Not to dampen your enthusiasm for spring, but the period from January 2017 to July 2019 has been the driest on record. Only the 1900-02 peak of the Federation Drought was drier. Australia really is dry.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, July saw a decrease in lower-layer soil moisture (from 10 to 100 cm deep) across much of New South Wales. Longer-term rainfall deficiencies have affected most of the New South Wales and extend to parts of the New South Wales coast, including the Illawarra district.
So it’s no surprise that extended drought conditions over eastern Australia are impacting gardens. Dam levels supplying the Greater Sydney region and Illawarra (our service areas) are very low. Water restrictions are in force and fines can apply from September 1. You can find more details on the Sydney Water website.
It’s Getting Hotter
The 1st of October traditionally marks the start of the NSW bush fire season, but, due to drier than average conditions, the start of the season has been brought forward in a number of areas, including the Illawarra (from 12 August). The season traditionally ends 31 March, but again, given the very dry conditions, expect an extension. Stay safe over the coming months and have a plan should your home be threatened by bushfires.
Over the past few months we’ve put a lot of effort into building beautiful outside spaces, including productive food gardens, kitchen gardens and school gardens. Unfortunately, some plants and lawns won’t survive this summer unless properly tended. Keeping your garden beds and lawns watered should remain top of mind throughout spring and summer. Consider rainwater tanks, note your local water restrictions and keep your garden hydrated while discovering ways to conserve that precious resource, water.
Keep Gardens Wet Enough
If you want to really extend water efficiency in your garden, read our supplier spotlight. It’s about the innovative water wicking system made from recycled plastic by WaterUps from Down Under®. WaterUps® can help you reduce the water needed to maintain healthy garden beds by up to 80% due to the impressive efficiency of water wicking.
Assuming your garden’s water supply is sorted, let’s focus on the fact that spring remains one of the most beautiful seasons in the garden. A great way to celebrate that beauty is to visit some extraordinary open gardens. Daffodils are in bloom and Floriade in Canberra runs from 14 September to 13 October. The Winner of the 2015 World Tulip Award, Corbett Gardens, Bowral is open for Tulip Time from Tuesday, 24 September to Monday, 7 October.
If you have bulbs in your outside space, remember to showcase them by clearing paths, weeding, pruning overhanging plants or trees etc. If you don’t have any bulbs, but would like some, go for a wander and consider where you’d like to see them sprouting up in your garden next year. The next step is ordering sufficient bulbs to see them bloom this time next year.
Out And About
In addition to lots of kitchen and school gardens, we’ve also been down to Unanderra to finish off a new dog enclosure and worked on a lot of coastal gardens, many beachfront. Roll on summer! We’ve also been working on quite a few constructions for the Better Homes and Gardens crew. We’re pretty much behind the scenes, but if you do happen to catch a glimpse of us on screen, send us a note. These jobs take us all over Sydney and the Illawarra and, as always, we are loving the variety.
Scheduled Garden Maintenance
If you’re short of time, or simply need a hand with the gardening, consider arranging some scheduled maintenance for your outside space. Our dedicated garden maintenance team is regularly tending outside spaces from sea level to several storeys above ground, from coasts to cliff-tops. Let us know if you need a hand and we’ll schedule some time.
Our dedicated outside space styling service continues to help clients identify the right furniture and décor to complement your outside space can. So again, let us know if you’d like a hand sprucing up your outdoor décor this spring.
We’re looking forward to revisiting old projects to see how they’re getting on and diving into new garden builds across the Sydney and Illawarra regions. Have something in mind for your outside space? Feel free to get in touch.