Gardening Magazine

Four Weeks in One Day

By Gardenamateur

We Sydneysiders can be quite oddly proud of our rain at times. We get quite a lot of rain, especially for such a sunny city, so how do you combine lots of sunshine with lots of rain? Easy ... just make sure the rain buckets down when it does so.

This morning is a classic example: almost a whole average month's worth of rain (116mm for November) in a few hours in some parts of Sydney. My how it rained (and still is)! As a rain radar fan, I just have to share this random shot of our fair town this morning.

Four weeks in one day

The red and orange bits show the heaviest rain, and this morning they are doing their thing complete with thunder and lightning flashes; at its peak the grumbly bits seemed to be about 10 seconds apart. It was a good one, if you were safe inside your house that is.

All the truck and delivery drivers, commuters, public transport staff, homeless people and emergency services workers had a different, more scary experience, of course, so all I can do is hope they got through it OK.

But here in selfish little gardener-who-works-from-home land, it was mostly perverse fun.

(I should at this stage put in a special mention for art teachers, too, such as Pammy. She is conducting a watercolour workshop this morning on, ironically enough ... skies and clouds, and so her mobile phone has been running hot with text messages from students asking whether the workshop is still on. It is, and god bless their cotton socks, all of them are still attending, and with help from her loyal driver and husband, Pammy will have to make the dash to the studio a couple of streets away where she conducts her classes.)

Four weeks in one day
Click on this photo and should come up as a big, wide, soggy panorama. No need to water the garden this morning!

Four weeks in one day
This downpour is perfect timing for our garden. I spent all of Sunday pulling out weeds, spreading mulch, and adding some fragrant Dynamic Lifter (chicken poo) organic pellets here and there. Thanks Huey for the perfect timing. Garden health is rated good right now.

Four weeks in one day
This soggy sight is the other side of the garden, and in the middle foreground, that little bare patch of ground with green seedlings coming up is an experiment with seeds. Last year I grew little Zinnia linearis there, and they flowered all summer long. At the end of summer I harvested the seed heads, popped them into paper bags to dry off in the shed over winter, and so a month or so ago I scattered the seedy contents of the paper bags over the bare ground, watered it well that day and every day for the next two weeks, and lo and behold I have stacks of zinnia babies coming up.
Four weeks in one day
The other great thing about very rainy days is the opportunities it provides to amateur photographers like me. Leaves and water are a magical combo, such as this mini lake perched precariously on the tough, strong leaf of our potted fig tree.
Four weeks in one day
The other photogenic thing about rain is the sight of usually glamorous garden beauties drooping and drenched with rain. This NSW Christmas Bush, also in a pot, is looking truly gorgeous in the late November sunshine, but even in the aftermath of today's storm it's still lovely to behold.

So don't just stand there at your window looking out at your soggy mess. Get out there in amongst it; you'll get some great photos and see a side of your garden that only happens now.

If that sounds weird, don't worry. I'm from Sydney, we like our rain. We're strange that way.

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