Season: end of Summer, and 'wet' season
For this Garden Journal entry, I'm going to look back to the same time last year and compare what my garden was like back then, and what it's like today ... one year later! Regular readers of my blog will know that this time last year was a time of great change here in my corner of north-eastern Australia. For others, I will just say that this time last year was about a fortnight after an rather extreme weather event which caused a lot of damage around my place.
(The journal entry from last year can be found here: Autopsy Of A Cyclone Ravaged Garden and I'll be using some of the photos from that post as a point of comparison.)
So, let's have a look at how things have fared since then and why I'm finally wearing a smile on my dial as I wander around the garden. What a difference a year makes, although the intervening 'dry' season which lasted around seven months last year meant things didn't change overnight! But with the arrival of the summer rains, I'm happy to say my place is looking decent once more.
Nearly all the trees are now covered in dense foliage once more and looking so much healthier. The view at the back of the courtyard garden no longer includes our neighbour's cyclone-damaged back yard, nor our fence that runs down the hill driveway. Now the aspect is one of shrubs and trees and flowers. Feels much better!
While the courtyard garden itself didn't suffer much last year, there were quite a few areas that were suddenly changed from alright-looking to downright ugly. But every single one of those spots has turned the corner and are now not so cringe-worthy!
The broken Tabebuia pallida is looking a whole lot better now and back to its usual flowering cycles.
The enormous Ficus benjamina was looking rather forlorn and broken, but is now looking green and resplendent once more.
The Citharexylum spinosum or Fiddlewood Tree had its branches literally torn off and they lay about like broken matchsticks. Now it's healthy and covered in blooms again.
My beloved white Bauhinia suffered considerably from the cyclonic winds and looked almost at an end. But Mother Nature can not be under-estimated. Now my Bauhinia looks like a younger version of itself, full of life and vigour.
The Tabebuia impetiginosa was an absolute mess. Its top was not ripped off entirely, but was left dangling down and shredded. It's now looking magnificent again and I can't wait for bloom time in Winter/Spring.
All of the Duranta repens along the driveway were left broken or ripped out of the ground. They were trimmed back to stumps as all the branches were lying in a tangled mess. Now the bright green new growth looks so fresh and healthy. Some have even thrown out a few flower sprays.
Down near the front gates, the Calliandra and Pseudomussaenda flava were torn to shreds. They're back! ... and looking good!
At the other end of the driveway near the car shed and entrance to the house, there was quite a bit of destruction, but I rather like the new look now that the shrubs have come back and a patch of Cosmos has taken off.
It was the driveway where the most obvious damage occurred and spots like the one below were left ugly and exposed after the clean-up.
Now the visual is a little different as I took the opportunity to re-plant after the 'dry' season was over. It's starting to take off now with the arrival of the rain in the last few weeks.
Down the hill driveway, the trees suffered terribly with almost the entire canopy removed. It's taken a while, but the whole area is looking so much better now.
So the garden is now doing quite nicely thank you and I've been out there adding some plants to the remaining bald spots. Whilst it's not yet back to its former glory, at least now I'm happy enough to show photos of spots I've studiously avoided showing since the beginning of last year. So, to end off, here's a slideshow of shots taken as I wandered around the place this weekend. It's a homage to the restorative power of Mother Nature and time ... and summer rain!