiously during the heat wave, and things are starting to come to fruition . . . . .  including the plum tree, which is only a couple of years old and is fruiting like Billio!  (It's a 'Luisa' self-fertile variety)  here's a picture of my tree today:

I constructed my vegie patch (below) a few years ago, from pavers left over from the courtyard, and it has been serving me well ever since.  Above are a few remaining spring onions next to the 'Blue' Lake' and 'Puple King' beans (the beans are only on one stake - that was a mistake! they need a whole trellis each!)  There is also a small tomato bush in the left corner, which is a Roma, courtesy of my daughter and her boyfriend, who had sown a few too many for their space.

In the distance is a tomato and several basil plants - see the close up, below.  This is my favourite tomato variety of all time, the Tommy Toe, together with one of my basil plants:

Tommy Toe is so tasty you can just pick 'em off the plant and eat em, no need for salt or pepper; and are just delicious on a sanger.  They are a large-ish cherry tomato, which means they foil the wretched fruit fly!  We have only had a few tomatoes ripen so far this year - I suspect that the long period of extreme heat caused them to go 'on hold'.  We usually get the first fruits in January.  However there are lots about to ripen - looks like we're in for a glut!

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