Saturday, 19 December 2015

A summer hailstorm

 My lavender bushes are at their peak right now, loaded with fragrant purple sprigs. The best way to spend a summer evening is out in the garden with snips and basket, harvesting bunches and hanging them upside down to dry. They only take a week to dry and then it's just a matter of crumbling the dried buds into a container and hanging some more up to dry. When I've harvested all I can, I'll fill lots of little organza bags for under-the-pillow sweetness.

 Of course I'm not the only one who likes the lavender... bumble bees are very busy getting in there and gathering pollen. I must say I enjoy the company of these hard little workers and I find them very obliging in getting out of the way as I pick my bunches, although they do often continue to harvest the flowers in my basket!

 The plants on the deck are filling out as well. 

 In fact everything was looking pretty good, until last Sunday when a rather bolshy thunderstorm blew in. Rain and wind lashed the garden, and then hail pelted down. It was rather heavy and rather loud.

 Not to mention cold... brrr! This looks like a nice coating of cherry blossom, but it's actually hail. Fortunately more rain came along after this and washed most of the ice away.

 This is not as bad as the big storm that lashed Sydney, but it was enough for me and my garden! 

Most of the damage was sustained by big-leaved plants which are all looking battered and tattered. I was sad to see the damage on the Cercis Forest Pansy (top left) because I love it's heart shaped leaves. The hosta my neighbour gave me (top right) really took a pummelling. I might be able to trim and feed it to convince it to grow some new leaves. 

In the vege garden, the beans mainly bore the brunt of it (bottom left), but luckily they have only just started producing flowers so there weren't many to be knocked off. My apples have been the main casualty (bottom right), with lots of little apples knocked off (I'll consider this nature's way of thinning them out), but the rest were badly pock marked. I'll still use them for cooking and cider making, but I feel bad for commercial growers who have probably lost entire crops.

So that's the latest from the early summer garden! How are your summer/winter gardens going?

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