Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An End-Of-Spring Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day ... November 2011

November is our last month of Spring Downunder and the conditions here in the north-east have remained remarkably comfortable and mild for this time of year.  The daytime temperatures are definitely up around the 30 deg C mark, but the humidity levels have remained quite sensible which means we're not sweating profusely just getting out of the shower in the morning.

Of course, it's still the 'dry' season and there's been almost no rain for over six months now.  I say almost, because we have started to get some late afternoon or evening sprinkles every now and then.  These little dribbles don't penetrate the ground here in the foothills, but hopefully it's a sign that decent rain is on its way.  Only 23 days until summer begins and the 'wet' usually starts around mid- to late December.

In the surrounding bushland, the Eucalypts, which drop most of their leaves during the dry season, are sprouting their new spring growth.  We're starting to see some new bright green leaves on those stark white branches.

Here you can clearly see the Eucalyptus platyphylla on the left is still in dry season mode, while the Eucalypt on the right is well and truly in the springtime mood!

I've been rather pleased that most of the garden has made it through the 'dry' of 2011, given the problematic start to the year for so many of the plants here.  Whilst the recovering plants are still not exactly flourishing, at least they're still growing!!

The enormous stand of Tabebuia heterophyllas, at the bottom of the hillside driveway,  are now looking a whole lot better, with loads of leaves covering their damaged branches and ...

... lots of the delicate pink flowers bursting into bloom.

Nothing quite screams out "Summer is on its way!" more than the appearance of the Poinciana flowers.  I've been very pleased to see these gorgeous red flowers this year.  Last summer none of my Poincianas bloomed much at all, but that was probably as a direct result of the rather out-of-the-ordinary rain we received during our supposedly 'dry' season.  Poincianas like the dry and they seem to bloom so much better when the dry season is very, very dry.

But this year ...

this is the view down towards the front gates

and this is the view in the other direction, to the end of the driveway.

The brilliant splashes of bright red are a welcome distraction from the rather dry and parched landscape here in the foothills.  When you look across the dry bushland from our front verandah, you can see just how these blooms stand out.  Can you see those splashes of red in that neighbour's yard?

Some plants are flowering a little out of season but that's excusable, considering all that they have suffered this year.  It's still delightful to see the bracts and blooms appear on my poor stunted Mussaenda philippica 'Bangkok Rose' ...

... and I never tire of seeing the occasional brilliant white bloom of my recovering Bauhinia tree.

Winter / Spring, our dry season, is mostly about getting the watering regimen working for the various garden spaces around our place.  This is the primary gardening chore during those months, apart from some dead-heading of annuals and fertilizing.  Thankfully, there are many drought tolerant plants growing in the old established garden beds and I only need to turn on the irrigation a few times during that six month period.

Plants like the fabulous Crotons ...

... and the Golden Cane Palms, are happy with an occasional drink every month or so.

I've been watering the tiered garden beds a little more though, and there's been a brilliant display of blooms at the 'Daylily' corner of the top tier.

Half of these Hemerocallis were planted back in the winter of '09 and the other half were planted during the winter last year.  This is the first time I've had all the different varieties blooming.  I can't wait for the little clumps to fill out more in the coming years and put on their fabulous display.  Here's a few of the Hemerocallis that are in bloom right now.

Starting top left ....  'Picotee Bubbles', 'Maleny Tiger', 'Jamaican Me Crazy', 'Sabine Baur'.
Going down to the second row ... 'Archangel Eyes', 'Velvet Eyes', 'Jamaican Midnight', 'Sweet Summer Heat'.
Bottom left ... 'Blackberry Jack' and 'Francois Verheart'.
Bottom right ... 'Wedding Band'.

There have been some beautiful Oriental Lilies in bloom as well.  I just had to bring them inside the house where they filled a few rooms with their stunning fragrance.

Around the property the Gerberas are blooming, along with my Callistemon 'Pink Champagne', my variegated Bougainvillea, the Allamanda sunee and the Salvia madrensis.

Out in the Shadehouse Garden, the Asiatic Lilies are on show.  The Begonias are showing off their rather small blooms, and my Hoya bella is blooming for the very first time.

While in the Courtyard Garden, my Gardenia augusta is also blooming for the first time.  The Spathiphyllum and Duranta 'Geisha Girl' make a great pair, and the vibrant colours of the Salvia splendens and Crossandras make a wonderful contrast with the soft and delicate purple of the Cleome spinosa 'Senorita Rosalita'.

Summer is oh so close now, so I'm enjoying every moment out in the garden before the dreaded heat, humidity, torrential downpours and possibly several cyclones arrive.

For more fantastic GBBD posts, please go and visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens

I'm also joining Gesine at Seahorse Garden for her Blogger Bloom Day meme.


  1. gosh you have so much color - what a lovely time I had enjoying all your lovely blooms. The poinciana have to be my favorite tree, and I love the fact that they just keep on flowering.

