Those of you in the Northern hemisphere who experience frosty weather will be used to the ground being crunchy underfoot.
You might be surprised to learn that those of us here in Cape Town, in the Southern hemisphere, also find the ground crunching under our feet.
But this has nothing to do with frost or frozen ground.
We have severe water restrictions, because it just didn’t rain enough last winter (our rainfall season) and the dams are extremely low. This water has to last the whole summer season stretching out in front of us for the next six months before any rain can confidently be expected to fall again, in our rainy season in July; next winter for us.
The following series of four photos show the rapid dehydration of the grass on my lawn over eleven weeks.
We are at level 3 water restrictions. This means no hose pipes and no watering the lawn. You can water plants with a watering can on three days of the week either very early or late in the day for an hour.
It is survival of the fittest for the plants out there.
Fortunately, most of my garden has indigenous plants that have survived many years with little water. It is just my rose bushes that I water a little once a week; and the new Erica bush my husband bought me when my old boy Mr Spaghetti Legs died. This little bush, although indigenous, has not had time yet to establish its roots, so I watch it like a hawk and water it a few times a week to ensure the roots do not dry out. It doesn’t need much water, but it does need some!
Still, this leaves my poor lawn shrivelling up and dying in the endless heat. This is very sad, because we had been nurturing the small patches of good grass; (see Rejuvenation. ) and they are definitely larger than last year. If I had water I would regularly water round the edges of these patches to promote their growth. Sadly I’ll have to watch as even these patches now die off.
On our walks now, Little Monkey and I crunch our way round everyone else’s grass verges that are already more brown than green.