What can we do to garden, successfully, in the new, crazy weather?
The weather has been changing, noticeably in our gardens, for the past 10 years, and each year, the changes are more significant. So, to begin, I suggest, eagerly, what you need to do first is to let go of a lot of ‘past practices’, re-think them according to current, ambiguities, and accept that NATURE WINS. The more we fight the conditions in our yards, the more plants we lose, the more problems develop, and in the end, we lose our JOY! If that isn’t what gardening is about, we’re not talking about the same thing.
The Humidex, around since 1965, has only come to part of our daily weather forecast in the past 10-15 years, and the “it feels” like part of it, in the past five+ years. So, if it feels like +42oC in the sun, it also feels like +42oC in the shade. In early spring, before the foliage on larger trees can protect my shaded, typically cool NE garden, I have watched a plant simply FRY, burned to nothing, in early April. THAT is not typical, although it’s becoming more common. Likewise, I used to make much ado about micro-climates, and knowing the ‘personality’ of your garden’s micro-spaces. However, when half a large perennial, burns, down to ground level, while the OTHER HALF thrives, flowers in fall, and comes back the following year, as if nothing happened, it means these nano-climates are so infinitesimally small , they can no longer be defined, as we once thought. So, what do we do? One year, it rains, the next, it doesn’t (2017), and the humidex, along with our new friend, THE WIND, is ever present.
You need to know, from early spring, where your shade comes from (sun mapping), so you know if it at all sensible to chance planting something "iffy", making them more vulnerable by exposing them to the much hotter, lower rays of the sun, as are felt in the early months of spring.