  2. Wow Bernie, your garden is a total contrast of your environment. I love the location of your neighbor's area, i thought that is your place on top of that hill. I can't imagine the water volume you put on them because they are very healthy despite the 6 months thirst for rain. Our poinciana here in the country bloom at the middle of summer in Mar-Apr when most other greens turned brown. I planted Hemerocallis seeds sent by a blogger friend from the US, and because you raise them well i thought maybe they will thrive here too. But our lowest temp is only 24-25C for some nights in December, i hope they grow like yours. I think you get lower temps with your winter.

  3. Beautiful Spring display Bernie!!
    Happy GBBD :)

  4. I so enjoyed your exotic, to me, display. you have some lovely blooms. I love that you have some plants I can't imagine being able to gorw and then some that are favourites of mine here in Italy. Christina

  5. AA, so glad you enjoyed a peek at what's flowering here right now. I just love Poincianas too. The brilliant red really stands out in our dry tropics landscape here.

    Andrea, the Poincianas around here don't get any watering apart from the rain provided by Mother Nature during our wet season. These trees are such brilliant drought tolerant plants and they flower better when there's been a long dry season. Your Hemerocallis should do well. I find they're very easy to grow here.

    Thanks Christine. The spring colour makes a great contrast with the dry parched environment all around us.

    Christina, it's great to hear you enjoyed visiting and getting to see some 'exotics' as well as some very familiar plants growing in my garden.

  6. Great post... it's fascinating to read about a tropical garden since my climate is so different! I love your oriental lilies... such beautiful colours.

  7. You really have some beautiful blooms. I was so taken with the shot across the bushland. It really gives a sense how the gardens really are special in color and resilient in ability to thrive in that currently dry environment.

  8. Your gardens are always a pleasure to tour.

  9. I loved my visit to your beautiful spring garden this month. Happy Bloom Day!

  10. So many lovelies in your spring season. All your efforts paid off. We never know when we're going to have dry or wet here, rather than distinct seasons.

  11. aloha,

    wow the dry environment for your spring looks incredibly harsh, but your garden is so lush. i love the pociana just popping out in a sea of green, fabulous.

  12. I really look forward coming to your blog each GBBD and seeing all your totally different beautiful flowers in Australia. This month is especially spectacular. Happy GBBD.

  13. your place is really beautiful. If you don't tell about lack of rain, i woudn't know that!
    I wish i can sent the extra rain that's pouring here!

  14. A wonderful and very diverse selection of blooms. It's dry down here in Brisbane at the moment too. I think they said our driest November for something like 92 years but the wet season will soon be with us - hopefully a less wet than last year. Most of my flowers are a bit behind you - no poincianas out yet and jacaranda blooms are still lingering, but by next month...

  15. Wow Bernie what a feast! Love all the day lilies and the poincians colour is just my kinda bright!

    Tassels And Twigs

  16. It looks to me that you live in Paradise !!!

  17. What a lovely bunch of blooms you have in your garden! I was interested to see your Bauhinia - I grow a native Bauhinia (lunarioides) in my dry garden in Texas, and the leaves look very similar.

  18. 6 months without rain, amazing! Your climate is to different from ours. I love your daylilies and Oriental Lilies. And the Poinciana -- what a standout!!

  19. Ruth, I've been surprised just how well the Oriental Lilies do here, so I'm thinking I might just have to get some more next year.

    Gardenwalk Gardentalk, yes the conditions here can be quite challenging but the rewards, when you do get colour going, are just fantastic.

    Darla, thanks for dropping by. It's great to see you on GBB day.

    Dorothy, thank you and I hope you enjoyed your GBB day as well.

    NellJean, yes we definitely do have two distinct seasons here ... wet and dry. I suppose there's a challenge to get to know the cycles and seasons in any area around the world. Distinct season must make gardening a little easier though, I would think.

    Noel, there are quite a few huge splashes of brilliant red dotted throughout the dry bushland around here and it's always a fabulous sight at this time of the year.

    Carolyn, glad to hear you've enjoyed your GBB day visit.

    Malar, the 'wet' season will be here soon and I'll start complaining about too much rain then. Lol!

    Marissa, fingers crossed that the 'wet' this year is mild for both of us compared to last year. I really don't want to go through all that again anytime soon!

    Veronica, the Daylilies are the special treats out in my garden right now. They really do brighten up the drab surrounds.

    Cynthia, the white Bauhinia is fairly common here, but nowhere near as commonplace as the pink. It's interesting to hear about the native white that grows in your area. I just love the white Bauhinia flowers.

    Sweetbay, yes we go six months without rain here every year. Sometimes the 'dry' stretches out to nine months!

  20. Oh, I love the first picture. Also the poinciana flowers, and the fourth picture of the eucalypts against the sky.

  21. Beautiful and colorful flowers in the garden.

  22. One of the things to me that is very special about your garden is the contrast between lovely garden specimens like the exotic lilies and the majestic gum trees. I do hope you have no more cyclones and the summer isn't too challenging.


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