Tuesday was a very good day to stay inside as it was a hot and windy 41C. I thought the garden would suffer but when I made a tour of it once the shade from our enormous gum trees had come across, at about 5pm, it was all looking good except for the pumpkin leaves which I am sure will come good overnight.
As Wednesday is my allowed watering day, I set the drippers to come on at 3am..... not the 6 - 9am the government says, but near enough and far better I think, as the plants have time to enjoy the extra water before the sun comes up. In South Australia, once the sun is up, in summer, it is intense.
People from the UK and Europe always comment on the strength of the Australian light and the brightness of the colours. When I was there in September / October, everything was soft and the sun was warm and pleasant and mostly I didn't even wear a hat for gardening. Here, even on a cool day in spring and autumn, the rays of the sun burn into you and sensible people wear hats..... I feel I need to, just to keep the sun out of my eyes, it is so intense.
Before it got too hot I picked lunch.... a couple of types of lettuce, some broad bean shoots, sorrel, basil, nasturtiums, Black Russian tomatoes. I love this lentil salad I make..... I think it is in Gardeners' Gastronomy. Yes, I had meat.... a leftover feral goat chop from the BBQ on the weekend.
This photo at left is of the water spinach I bought and as a vegetable and put in this vase ages ago. I even went away fro 2 weeks over Christmas and it not only survived but grew all these extra shoots and leaves. The leaves are very small because it has no nutrient and no direct sun, while it sits on my kitchen bench in bright light..... show me a place where the light isn't bright in South Australia right now!
Those I planted out in the tubs of water have bigger, dark green leaves but haven't grown many leaves yet. Hopefully this hot weather will see them take off.