You might think that I would embrace the change of the season; that the first sub-thirty day of the year would be greeted with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Instead I feel hung-over. Every summer saps the life out of me. Nobody can endure the relentless heat and humidity, the sweltering nights that never cool down. I feel that it is killing me, but I am powerless against it. Summer is like the booze, so seductive with its promise of life-giving rain
A dry summer is the worst.
I spent the dry season planning my garden, gathering the plants that I would plant out when the rains came. I was assured there was a seventy per cent chance of above median rainfall. November arrived dust dry and baking hot. The BOM did a reassessment; thirty percent. In the end we have the driest summer on record. Too bad! I had to plant the fruit trees anyway. They wouldn’t survive another year in their little pots. I attacked the brick hard earth with my trowel but barely managed to scar the surface.
Time to get a bucket. Ten litres of water moistened one litre of soil. How does that work? Logic and science have no power in a drought. I scooped out the damp soil, down to a bowl as hard and impervious as terracotta. The plants are used to that. I put them in and get another bucket of water. How deep will this one soak in? Deep enough, I hope, to soften the bowl and give the roots a chance to delve down to the groundwater three metres below.
Will they survive? Time will tell, but those that make it through to the next normal wet season should be unstoppable.