Adapt or Die

With rainfall figures half of the long-term average,  and no significant rain in sight for the foreseeable future, the die is cast for gardeners here in Knysna. We are all watching our gardens slowly dying; even the hardiest succulents are surrendering, curling up to protect  themselves from the incessant heat and dryness.  Daily we are all logging on to weather websites in the vain hope of seeing icons of little clouds with droplets falling: instead the sun icon rules the roost.  Scroll down for the next two weeks and it all remains the same ….

Rainfall figures

Date Rainfall measured Rainy days p. month Average rainfall:

1952 -current

Oct 2016 28.5mm 8 73mm
Nov 2016 9.2mm 4 63mm
Dec 2016 21.1mm 3 58mm
Jan 2017 47.7mm 9 55mm
Feb 2017 19.3mm 6 47mm
125.8mm 30days 296mm


As you can see we have receive less than half our average rainfall. The number of rainy days per month includes those piddly droplets that evaporate before  they reach the ground.

Is it time for change, is it time to reassess the future of gardening here in Knysna? I believe we have to come to the realisation that things won’t get better, so we must adapt.  Our water resources are limited, we have a growing population, our summers are getting hotter and we are all getting  too old to cope with these new stresses!

It is time to throw away the trowel, hang up the gloves, invest in artificial grass, garden with pebbles and forget about ever having had an ‘English’ garden in Africa! Look on the bright side, hubby will no longer question the water bill, no more back aches from spending hours weeding and planting, no more feeding and mulching, no more fetching and carrying of gardeners, no more visits to the nurseries, no more smelly compost and soil conditioners. Bliss! The only question is, what are we going to do at Garden Club – have a monthly Tea Party instead?

On the bright side, we had a few drops last night!

~ Esther