Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's Raining Again! Will it ever end? ... My Downunder Dry Tropics Garden Journal - Week 13, 2011

  Date:  April 3, 2011

  Season:   mid-Autumn and, supposedly, the end of the 'wet' season

(Gardening Zone:  'Dry Tropics' area located within the Tropics Zone/Australia ... comparable to U.S. Zone 11)

Well there's nothing much to report about my gardening efforts over the last couple of weeks.  The end of March concluded another significant weather event for us ... it was the wettest March ever in the history of our weather records.  During March our area received 655 mm of rain ... that's around 26 inches!  Now that's the way to herald the supposed end of the 'wet' season.  

Gum trees in the rain.

Despite the fact that April is usually the start of our 'dry' season, Mother Nature hasn't quite finished with our rainfall records!  It only took two days to exceed the average April rainfall total!  This has been a record-breaking year in terms of weather events ... the highest ever rated cyclone, the highest ever beginning of Autumn rainfall total and it looks like we're going to break the record for the number of overcast days in the first half of the year!

Just another dreary Sunday!

So, there's not been a whole lot of gardening work done.  The only chores I've managed lately are the fertilising of the potted plants and the outdoor tiered garden bed, and cleaning up/trimming back in the shadehouse.  Most garden areas are looking after themselves.  So for my report today I thought I would just take a walk in the rain ... umbrella in hand ... and take a few shots of what's going on around the place.  

Out in the Courtyard Garden ...

Wrightia antidysenterica 'Arctic Snow' and Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' thriving in the dreary rainy conditions.

The Wrightia is maturing very nicely and this is the most flowers it's showed since it was established early last year.

Potted plants searching for the sunshine!   Dracaena marginata, Cleome spinosa 'Senorita Rosalita', Spathiphyllum, Impatiens, Pentas and Crossandra infundibuliformis.

Where is that sunshine?  We seek it here, we seek it there ... but it's simply nowhere!

Croton, Curcuma, Trachelospermum jasminoides vareigatum, New Guinea Impatiens and Begonia semperflorens fortunately all seem to be enjoying the damp conditions.

Great weather for snails!

Down the Driveway Garden ...  some things are looking good despite the thrashing dealt out by Cyclone Yasi ...

like the Crotons, Dypsis lutescens or Golden Cane Palms, Epipremnum aureum or Pothos and Mussaenda philippica 'Aurore'.  They have come through the cyclonic winds and constant rain perfectly well.

Some things are recovering nicely after being damaged by Yasi's winds ... Lagerstroemia speciosa, Nephrolepis biserrata and Plumeria rubra have all bounced back brilliantly.

In the outdoor Tiered Garden Bed ... some of the plants are starting to flourish a little at long last.  Ever since the Duranta repens, which previously shaded the area, was significantly damaged by the cyclone and then cut right back, many of the plants have suddenly grown well.  They seem to like the lack of sunshine and the rain.
Iris domestica syn. Belamcanda chinensis

 Iresine herbstii

Episcia cupreata

Russelia juncea and Salvia madrensis flower spikes.

In the Shadehouse Garden ...  I have managed to do a little bit of cleaning up.  It's looking less like an overgrown jungle and more like a lush tropical paradise.  All the plants in here are relishing the conditions.

So it's a raindrop-covered garden all around me at the moment.  Here's a quick view out onto the courtyard as the liquid sunshine gently falls.


  1. Bernie ~ I always love visiting your gardens. With all the rain you have had, it's no wonder everything is so lush. We really need rain here as we are in drought conditions once again.

    I think your gardens are doing great considering that cyclone that you had and all the rain you are continuing to have.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. Walking around your garden, other than that. us. There you have plants that can grow with us only in apot on the windowsill . Even the rain did not disturb me in this walk. Yours

  3. I do wish you could send some of that excess rain our way! We need it! Your garden is looking wonderfully lush considering all it went through this year.

  4. Oh dear! I think we were supposed to get that and it stalled over you. I wont say I am sorry because we enjoyed a lovely family brunch out in the garden on Sunday and at one stage we thought it might not happen. we are getting the rain now so maybe you can have your turn at the sun.

  5. FlowerLady ...I think the mostly drought tolerant plants in my garden are doing remarkably well in all this rain. I just wish I could share some of this liquid sunshine with you and alleviate the drought conditions you're having.

    Giga ... thank you for visiting and I'm so glad you enjoyed the walk around my garden in the rain. You're most welcome to come again.

    Jayne, how I wish I could share! I think, really, we've been a wee bit greedy soaking up all this rain when it could be shared with the needy! Fingers crossed you get some soon.

    Ah ... ha! So this persistent drizzle really belongs further north. I think Mother Nature needs a map and a compass, lol! Well, anyway, I'm glad someone had a great weekend in the sunshine, even if it was fleeting. Today it's raining again here, so those rain clouds are extensive considering the area they're covering!

  6. I am going to love my morning virtual walk through your gardens Bernie, they are so beautiful!

  7. Hi Bernie, thanks for the walking tour and thanks for sharing the umbrella! cheers, c

  8. Like Flowerlady from Florida, we are only starting our dry season and weeds and grasses are already brown. They say we'll have a wet dry season, but it's not yet been raining. I love your area, because it doesn't show the effects of the cyclone anymore. Your soil seems so fertile for all those plants to look so healthy. I specifically love the lushness of the Mussaenda 'Doña Aurora'. All the rest looks so happy with the rain, even that snail looks so happy.

  9. Lush, lush, lush .... and Hot Pink against Bright Orange is my new favorite color combo - it vibrates with energy (even in the rain)!

  10. Hi Bernie,
    I tried to leave a long message last night and Blogger erased it all! Ugh! So I'll try again.
    Your foliage combinations are outstanding...better than any tropical gardening magazines. Everything looks so happy and lush. Are you sure you should stick to the name 'Dry' tropics garden? (smile) I have tried to grow those crotons and they just expire here in Houston each winter. They abhor cold weather.
    That spiral ginger brings back memories. I had one just like it but it died in a frost. Yours looks outstanding. The leaves have the softest downy hairs...when not wet! Your palms are just beautiful. I cannot even tell you had a cyclone this year. Wow! :-) David/ Houston TX

  11. You'll have to call your blog a Wet Tropics Garden. It sure is bouncing back well after the cyclone. All that hard work clearing up and pruning is paying off. You have so many beautiful plants.

  12. So much for the "Dry Tropics" huh? :)

    Plants always seem to like the rain (and I hate it) - rains around these parts have also been quite good; I was talking to a farming friend on Friday evening and he said the rains couldn't have been more ideal if he'd been allowed to sit down and mark when the rain should happen on a calendar!

  13. Thanks you all for visiting and leaving your kind comments. I am starting to feel as if I should apologise for the title of this blog lately, lol!

    Wanda, it's always great when a new visitor drops by. I'm glad you enjoyed this little tour.

    Catmint ... there are umbrellas strewn around the place everywhere lately!! A necessary garden tool right now.

    Andrea ... our 'dry' season last year was one of the wettest for at least 30 years! It's such a strange turn of events and it looks like it may be the same this year. I didn't show the still ugly post-cyclone spots in this post, but there quite a few.

    Shyrlene ... yes I think I could start a new fad with the hot pink and bright orange. Actually these colours don't really look that bad under a bright tropical sun ... ha, that's when we get sunshine!

    David, you are very kind! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the foliage combinations but I don't think they would make a magazine! I've been adding more and more foliage plants just recently ... they really do add that pizzazz!

    Diane, yes the title may have to change if this weather goes on this way! During 2010 and the start of 2011, we've experienced a big change in the usual weather patterns ... it will be so interesting to see how long it all lasts.

    James, I think most of the humans around here have definitely had enough of the rain now. Those of us who have lived here for ages are starting to miss that bright strong sunshine!

  14. Hi - what a great looking garden - down here in Melbourne many gardens have ben looking very sad for lack of water - although that has chahnged a bit this year - although you have had far, far more rain than us!

    Thanks for visting my blog. Stewart M

  15. Your garden demonstrates the ability of the earth to heal after a disaster, especially with loving caretakers. Your plants seem to be enjoying all the extra rain. I hope it will help them through the coming dry season. Everything is so beautiful, so lush, and so colorful! I enjoyed the tour and also liked the sound of your rain; it sounds like a real downpour to me! i

  16. Dear Bernie, For a 'dry' garden, that's a lot of 'wet'. But your plants seem to love it. So.o.o lush! I would love to walk through your garden with you, rain or not. P. x

  17. Your plants are so amazing..all that life and color.
    Think I need a Courtyard Garden...wonder how I could do it in my zone.

  18. lovely. its always so wonderful to walk around in a garden after the rains. there is some damage, but most plants are so resilient

  19. Looks so lush and lovely. Such a well tended garden

  20. Wow, I found your blog when looking up how to care for begonias. Such beautiful photos and a wonderful garden. I also live in Townsville and now I feel inspired...... I will keep an eye on your blogs!!


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