Conditions during January 2011?
January is mid 'wet' season and not my favourite time of year. The days are mostly dreary and overcast with millimetres of liquid sunshine! Around 180mm of rain fell over the month. Not only is January mid 'wet' season, of course it's mid-Summer as well. The days are long, hot, humid and hard to bear. We did have a few clear days though, when we finally got to see blue sky and bright sunshine.
Starting with the trees on the property ... what was flowering?
At this time of year it's always very difficult to find blooms on the trees here on my property. But this year even the usually reliable summer bloomer, Delonix regia, were all conspicuously devoid of flowers. A Poinciana completely covered in vivid red blooms is one of the most common sights in mid-summer most years, but not this January. I suspect this has a lot to do with the unseasonably damp 'dry' season last year (from March to November) with its high rainfall totals and the large number of dreary overcast days. Obviously too overcast and too wet for the Poincianas. They like it hot, sunny and dry.
Without Poincianas to show off, the photos of mid-summer blooming trees is restricted to the Lagerstroemia speciosa or Queen's Myrtle. Now, usually, she is well finished flowering this time of year, but it seems like she stepped up in the absence of any display from Delonix!!! Mind you, both the Lagerstroemias are only showing the odd spray of purple delight, but it's a pretty sight anyway.
Again, I think this display is the result of the out-of-the-ordinary wet conditions during last year's 'dry' season ... there seems to be some confusion amongst some of our plants with the change in the usual weather pattern.
Another two commonly summer-flowering trees that were not on show this mid-summer were the Plumerias and the Cassia fistula. Obviously more casualties of the unusual weather patterns during 2010.
Now, which shrubs and climbers around the property were flowering?
Not many!! The gorgeous Mussaendas were strutting their stuff, thankfully.
Another year-round bloomer are the Pentas ... one of my favourites for adding splashes of colour in amongst all the green.
There were a few blooms on my still rather immature Mandevilla ... it's taking a long time to really develop, but it seems to be doing better in this location than the previous ones.
But that was it! Noticeably devoid of any blooms were the Bougainvilleas.
Next, out in the courtyard ... what was blooming?
At the beginning of January I took advantage of a rare couple of sunny days to really take stock of all the potted plants out in the Courtyard Garden. After weeks of endless heavy rain and grey skies through the beginning of Summer (December) they were in a pretty bad way. So many of these plants had rather severe trimming back which, of course, means there's not much to show in the way of blooms. Summer out in the courtyard is NOT the best time to enjoy a brilliant display of blooms.
That was the end of the story out in the courtyard ... a very poor showing for the potted plants! But hopefully, with the trimming and feeding there will be something to see by mid-Autumn. There was no show from any of the annuals as none had made it through the arrival of the 'wet' ... this is actually quite normal. THE most noticeable thing missing from the courtyard though, was the blanket of flowers on the Jasmine which covers the pergola. There has not been any sign of even one flower yet ... that is extremely unusual for this time of year.
Last of all, what was blooming out in the Greenhouse/Shadehouse Garden?
The stunning Globba winitii ...
the Curcuma australasica 'Anita' ...
the purple Anthurium ...
the Tricyrtis x Empress or Empress Toad Lily.
So, all in all, the finding for this mid-Summer 2011 was ... far less blooming than the previous year ... by far! The 'dry' season of 2010 turned out to be almost non-existent and this definitely had an effect on quite a few plants in my garden.
(Note: As this was completed and posted well after mid-Summer, I have the benefit of hindsight. What seemed at the time ... mid-Summer ... to be a pretty poor showing around the garden, has in fact turned out to be as good as it was going to get for the entire Summer. It just went from bad to worse, as the 'wet' season intensified and we experienced the arrival of a couple of lower rated cyclones and then one quite intense tropical cyclone.)
To see what was blooming in mid-Spring ... the season before ... click on this link: Snapshots of Mid-Spring ... which is October.