38, 41, 40, 40
No that is not part of an odd mathematical sequent, Fibonacci did not get it wrong nor is it my phone number. Those numbers above and in my post title represent the forecast in Melbourne for the next four days (today inclusive and in degrees celcius) At least this time the wind is supposed to be minimal.
As an ex-Adelaide girl I know what a heat wave means. Four days in the high thirties/early forties - no problem, I eat those sort of temperatures for breakfast. Heatwaves were a right of passage growing up there, and summer seemed to be one long slog where the number 40 was a regular occurence. I've often heard people say that Melbourne gets Adelaide's weather just one day later. They obviously have never lived in Adelaide - it is consistently a few degrees warmer in Adelaide, and the nights rarely cool down. Melbourne gets more water (even if only a slight difference), the temepratures are high but not extreme, and the nights often give some respite to the heat. Despite being quite accustomed to the heat, being a native Adelaidian, I have never been a gardener in this heat. The balcony garden used to be one herb pot and a long suffering lemon tree. About 6 months ago it ballooned out to its current size. So yes I can stand the heat, with a few whinges and complaints, but what about the balcony garden?
How does a balcony garden that lives in the sun from about 1pm to sunset survive those conditions? Even the shady part is hostile - the lack of airflow brings on instant powdery mildew. And given the heat no fertilisation nor helpful seaweed solution can be used (nay even watering can mean third degree burns). Today was water restriction day, so they all got an early morning dousing. Given that the next watering day is not until after the heatwave, and I am housemateless at the moment (loving the solitude but missing her more and more) means my water saving techniques (veggie washing water, shower warm up water) are halved.
It seems a challenge, bigger than Ben Hur, but seeing as I like challenges I am ready to meet it. Below is a pre-heatwave glimpse of the balcony garden ... lets see how it survives the week!