Wild weather in Geranium

We had some really wild weather over the weekend just gone. Winter is definitely on the way here in the mallee districts of South Australia. On Saturday morning we packed up the ute (a Mazda Bravo) and the trailer with plants from my wife’s nursery (see Mallee Native Plants).

Geranium

We arrived in the little town of Geranium mid-morning, just in time for the set up phase for the sale. Geranium is about an hour’s drive east of home here in Murray Bridge. It is situated next to the Mallee Highway about mid-way between Tailem Bend and Lameroo. This little town has about 80 residents with many more in the farming areas that surround it. It is a tight knit and proud community and was the winner of the Tidiest Town Competition in 1999. It has a primary school, general store, garage, two churches and well established and maintained sporting facilities.

Plant Sale

Every year for the last ten years or so we have journeyed out to Geranium for the annual plant sale organised by the local Australian Plants Society (A.P.S.). We set up tables in a square in the school playground. The plants are then arranged alphabetically by species name. Description labels are placed at the front to assist the customers with their selection. Customers usually come from a wide area – anything up to 100km away or more. Some even come for the weekend, staying with friends or family.

Wild Weather

During the afternoon on Saturday the wind and cloud steadily increased. The wind was not so much of a problem because the sales area is protected on three sides by classrooms. During the evening we experienced heavy rain. All the local farmers were extemely happy because this rain was significant enough to commence their wheat seeding for this year. It will also mean good pastures later for their sheep flocks. Sunrise witnessed gale force wind gusts accompanied by more heavy showers of rain. These continued for most of the day. Dodging these showers was a regular event, but with lots of under cover areas we lived with it.

Poor Sales

The plant sales were down considerably compared with previous years. We think that there were two major factors at work. The weather most definitely discouraged many people from attending. The high fuel prices at present must also have impacted the willingness of people to drive distances to come to this tiny community. Despite that we all had a great social outing. Some of the growers, like ourselves, come from a distance so we “camp” overnight in the school library. We always have a barbecue on the Saturday evening as well as a combined tea after the sale on the Sunday. Getting together with these people is always good fun. If we make enough from the sales to cover our fuel costs we are usually happy.
Needless to say the sun came out late in the afternoon – after all the customers had left.

And then today has been a glorious autumn day – sunny, calm and very pleasant.

 

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