“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John Lubbock, The Use Of Life
I hope John Lubbock is correct, and sitting under trees on a summer’s day watching clouds float across the sky, is not a waste of time. Because in the heat of high summer that's about all I can do in the garden.
We have received lots of rain. The Friday of the Australia Day weekend we had in excess of 180 mls. I was out afterwards, wearing rain boots, watching where the water flows on the property, and taking note of where the water pools.
The callistemon that were planted in December are still growing, despite the heavy rain and intense heat. In January, I planted a Fraser Island Creeper and jasmine, Jasminium nitidum. I really need to stay away from plant nurseries in summer. I cannot stop myself from buying plants when I am there, and it is really much too hot to try and establish new plants.
My carambola tree is covered in tiny pink blossom. It never seems to produce a lot of fruit though. It may produce more if I planted another nearby. The lemon tree continues to bear well. The gum trees are in flower, making the birds very happy.
My mandarin tree is not looking very chipper. Some leaves are yellow and some leaves are curling. It is possible that the leaf curl could be caused by our withering heat and the large amounts of rain we have received. I also need to check the soil pH around the mandarin as it could have an iron deficiency.
If I do manage to beat the heat, and the chemo fatigue, to get a few things done around the garden, I will concentrate on the following:
- Weeding, weeding, weeding
- Feed the lemon and mandarin trees with a well-balanced organic fertiliser with trace elements.
- Spray the citrus with a spray made from 2 cups of vegetable oil and 1/2 cup of dish-washing liquid mixed well, and then added to a litre of water. Some people refer to this mix as horticultural oil. It is used to control aphids, scale, mealy bugs, mites and leaf miner.
- Feed the mango trees once they have finished fruiting. I would like Don to prune the biggest mango this year, but it is too hot to do so this month. So hopefully, he will have time to do that next month. The Organic Gardener magazine website suggests a light pruning of mango trees will encourage better fruiting.
- Prune the geraniums and the sage.
- I also hope to re-learn how to use the ride on mower after not using it for over a year.
And I would like to leave you today with this quote, and whether it is summer or winter where you are, I hope this month leaves you with a "rich heritage of beautiful memories" and that it is a month of "delightful doing".
"All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams