A cool morning has followed overnight rain. Every gardener's dream, especially in December with much to do leading up to Christmas.
Petunias are a great stand by for colour in a dry climate, far more drought resistant in pots than begonias or dianthus.
A heatwave during our recent absence at the coast meant we returned to brown lawns and a wilting garden, but the petunias were flourishing, even a pot under a Perspex roof.
It's not too late to plant punnets now for months of summer flowers.
The overnight rain helped me to whip through the weeding, miles easier with damp ground.
I was thrilled to come across the feathery, creamy flowers of a Kiwi grass, Chionochloa flavicans, I'd planted a few years ago to remind me of dear friend, gardener and artist Nancy Tichborne (d. 2023).
It's one of my favourite grasses, about one metre high and wide and, together with Stipa gigantea, in flower from late spring to autumn.
The cool morning was also a chance to cut back fading euphorbia flowers, protected from their poisonous sap by gloves and goggles.
Down came old stems of E. wulfennii, glaucous, upright E. rigida and creeping E. myrsinites, and purple leaf E. amygdeloides 'Purpurea' before they self-sow everywhere.
Near the chionochloa I found another treasured euphorbia, Mrs. Robb's Bonnet, 30 centimetres high with deep green leaves and brilliant limey flowers.
It came from David Glenn's Lambley Nursery (as did the chionochloca) a source of many beautiful and drought tolerant plants.
If you're near Ascot, Victoria, this weekend, don't miss Lambley's mega end of season sale, a source of absolute bargains with all sale plants marked down to $6 (visit www.lambley.com.au).
Early summer is time to remove biennial honesty and foxgloves, together with annual borage, as flowering finishes, leaving any seedlings for next year.
In the vegie patch, remove snow peas that have finished to allow room for summer climbers such as beans and tomatoes.
I'm hoping for a crop of Kipfler potatoes which I grew from a tuber from the greengrocer that was starting to sprout.
I thriftily - you know me - snipped out three shoots, each with a tiny piece of potato attached, and planted them, only to see Josh from Gardening Australia that very evening on TV, planting whole tubers.
It was too late to do anything, but fortunately my tiny sprouts germinated and are now large plants, and I'm eagerly waiting for their stems to turn yellow, a sign the potatoes are ready to dig up.
Finally, prune lavender as flowers fade and take 15cm cuttings from new shoots. Tie in trailing shoots of clematis, jasmine and Virginia creeper.