Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Big Dry of 2013

Wellington has been sunny and calm almost all year, with no rain in the last month.
As I write (13 March 2013), Wellington has just 20 days worth of stored water reserves.  We had a stunning Christmas Day, hot and still, with a temperature in the low 30s, and since then it's been mostly sunny, warm, and calm.  It's the best summer weather since we moved back here in 1994, although my childhood memories are of endless summers, swimming at the beach, and burnt dry lawns every year.  It's too soon to panic, because there's a chance it will rain this weekend.

The garden is coping pretty well.  I just have to water the plants in pots and things that are newly planted.
Veronica stricta suffering from drought.  This plant's roots are in a crack in a block wall, so it doesn't have access to a deep moist soil.
The hebes (Veronica spp.) are like coal mine canaries for drought in the garden.  They're the first to wilt and their normally glossy leaves lose their shine.  But give them a good soaking as soon as they start to wilt, and they'll bounce back pretty quickly.  The related speedwell hebes are similar.
A small speedwell hebe (probably a hybrid between Veronica lanceolata and V. hookeriana), originally from the Maungaharuru Range, now growing in a pot in Wellington, and suffering from the drought.
OK, it's time to water the driest plants in the garden, as frugally as I can.

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