I did a bit of poking about on the great big internet to discover that a moment is 90 seconds, which is good to know. This garden has provided more than its fair share of memorable moments. Some memorable for the wrong reasons and others wonderfully unforgettable.
But the most surprising moments were the breathless ones. The ones without wind. Everyone said, “you won’t be able to grow much there, it is too windy.” I have defied them as evident in the flourishing garden I have managed to create. Ok there is wind but for the middle of the growing season it isn’t all that bad and compared to my old garden in the open, often windswept swamp, it isn’t out of the ordinary.
And I know all of this because is I got a fabulous weather station for Christmas. I set it up in the centre of the garden and it measures so many aspects of my microclimate. I can find out the pressure, humidity, dew point, and other things I still have to understand their relevance. But that will come with time. For now, I’m most interested in two things – wind and rain.
Over the last month the wind came from all four quarters and directions in between. But it comes as no surprise that the predominate direction was from the West (42%) and from the Southwest (28%). It rarely came from the Northeast – only for 1.3% of the time. And it wasn’t really that strong – not compared to the 212km/h winds that we experienced last April. The worst that was delivered in January was 27km/h with the worst gusts at 44km/h. Ok so I had to prop up the sweetcorn a couple of times, but it was nothing serious.
One thing I was really not expecting was there were moments with no wind at all. 1320 of them to be precise. (Bearing in mind a moment is 90 seconds.) There were 33 hours without so much as a puff of wind. This happened on 12 days with one day being calm for an astonishing 10.5 hours! This place is beginning to lose that wild reputation with me – well for the month of January at least.
The rain is another set of data I devoured with great interest. In the old place we had an unlimited supply of water in the form of a bore. Here we only have the rain collected from the roof of the house. We have two 30 thousand litre tanks, one for the house and one for the garden. But the garden one has never been filled to the top as we installed it in September and the winter rains stopped and we had to start the summer with a truckload of water and got another the other day.
I got the sense that we weren’t getting the kind of rain other people got. The water laden clouds would sail on by to dump on our inland neighbours, or it was accompanied by wind and so it would come in horizonal and wasn’t able to land on the roof. Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink couldn’t be more apt.
There wasn’t a lot of rain in January, but as much as I would like to say “well it is midsummer.” But that isn’t a fair call as in more years than not it is a wash out, just as everyone goes out camping in their tents. It is like nature has a cruel sense of humour. But this year was one of the good ones, endless blue-sky summer days. And the numbers agree – we only had 49.2mm of rain over 5 January days, and 40.2 of those where on one single day!
They say knowledge is power and I look forward to gathering more data over the months and years and get a good insight into what is actually going on here so I won’t be bound by the limitations of what I think will cope on the wild west. If the veggie patch is anything to go on, the possibilities are very exciting indeed!
Come again soon – late summer is now upon us.
Sarah the Gardener : o)