You’d have to be blind not to see that something is going on with the weather…. And not just this year, for years things have been changing. This winter has been one of the driest on record, and if you have a look around you, you could be forgiven for thinking that grass was supposed to be brown. I mean, it’s the norm now right?
So whilst we have all been praying for rain for the last few months, experts believe our wish is about to be granted….in a much bigger way perhaps than we had intended. At this stage BoM suggests there is approximately a 50% chance of this weather event becoming a reality, however this is DOUBLE the normal risk.
What weather event am I referring to?
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) are currently on La Nina watch. La Nina, or “the little girl” is the positive phase of the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) and occurs less often than El Nino’s or “the little boy”. It brings about heavy rainfall in Northern and Eastern Australia, and cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. El Nino’s effect, on the other hand, is that Australia’s weather conditions become drier than normal.
For all us lucky ones who live on the East coast, La Nina threatens to wash out our summer; bringing heavy rainfall, flooding, and even the possibility of cyclones.
Over the last couple of weeks, Queensland regions have already suffered through some torrential rain, severe thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes and flooding. The Authorities from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are still assessing the situation, however it is set to spill into millions of dollars worth of damage. Some areas are still cut off due to flood waters. Dr Watkins, manager of climate prediction service at BoM told Fairfax Media that La Nina’s were usually evident from autumn or winter, unlike this year: “It’s quite unusual to be so late in the year.”
On the upside all this talk of rain is easing the threat of a potentially devastating bushfire season but it is important not to become complacent. After an incredibly dry winter, there is plenty of fire fuel, the soil is dry, and any rain that we have, quickly evaporates with the soaring temperatures. “With continuing high temperatures, dry soils and drying out vegetation, the fire risk is still quite high. We will need to assess that as we go through the event.” Dr Watkins continued.
What does this all mean for the flower industry? Well…we all know that we need rain for things to grow, but believe it or not, too much rain can spoil all the beauties in the garden. As we are now in peak wedding season, heavy rainfall threatens to damage any varieties that are grown outside such as many garden variety roses. However rainfall can damage sheltered stock when the flowers begin to form mildew. This is most obvious on the outer petals, but unfortunately the whole bloom can begin to rot from within. Garden roses like David Austin roses can often show the effect of rainfall.
In the past whole crops have been known to be destroyed by heavy rainfall or hail. Obviously this will influence prices in the marketplace- as the supply declines, but the demand remains the same, prices will soar.
High temperatures also influence the vase life of flowers. Be sure to keep vases of fresh cut flowers away from direct sunlight and draughts. Clean the vase and change the water regularly. Remove spent flowers as ethylene emitted from deteriorating flowers will cause new blooms to age more quickly.
Throughout the warmer months choose your cut flowers wisely. For longevity Native and Tropical blooms are best- they are made for this weather. English garden flowers will struggle to last in the hot and humid conditions, so be mindful that as gorgeous as they are, they will only be enjoyed for short periods.
Choose wisely flower lovers 🌱🌼🌹🌷🌺🌻 😍