Was There A Fire? No, Just Melbourne Weather.

Recently, Melbourne endured four days in a row over 42 degrees. We’re not used to this prolonged heat (in fact, that’s the longest stretch of weather that hot every recorded for Melbourne), and it was a hot topic (pardon the pun). Being a nurse, some comment about the weather is inevitable with all my patients, but it was even higher on the conversational topics list that week. Every status update on Facebook was some complaint about the weather. All the radio stations were getting people to call up and tell their “hot weather” story. It was a very intolerant week. The ones who should’ve been complaining were the plants!

The morning of the first 42 degree day, I got home from night duty and watered the garden. Whilst watering, I admired my Lilly Pilly which was a present from my parents maybe 6 months earlier. I thought how well it was doing and how green it was. That afternoon, I got up to see my green, luscious Lilly Pilly looking like this:


I was devastated! It looked like a fire had been though it. A fire so hot that the leaves stayed in tact, like what the Black Saturday fires did to the trees around Kinglake. It inspired me to put “hats” on all the plants that were prone to “burning” – “hats” being rags draped over the plants to protect their leaves from the extra hot sun.


I’ve kept watering my Lilly Pilly, and it’s stems never went brittle so I thought it still had a chance. It’s now covered in little green shoots! So happy!


This weekend the temperature is 38 then 40 degrees so hopefully the new little shoots survive. I’ll definitely be putting a “hat” on this guy from now on!

2 thoughts on “Was There A Fire? No, Just Melbourne Weather.

  1. It’s amazing how resilient natives can be. It’s like surviving over-40C temperatures is built into their genes. I bet if it had gone through a real fire it would still sprout new shoots in fairly short order. You can send it up here and see how it likes cyclones. Plenty of water, 79% humidity. Pity about the 93kmph winds…

    1. Yeah, and Lilly Pilly’s especially are pretty tough. There was a stump of what I suspect was a Lilly Pilly where my vegetable box is now. It was impossible to dig out so we just built the vegetable box around it and chucked the soil on top but I’m still half expecting it’ll miraculously come to life again and grow through the vegie box.

      Haha, bet you gotta be a tough plant if you want to survive in Mackay!

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