We woke in the night to hear the unmistakeable drumming of rain on the metal roof.
It’s one of those unmistakeable Australian sounds. Heavy rain + steel roof = welcome deafening roar. When we got up, it was cooler. Not cool, not even nearly cold, but noticeably fresher than it has been for weeks and weeks. I did a little victory dance – this morning, I don’t have to water the garden! – and a tour of inspection to make sure no-one was getting flooded out there. The water feature was very gently overflowing. The mulch and compost are doing their jobs. No standing puddles in the tropical garden. Everything was looking remarkably perky.
I went back out in the late afternoon. And there I discovered one of the eternal truths of tropical gardening. Weeds up here grow at three times the speed of sound. Beds which had been clear the day before now had a merry gang of tiny green invaders. I got the worm bucket and weeded the little buggers out. The palm tree we had removed a few months ago has left an enduring legacy of thousands and thousands of seeds from the fruit that fell. Every few days I go through and pull out the shoots. Today, there was triple the number. They had to go. Fresh fodder for the wormies. But it’s going to be an uphill struggle. The rain makes them grow, the humidity and heat make them grow faster. And yes, by 2pm the humidity was at the level where it feels like you’ve walked into a steamy bathroom. Not totally unpleasant, but you don’t really want to exert yourself too much unless you’re in airconditioning.
On the upside, new growth is sprouting out in the authorised garden inhabitants too. I’m just waiting for the final vegies to ripen, and then the tubs will abolished, and the tropical garden will be devoted purely to sight, sound and smell. We’ll have beautiful flowers and fantastical leaves, the sound of wind rustling in the gingers and heliconias, and the trickle and splash of the water, and the smell of warm, wet earth, damp sugarcane mulch, gardenias, star jasmine, brunfelsia, ginger lilies and angel trumpets. The only edible thing that remains is the passionfruit vine.
I’m going to the Dowager’s for Saturday night dinner tomorrow. The Husband is on night shift, so I’m on my own. I think I’ll see if I can scrounge some more contributions for the garden – maybe the odd bromeliad or fern. Heaven knows she’s got plenty there…
One of the best things about the rain is the reduced fire risk. They’ve been having bad fires down south, and out west it’s so bone dry that all it would take is one tiny spark. With a good fall of rain, the chances of a big fire getting away is much less. Here’s hoping that the Western Queensland farmers will get a good dose. Out here on the coast, I think they’d rather wait till the last two weeks of cane harvest were over, but it’s been a good year for sugar levels, so maybe it’ll all even out in the end.
Ah, the rain’s back. More hammering on the roof… It’s alllll good!