Summer in a Melbourne Garden

We have just arrived back from a glorious few weeks at the beach. It’s always nice to get out of town for a bit over summer. Unfortunately along with the great weather at the beach, Melbourne has also experienced some very hot spells which is showing up as damage in the garden.


A climbing rose, that arguably is too shaded in my front garden, is burnt. The soil out the back continues to show up as hydrophobic, repelling all water. I knew this before we left of course, I had tried several commercial products to fix this. The final dramatic solution was an entire day in the garden with a Dutch hoe in hand making mud pies. There was 1000lt left in one of the water tanks, I used the lot! Now I need to keep it moist and not let it dry out. Having access to tank water broadens the scope of plants in what is mostly a dry tolerant Melbourne garden.

We have experienced some great rain since the drought broke a few years ago. I think this summer is a subtle reminder that even if there is no drought we still have to manage hot dry summers. So soil preparation, plant selection, mulching, and all the other good gardening practices remain the same.

Looking forward to doing some minor replanting in Autumn. If you have damaged plants from the heat I suggest you do a really light prune. Just remove the damaged foliage, don’t do a heavy prune at this stage. Leave this and replanting until mid March when the soil will still be warm and the heat will have subsided.

In the meantime, regular deep watering to encourage the roots down. No splashing a hose around for 10 minutes at the end of the day!

Personally, a sav blanc or pinot gris early evening works. What’s yours?