This summer has been a steep learning curve. I knew I had to water the plants but I didn't realise just how much water was required. When I thought I had given them enough I really hadn't and alas there have been casualties. Here you can see the thyme just hanging on.
The roses are on their way out... they might just make it if they get a lot of tlc now... I have been trying but the leaves are still turning brown and dropping so it's touch and go.
In fact there is a lot of 'brown' leaves on a lot of plants that obviously survived other summers here and I can only put the blame on my inexperience.
Water management is going to be a major part of our gardening in the future. At one end of the finca we have a slope that means most of the rain water just runs off, it follows channels and gulleys down to the water meadow where it joins a fairly blocked stream and forms huge puddles in the ground. Obviously there are places on the finca where we want the water to slow down and other's where we need it to drain more freely. Watching what happens in winter will help us decide what to do about it next year... but in the meantime, it seemed obvious to clear the stream bed of all rubbish.
Our neighbour has concreted the base of his stream... This means the water comes down to us quite quickly bringing with it all sorts of debris and the sand washed down from upstream accumulates and spreads out onto the land either side forming a very muddy pool.
We are hoping that clearing the stream will encourage the water to drain away quicker from the water meadow and perhaps we will be able to use some of the meadow to grow stuff.
On the upper part of the finca where the water already flows too fast and we need it to stay on the land longer so that it will soak in to nourish our plants and trees we are thinking of digging swales. I shall do a further post about swales when we start digging them but if you click here you will get a brief explanation.
Fergus inspects the contour of the stream bed.
and here is a live one we disturbed from its hidey hole under the bins at the back of the house!