Monday, March 02, 2009

Colour Palette

Before The Blast Of The Heatwave

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


These shots were taken in my garden, in late December. At the time, we’d had a few warm days but nothing like the scorching heat that has been a hallmark of Australian summers. In early November, we had endured a string of hot days and warm nights but they were swiftly replaced by balmy days and cool nights.

Had we missed out in summer entirely, we asked. But that question was answered less than a month later, when the heatwave returned in earnest. We stumbled through days that tested this city’s infrastructure, with the heat buckling train lines and leading to such heavy demand on domestic power supplies that the evenings often saw some areas without electricity.

Then came The Great Heatwave – the spell of savage temperatures the like of which we have never seen. For three consecutive days the mercury climbed above 43 Celsius (about 110 Fahrenheit) and even surpassed 46 Celsius (about 115 Fahrenheit).

Just after dawn on the first day of the heat, I noticed several new blooms on this and other rose bushes in our garden – but when I got back from work, they looked as if they had been sand-blasted or roasted in an oven.

For the first time ever, I have lost hardy rose bushes in the heat and the dry conditions. But we have much to be thankful for. Our home still stands, unlike so many in this city.

Yes, I will soon replace the roses and the mature azalea bushes that we lost this summer. Not now. The soil is too dry. There are no rain clouds on the horizon. I’ll wait until mid-April, when we’re halfway through autumn, to go and choose the replacements at our local nursery.

There’s so much to strip out of our garden. But on a positive note, there will equally be as much to plant and nurture and nurse to maturity.


Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of
Today's Flowers.

49 comments:

Nessa said...

Those flowers are beautiful. I am sure you will have them again.

Louise said...

This is my favorite color of rose. The pictures are fantastic!

Roses dying from dry and heat is foreign to me. I live in dry and heat (though not nearly as hot as where you live, but definitely as dry, I think), and my roses flourish. Where I lived before, I used to lose half of my roses each year due to "cold and wet!"

Fee said...

The photographs are beautiful as is your writing.

I love reading your blog.

What a contrast of weather we have had compared to you. We have had a very extreme winter with snow not seen for nearly 30 years and yourselves have had the heat.

Strange how the world works. What we do have in common though is human spirit and those willing to help others through the hard times.

Best wishes

Fee

To email me look at my website www.brafittingawareness.co.uk

jinksy said...

Luckily, you continue to bloom, even though your poor roses have not faired so well...They were lovely though.

bARE-eYED sUN said...

love the color, and envy the garden . . . and wonder at the technology that allows us to share insights across the globe almost instantaneously . . . :-0


for our part, we have three weeks left before the start of Spring.

just a moment ago i looked out my bedroom window and saw snow flurries dusting the sidewalk. :-(


i like the pictures very much, but the words, mysteriously, moved me with a hint of melancholy . . .


thank you for today's post,
and blog on!

..
.ero

Deborah Godin said...

Thanks for your visit and link back. I really was amazed to read in detail about your weather. I've always lived in the N. hemisphere, so triple digit F. temps in "winter" really messes with my head!

Breeze said...

Ah, David, I too only have roses in my dreams now..we're still in the depth of winter here but if there is one thing that winter teaches me every year its that roses always return. That's a beautiful photograph.

Thank you

Daryl said...

Soon everything will be coming up roses again ... for all of the city

Maggie May said...

The roses were really lovely.
As you say...... the roses can be easily replaced but lost homes and lives cannot.

I expect you will get much pleasure from bringing on a new batch.
I have had to wreck some plants in order to get the kitchen underpinned. Now my little garden looks as though it has been attacked by warfare. Well I suppose it has....... heavy boots & wheel barrows!

squawmama said...

Wow david what beautiful flowers... Sorry the heat got to them but I am sure they will come back. Have a fun filled day.

HUGS,
Donna

ds said...

Hi!

Have been 'lurking' for a while (sorry) and really enjoy your blog--if 'enjoy' can even be used in the same paragraph as mention of those terribly poignant descriptions of horror. Your roses, on the other hand, are beautiful; trust you will bring your garden back even better than before (I live in a part of the States where 'savage' heat is rare, but humidity can be horrid).

I admire anyone with the guts to leave the wires in his photographs, and I truly enjoyed (this is the right place for that word!) your interview. Thank you.

KISSEDALOTATOADS said...

wow, such beauty in late Dec. Great photos. I posted late, so please come on by for a quick laugh.

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Funny, you've blogged about the heatwave and I've blogged about an ice-storm! Beautiful pictures of those sumptuous roses - isn't Mother Nature gand?!

M said...

Sunset roses are my favorite! WoW!that was some heatwave to take hearty rose bushes! A friend here is worried about her roses since we are in a draught she will have to ration water...and fears losing her roses.

anna said...

greeting for you
..this great color of rose..i like it...hey, come visit again..what u real name? and just put my photograf about twilight. i wish u hv time for me,please..
i'm lucky found u, i think ur great friends which all friends around you...
regards,
Anna

Sylvia K said...

