The weather is starting to change, the quality of light in the mornings, a slight chill in the air but summer temperatures continue. We have had two mls of rain over the last three months, high winds and the ever present threat of bush fires. Clouds of dead leaves are raining down from the marri trees on the neighbours fence line. In the garden, the deciduous trees are crispy around their edges and the orchard and most of the garden beds are sleeping, a mat of yellow hay and wood chip mulch waiting for rain. Tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers are all finished, the nights too cold for fruit set and the pumpkins are starting to ripen.
The food forest that usually comes up in the gaps in the paving is reduced to chicory and English dandelion - tap rooted perennials. If it wasn't for them, the chickens would be very short on green food. Fortunately, you can take every leaf off and they will sprout away again quite happily, as will comfrey.
Its a great time to be pulling out the summer crops, cleaning seed, planning for the winter vegetables and sowing a few greens in anticipation of rain.
The strange summer weather has suited some plants, the night flowering jasmine has been flowering non stop. In the evenings you can imagine yourself somewhere tropical quite easily even if you do need a jumper some nights.
. One small rhizome of turmeric came to me from a friend after she divided her pot last autumn and together with my pot of galangal, has been treated like a baby all summer.
After two summers the galangal is ready for dividing and eating. Hand watering this morning I found that my turmeric has sent out a wonderful flower stalk. It was well into spring before there was any sign of life, two leaves all summer, then this lovely surprise!
While we are all concerned about global warming and extreme weather, lets not forget to enjoy the wonder and delight of the ever changing potential of nature to adapt.