THE FIRST RAIN IN FIVE WEEKS
After five weeks without rain the heavens finally opened and poured forth a much welcome wet night. Gardening had almost come to a standstill as there was no use in doing anything in the line of potting on young seedlings or taking cuttings as they just wilted as soon as disturbed.
The only real benefit was a good seed harvest but even that was limited to flowers that had set seed before the onset of the dry spell. At lot of the plants decided to take a rest and wait for the warm spell to pass, so instead of a bumper crop of flowers there was little or nothing in the way of flowers.
That is one of the drawbacks of growing mostly alpines, they are not amused by very hot weather, but like every good story there is an upside. The bulbs and tubers had a party and flowered like never before, especially the Habranthus Tubispinus Roseus.
Cyclamen are delightful with literally thousands of flowers and the beautifully pink patterned leaves of the Mirabile varieties. This year cyclamen cilicium has flowered very well which is a change because for the last two years it produced little or nothing in the way of flowers, and no seed. I hand pollinated all the flowers just to be sure of some seed.
Cyclamen coum are in full leaf already and two of them have produced one flower each, which is the earliest I have ever recorded for this plant. The silver and pewter leaved varieties seem to leaf up well before the species.
The Camellias were beginning to look a little bit stressed and although they have set buds for next years flowers I am afraid a lot of them will drop because of the drought. Watering with a hose only stops them from dying but never does the same job as the rain in spite of our best efforts.
With nothing much to do in the garden I took the opportunity to give the place a good cleaning. Every nook and cranny was inspected and cleared of debris, then swept clean.
Gullies had all their gratings removed and sand and soil cleaned from the U-bend traps in readiness for the rains of winter. There is nothing as aggravating as a gully that overflows with the first decent autumn shower.