Gorgeous flowers! And you will enjoy more come your fall -- I'm still adjusting to the time difference. I'm just glad you were spared the horrors of the fires. Have a good week!

ilanadavita said...

Great roses. I hope you'll get your roses back.

Darla said...

Very pretty.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Gorgeous, David! That color is perfectly beautiful.

Hopefully the rains will come soon, and all of this nightmare will come to an end for you good people in Australia. Then the rebuilding starts. I have friends and family who lost everything in Katrina, but they have risen from the wreckage. I pray strength for everyone who has been involved in this tragedy... including the roses.

Have a lovely Sunday...

Sheila :-)

expressodalinha said...

Fantastic roses.

Gill - That British Woman said...

those are so pretty, such a shame about the horrid summer you guys have been having..

Gill in Canada

VALKYRIEN said...

I love that colour on a rose! And so different places we live - roses blooming in december! Hope the rose will bloom again for you!

Arija said...

David, at least you have reticulated water. We have had no water for the garden since last summer. We have lost 6m trees and most of my hedgerosa and srubs and the roses are deimated. At my age and physical condition replanting is no longer in the cards. I wish you luck though and may your garden flourish again!

Denise said...

Well David, you've all been through such an awful time of it and I hope for all your sakes the rains come soon. Your photos are as always superb, your roses exquisite and your post eloquent. Your garden will once again flourish I know it. Bless all you wonderful Australians who are indeed a good role model for us all.

Anali said...

I can NEVER see too many flowers. Thanks for the beautiful treat! ; )

Crystal Jigsaw said...

David, if someone gave me a bunch of roses like these I think I could fall in love!

Btw, I took a close up picture of a snowdrop today and have posted it on my blog. I'm quite pleased with it - not wishing to blow my own trumpet of course!!

CJ xx

Annie said...

Wonderful rose David, thank you.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

I am so sorry you lost much of your garden, and thankful that your home still stands. I hope you will be able to replace this lovely, lovely rose. The colour is beautiful.

Mojo said...

Being the owner of the Original Brown Thumb I can only gaze in wonder at the Authorblog Garden's progeny.

I still have a hard time adjusting to the seasons being reversed... right now we're getting steadily rained on with snow in the forecast (that may or may not materialize).

Looking forward to seeing what the new gardens yield.

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Husband better at growing roses than me.But I love that color!

Pienovski said...

Amazingly delicate rose. The color is stunning. Really fab photos!

As always.

Ida

Mckay K said...

Your rose is beautiful. Hope your weather cool down soon.

Fotos da Lurdes said...

Simply gorgeous !
Roses are my favorite flower...
Thanks for visiting my blog ,and nice comment...
Greetings from Portugal!
Lurdes

imac said...

Ah David, Ive got a piccy of this rose, they are beautiful arn't they.

Natalie said...

I lost my beautiful roses and my camelias too, David. Very dry here in NSW as well. :(

Was very happy when the season changed yesterday. I love Autumn the most.
Good luck with your garden.x

San said...

It's so sad to lose gorgeous plantings you've nurtured. Several years ago we lost some pinon pines to drought. The loss was painful.

You are wise to count your blessings--your home and family. As you know, we turned our pinon stumps into pedestals for chairs to invite spirits to sit a spell and grace us with their company. Might as well invite something good into an empty space.

Zerilda The Superfluous Blogger said...

flowers, too?
i am really struggling to find something you can't do.

is there such a thing?

hmm...
you don't probably knit. no, you probably can do that too.

you don't probably play the guitar. no, you probably can do that too.

how about AH - you do NOT speak esperanto.

nah. you probably also do that.

(snickering ... let's see if he figures it out)

Stellash said...

It's beautiful roses, I suppose water restriction is one of the courses too - If you you irrigate 24H 7 days in the week they will flower .... But we'll not have water?

Cath said...

And with your green fingers they will soon bloom and grow, bloom and grow....

citizen of the world said...

That is my favorite color rose also. Luscious.

storyteller said...

These look very much like my favorite roses ... I call them Apricot because I don't know the true name.
Hugs and blessings,

The W.O.W. factor said...

That rose is beautiful David, reflecting the hues of fire!
Yoy grow Azaleas there?? They are my favorite and they don't survive my climate!

Lilly said...

What a horrible summer it has been in Victoria. At least something beautiful has come out of it.

Arcadia said...

Your flowers are very beautiful,you were truly blessed to see a spectacle of nature in your garden.
Visit my blog

cheshire wife said...

That rose is lovely. I know how you feel about your lost plants. The recent cold weather here has killed some of the plants in our garden.

Luiz Santilli Jr said...

David,

Wordless rose!
Lovely color!
Very well taken as always!
Thanks, my friend.

Luiz

susieofarabia said...

I know roses are a lot of work, but just look at your results! This color is spectacular and your photos are amazing!

Judy said...

Those are lovely roses! Too bad that you have lost them to the heat and drought. But you are looking at it in a positive light!
Cheers!

Merisi said...

A poignant reminder that we must enjoy and smell the roses while they last! I empathize with you about your loss. Yes this opens an opportunity for new discoveries, but what we love is hard to lose.