The conditions haven't varied much from cooler bright blue, sunny sky days and quite cool nights. The days are getting shorter ... the sun is barely visible by 5.00 pm and rises around 6.30 am. Our daytime temperatures usually remain somewhere between 23 and 26 degrees C (73-78 F) and the nightime temps are dipping down to between 15 and 10 degrees C (59-50 F). Last night it got down to 9!
It's wonderful winter weather here in the Aussie tropics.
Out in the garden, not much has changed around the place since my last Garden Journal entry Our Dry Season Has Begun. The cyclone damaged plants mentioned in that post are still in tortoise-paced recovery mode as they're not getting any watering at this time of year. But there are the usual things in bloom right now.
Some of the purple container plants:
Starting top left: Spathoglottis or Ground Orchid, Barleria obtusa, Gomphrena globosa or Bachelor Buttons, Petunia ShockWave 'Pink Ice' ... and in the centre, Lavendula dentata.
Some of the pinks:
Top row: Antirrhinum 'Velveteen' or Snapdragon, Pentas lanceolata, Schlumbergera or Zygocactus.
Second row: Azalea, my pink dwarf Euphorbia pulcherrima or Poinsettia, Salvia splendens.
Bottom row: Impatiens hawkerii 'Celebrette Orchid Star' or New Guinea Impatiens, Antirrhinum 'Strawberry Crush' and Verbena.
In the courtyard garden, all my container plants are powering on, but need watering every second day. The pots dry out quite quickly in these dry season conditions, especially during the many blustery windy days we experience at this time of year. Unfortunately, due to the busyness of work and the occasional week away from home lately, I still haven't finished potting up my annuals for their winter-spring display. There are a couple of pots of Petunias, Pansies, Osteospurmum and Verbena on the go, but that's nowhere near as many as I had this time last year.
My Cleome spinosas both had to be cut back severely after becoming infested with what seemed like white mould. It's a real pity that they're not showing off their brilliant lavender-purple flowers right now, as they are usually a feature out in the courtyard garden during our winter.
The Euphorbia leucocephala or Snowflake Bush has begun its' winter blooming and it always adds a great splash of brilliant white beside the courtyard garden steps.
The Jasminum officinale or Poet's Jasmine continues to bloom out-of-season. As I've mentioned before, this climber didn't enjoy the past Summer/Wet Season at all and showed no blooms whatsoever during it's usual Summer flowering period. The flowers started appearing sporadically around mid-Autumn and have continued ever since, although the perfume is nowhere near as heady as usual. Still, it's great to see those little white blooms.
I have re-vamped small area under one of the Cycas revolutas out in the courtyard. During the post-cyclone clean-up, I finally got in and trimmed back all the dead and dying fronds on the Cycad near the courtyard steps. It's something I had put off for ages, mainly because of the deadly sharp spines on the fronds that make such a job a bit of a nightmare. But it's done now and I added some lovely New Guinea Impatiens and Bromeliads underneath.
One of the Broms has bloomed, but I'm still waiting on the New Guineas to show their gorgeous flowers.
In the outdoor tiered garden bed, there's quite a bit of cutting back to be done. Unfortunately, that job has been put on the back burner for now. The Salvia madrensis sure does need to be trimmed as the golden spires are looking more like weird hairy caterpillars!
The Iresine herbstii 'Blazin Rose' is flowering, but will need pruning very soon.
I do rather like the combination of dwarf Angelonia angustifolia, Salvia leucantha, Scutellaria suffrutescens and Scaevola in this patch in the tiered bed. It all happened quite be accident, but I don't mind it!
This plant has just popped up beside the patch shown above, and while it certainly does look attractive, I'm not sure what it is or whether I should keep it!! Can anyone help with an ID?
Elsewhere in my garden there are some lovely whites, oranges and yellows:
From top left: Pelargonium peltatum 'Blanche Roche', Mandevilla 'White Fantasy' and Pentas.
Top row: Bracteantha bracteata, Portulaca grandiflora, Neomarica longifolia and Ixora 'Twilight Glow'.
Main shot: Cosmos sulphureus which popped up down the driveway after our long, long wet season. It's now blooming and showing its' lovely yellow and orange flowers.
For loads more wonderful GBBD posts, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens