- My Corner of Oz: The Dry Tropics
- All About My Place
- Video Diaries of My Garden.
- Snapshots ... My Garden Through The Seasons
- Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day / GBBD posts
- Gardening Journal 2011
- Gardening Journal 2012
- Garden Journal 2013
- The Sad And Sorry Story Of Cyclone Yasi (2011)
- Our 'Healthy Habitat' Story
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Finally Breathing A Sigh Of Relief ... My Dry Tropics Garden Journal ... Week 11, 2012
Season: beginning of Autumn and 'wet' season
I've finally reached the stage now where I can wander around the place and actually enjoy what I see, rather than cringe at every turn!
I no longer feel like hiding inside the house and trying to avoid looking out. This weekend has been the first time that I've felt absolutely over-the-moon to be out in the garden in a very long time. Those who follow this blog will know exactly why that has been the case. Finally there was a fantastic change of circumstance, with all the re-construction, repairing and cleaning up done. All the rubbish has been removed and all the garden areas are now looking so much better. Both my darling husband and I commented how lovely the place feels once more. It seems like even the wildlife are little more relaxed and at-home when visiting our place these days!
The rain has continued. So far this month we've had at least seven days of heavy rolling showers and have reached 63 mm or 2 ins in that time. Of course, even though Autumn has officially begun, the temps have continued to be high, up around 32 - 34 deg C (89 - 93 F). It's not too bad on overcast days, but once those clouds part and the sun starts streaming down, things get rather sweaty and uncomfortable.
Thankfully, the weekends tend to be marked primarily by lovely overcast days, so that means I've been able to get out and do some much needed weeding. Wet season means lots and lots and lots of growth, and particular plants tend to become overgrown very quickly.
I've now got a handle on the weeds down the driveway at long last. I still have to patrol and catch the remaining escapees, but on the whole it's looking pretty tidy down the long entrance driveway. I can't wait for all the new plantings to take off. While they've certainly had a great start with all the end-of-summer rainfall we've received, with, thankfully, no torrential monsoonal downpours, I will need to coax them along during the coming dry season.
I spent a few hours this weekend battling with the overgrown patches in the tiered garden beds outside the shadehouse garden. The Giant Sword Fern and the Salvia madrensis were choking most of the other plants in this corner of the garden.
I pulled out most of the fern, gave the Salvia madrensis a nasty haircut and then trimmed back all the unruly straggley plants growing underneath. In their quest to reach sunlight, they had grown into all sorts of strange forms. The end result of all the trimming back and tidying up doesn't look all that great, but ...
... now the Dietes, the Pentas, the other Salvias, the Ixora, the Cuphea, the Euphorbia, the Scaevola and the Scutellaria that are planted in there, have some room to breathe. It looks like I've lost the Kalancoe blossfeldianas and the dwarf white Euphorbia pulcherrima though. Obviously, it was one wet season too many for these plants.
Form a distance though, while the garden bed itself is now much tidier, it can be seen that the poor block wall needs some attention. It's certainly did a mighty job holding out through all the horrid weather last year, so I can't complain too much.
For now though, there are no extra really-pressing jobs in the garden any more. I can get back to the usual gardening jobs, like planting up annuals in pots to put out around the courtyard. Early Autumn is always the time I start this particular job, and I've already begun planting out some little Cosmos 'Purity Dwarf' and 'Tall Mix', Zinnia 'Summer Brilliance', Nasturtium 'Alaska Mix' and Torenia 'Clown Magic'.
They're sitting in pots down in 'potting alley', where I'm trying my best to protect them from the heavy showers of rain that roll in every couple of days.
I've also planted up some Rain Lily seeds sent by a wonderful garden blogger 'Frangipani Gardens'. There's Zephyranthes primulina and Habranthus robustus well on the way, and the Zephyranthes verucunda and Zephyranthes andersonii seeds have just begun sprouting. Thanks so much, Pitta.
Aside from a little more planting and some regular weeding, I get to wander around enjoying the foliage in my early Autumn garden...
There's also a few flowers to enjoy in my early Autumn garden ...
The Koelreuteria formosana or Golden Rain Tree is flowering for the first time since we moved to this property over ten years ago now. The flowers are quite lovely.
There's also some berries and fruit to be seen in certain spots.
Here's the bright orange berries on a Duranta repens, and the maturing fruit of the Ardisia elliptica or Shoe-Button Ardisia, which will eventually turn bright red and then black.
Then, of course, there's the wonderful wildlife that accompanies me on my wanderings ...
female and male Figbirds or Sphecotheres vieilloti flaviventris,
Macropus agilis (this is a little joey),
... oh, and then there's the snakes, like this Spotted Python or Antaresia maculosa.
All these creatures were spotted over this past weekend, doing their thing in and around the garden that makes up part of their natural habitat. I think we've all had a fabulous weekend.