Let's have a look at what's going on around my place in the mid-Summer month of January.
Conditions during December-January?
Well the 'wet' season has most definitely NOT arrived yet. We've had no rain at all for quite a few weeks now. The last recorded rainfall was back in mid-December. This stretch of dry weather is not really typical of January, as it's supposed to be almost the middle of the 'wet' season. Endless weeks of clear blue skies is usually a more common sight during the long 'dry'.
Of course, the one thing that is constant about the 'wet' season here is the "hit-and-miss" aspect of it. There's always considerable difference from year to year, and really no particular set pattern at all. Essentially our 'wet' supposedly starts around December and ends around April, and we sit around waiting to see whether it will actually turn up!
It seems like just yesterday that I was complaining about how wet one of our 'dry' seasons was. Now usually the 'dry' season is very predictable. You can pretty much bet your life savings on just how it's going to turn out. Lucky I didn't in 2010. We had record rainfall during that particular 'dry' season, very atypical!
This Patrick Young quote is so applicable in my corner of the world: The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.
Some things stay the same though. Our summer temps have not strayed much from around 33-34 deg C during the day, and 26-28 deg C at night. We've had endless clear sky days and the UV factor has remained constantly at 'extreme' since around mid-November. Humidity levels are up around 80% most of the day. Summers here are hot, sultry, sticky ... and they leave you feeling very listless!
I don't go out to do very many gardening jobs at present. One thing that does take up quite some time though is the watering. It's a regular job every day, sometimes twice a day, as I make the effort to keep the plants going, especially all the potted plants. I don't mind that particular job though, as it gives me time to slow down and really take notice of what's around me.
One thing I have been noticing is just how many dragonflies, butterflies and ...
... spiders suddenly appear when I'm hosing. They pop by to drink up the water drops left lying on the plants, but they have to be quick before the fierce sun dries up everything!
Here's what else I've been noticing.
Starting with the trees around the property .... what's blooming?
The last of the Poinciana flowers are hanging on,
while the seedpods start to develop.
The Cassia fistula's blooming time is also coming to an end, and I just love the way the flowers look as they start to fade away.
I have three Lagerstroemia speciosas, or Queen's Crepe Myrtles, on this property. Not to be confused with the more common Lagerstroemia indica or Crepe Myrtle, the Queen's Crepe Myrtle is a much larger tree.
Two of mine have started showing buds. One in particular has a canopy full of buds ready to burst. The other Queen Crepe Myrtle had to be trimmed back drastically because of cyclone damage last year, so I'm not really expecting it to bloom this summer.
This is a terrific summer bloomer. The flowers of the Queen's Myrtle are a lovely lavender, have a wonderful texture and last for ages.
One of the large trees is covered in sprays of brilliant white flowers right now. It's Citharexylum spinosa or the Fiddlewood Tree. These flowers have the most beautiful sweet perfume which hangs on the sultry evening air and really does lift the sagging summer spirit.
Another of the lovely fragrances out in the garden at this time, is the perfume from this Plumeria's flowers. Only one of my Plumerias is blooming right now. The other two continue their recovery from the stress of last year's damage.
A gorgeous sight out in the bushland in the last week has been the unexpected appearance of some flowers on a couple of rather small and young Acacia trees.
That's not a common sight during our summers here. The Wattles usually bloom during our Wintertime, so it was a wonderful surprise.
Now onto the shrubs ... what's blooming?
The dwarf Allamanda cathartica 'Sunee' is showing off in spectacular fashion out in the front yard garden bed.
It's terrific to see blooms on the young Lagerstroemia indicas or Crepe Myrtles. They were only planted in the tiered garden beds in Spring, late 2010. The young saplings were soundly thrashed during the cyclone in February 2011, and then really struggled through the 'dry' season last year.
I'm just loving the first pretty pink and purple blooms on these hardy things.
Of course the faithful old year-round bloomers are still strutting their stuff.
Out in the shadehouse ... what is blooming?
There aren't many blooms to be seen apart from the flowers appearing on the Dragon Wing Begonias which were trimmed back a couple of weeks ago. They are the predominant bloom out there in the midst of all the overgrown ferns.
But if you look closely, you can spot just a couple of other things.
The Neomarica longifolia or Yellow Walking Iris are all throwing out blooms again. There are some flowers on the two Curcumas. Impatiens walleriana has a few blooms, and the Globba winitti or Mauve Dancing Lady has started showing its beautiful flower sprays.
Now, out in the courtyard ... what is blooming?
The courtyard is looking a little dull at the moment, due to the work that's going on out there and the fact that many of the potted plants suffered in the heat and dry conditions while I was away recently for a short holiday. So many plants had to be trimmed back, watered very liberally, and fertilised generously. They're not looking their best right now. The only bright patch is the section right at the back of the courtyard where the foliage plants add some lovely colour and interest.
There are some flowers still on a few of the potted plants though.
The Crossandra infundibuliformis, the Spathoglottis plicata, the Wrightia antidysenterica, and the Portulaca are all showing some blooms.
Well out in the tiered garden beds, there are still a few of the Hemerocallis in bloom.
Down the driveway there are some flowers to be seen ...
such as the Gerbera, the Pseudomussaenda flava, the creamy Russelia juncea, the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Roseflake', the red Russelia juncea and the purple Fountain Grass.
There you have it ... a quick round-up of the blooms I've noticed while out on my daily watering trip.
Aside from the watering of course, there are quite a few jobs that really should be done around this place ...
I'm getting around to these things, slowly but surely. It's just far too hot and way too muggy to get serious about many gardening jobs right now, other than the absolute essentials. Anyway, I'm quite happy just to stand around with the hose in hand, having a good ole gander at what's around!
I'm joining Carol for her Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day meme. Don't miss the opportunity to go on over and view blog posts from all around the world showing what's blooming right now.
I'm also joining Gesine for her Blogger Bloom Day
(Would you believe it??? Since putting together this post earlier this week, and then scheduling it for publication on the 15th, the heavens opened on the 14th. After going on and on about the lack of rain so far this 'wet' season, we had an entire day of rain on Saturday!!! Not that a day of rain makes a 'wet', but it was just wonderful to hear those raindrops on the roof. )