After several weeks with no rain, one can see which plants are more resilient to drought in our sandy soil. Unsurprisingly, plants like lavender, for example, still look quite fresh. But a fortnight ago, I found that some sedums were flopping badly – succulents are usually fine without rain, but I had to water these. A low-growing but spreading hebe has dead patches, and I put the hose on it for half an hour or so today and the hypericum next to it, while having fresh green leaves, has dried, brown flower buds. In the kitchen garden, globe artichoke plants are a quarter of their normal size and the raspberries have stopped fruiting. Courgettes and spaghetti squashes are fine, but the butternut squashes droop if they don’t get a good weekly session with a sprinkler.
We have some young fruit trees and it’s noticeable that the crab apple that was grown in a pot is managing less well than the trees planted bare-rooted. Among big trees, horse chestnut leaves are already turning crisp and brown. On the lawn, which hasn’t been cut for weeks and is never watered, the grass is still green where there’s shade, though completely brown elsewhere. The fig tree loves the hot, dry weather. I must check if any fruits are ripe yet, there’s a good crop.
When I do put the sprinkler on, I find it gets covered with pollen beetles. Even insects need water. I put a paint roller tray out near the greenhouse and fill it with water every day for hedgehogs, and anything else that wants it. The deep end holds quite a lot of water but small creatures can use the shallow part.
I am still enjoying the hot weather and haven’t the least wish for it to end, but a lot of people don’t feel the same way. British people like rain, I suppose, being well used to it. Those who complain assume that you will agree with them and I don’t argue. It’s not going to change anyone’s view, and I’m not unsympathetic in the least to those who struggle. My mother hated hot weather and complained bitterly whenever the sun shone, which was a bit trying when one was grateful for any fine day. She wasn’t great with the cold, come to that. There were only a handful of days that really suited her in any season.