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Phew, what a scorcher!! Has it really been this hot in previous years, or are we getting less tolerant as we get older? Looking back on earlier editions, I often spoke about the range of fluctuating temperatures in the space of just a few days, but July was relentless. Oppressive, hot hairdryer days and muggy nights. It seems the only plants that soak up these conditions are the tropical lovers, hence I should expect a good crop of ginger and turmeric this year and plenty of flowers on the frangipani. However, I’ve also seen established, twenty year old citrus trees showing signs of ‘cigar curl’, which is a sure sign of stress from dehydration, where the leaves curl tightly inwards. Even hedging species such as myroporum, melaleuca and oleanders are suffering despite having root structures many metres below soil level. What gardeners must realise is that it’s not just the lack of water that causes a plants demise in the heat, it’s very often the increased temperature of the soil that can ‘cook’ the root system of many shrubs and trees. That’s why it’s equally important to cover the earth with as much mulch as possible to keep the soil temperature cool. August is traditionally a month of hot weather that sends us either running to the seaside or batoning down the hatches and pumping up the air conditioning indoors. It’s not a great gardening month, with gardens in virtual lockdown. Just a venture out in early sunrise or after sunset to water our poor suffering plants. So our To Do List can be summed up pretty much in one sentence - “Keep everything well watered, and roll on September.” Whatever your choice of relaxation, I’m sure it includes the latest copy of our fantastic magazine with our usual exciting and educating range of topics and gardening scenarios. We received a lovely letter last week from a retired gentleman who has had no interest in gardening or plants throughout his life, and happened upon one of our complimentary copies at a doctors surgery. After reading the magazine “cover to cover” it inspired him to buy some pots and create some colour on his terrace. So, despite the heat, I hope we can also inspire you to venture outdoors into your garden.....albeit in September once it’s cooler! Happy Reading.
We really look forward to getting your magazine every month. Such a great read! Thank you