December, January and February are our hottest months of the year, and each day of the relentless sun takes its toll on the garden. The secret to helping plants survive the heat is to apply a thick layer of mulch to keep the plant roots cool and moist by reducing evaporation of soil moisture. As the layers of mulch break down I have been systematically adding more cow manure, sugar cane mulch, and a final layer of coarser material to the garden beds. This has been my main task in the garden during the week. As I work I notice the splashes of colour that bring the garden to life during summer.
This plant was grown from a cutting I took last year around May. It is only 0.5m high, but has produced two magnificent blooms.
This magnificent specimen was a rescue plant from a local nursery. I planted it in a very large pot next to a trellis, and despite the heat it is growing vigorously and is flowering continuously.
This is the first time I have grown these plants. I bought them as seedlings, repotted them to grow out, and once established planted them into the garden and mulched thickly around each plant with sugarcane mulch. They are flowering nicely.
Although Mr S is not fond of these plants, we compromised and now I have one growing in a pot. The pot, along with some selective pruning should help to contain its growth. The heady scent during summer is a delight.
I have featured this particular plant previously, and it still delights with its sunny flowers. It is growing very well, and seems to tolerate the heat better than some of the other gerberas in the garden. There is a beautiful red gerbera flowering at the moment too. This red flowering specimen is new in the garden, so the next couple of months will tell whether it is strong enough to survive the hardships of summer.
The summer barrow
The wheelbarrow has been moved and planted out with mauve Angelonica interspersed with alyssum. I placed a pot in the centre to add some height, and in it I planted a sun Impatiens, yellow gerbera and sedum. I placed the wheelbarrow in a semi-shaded area,and all plants seem to be growing well.
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