Conditions during April?
We've been having our typical mid-Autumn weather lately. Every morning we wake to blue skies and slightly cooler temperatures, usually around the 25 deg C (77 F) mark. Whilst it's still rather hot during the middle of the day, reaching anywhere between 28 deg C (82 F) and 31 deg C (87 F), the evenings are getting slightly cooler as well.
The glorious Autumn days are most certainly here and the plants no longer look heat-stressed. The only drawback are the rather gusty mid-Autumn winds. Out here in the foothills we do tend to get some very, very windy days at this time of year. I often wake to find potted plants tipped over, and Eucalypt branches scattered around the front yard.
Occasionally, during the day the skies cloud over, but we've had no rain at all so far this month, which is typical for most years. Yes ... you can search all around Madam Laughing Kookaburra, but there's no sign of rain. Last year was a little different, with record-breaking rainfall totals for the beginning of April. This year however, it appears that our 'dry' season is back to its usual schedule.
As a matter of fact, the entire rainfall total for the beginning of this year has been considerably different to the atypical beginning of year we had last year. This year the pattern definitely seems to be back to the usual ... we've had around 1050 mms or 42 inches of rain ... so no records broken so far this year.
I've been out in the garden every day over the last week and a half, enjoying this wonderful time of year, and finishing a lot of clearing out, cutting back, digging up and weeding that needs to be done after a long 'wet' season is finished.
These are necessary jobs though after months of rain, heat and high humidity, but it means the garden beds around the place are looking a little naked. So many of the plants get a little out of control at the beginning of the year and need taming. While I've been out there doing my taming act, there have been loads of little insects, butterflies and bees out and about, all doing their best to help the garden along as well.
There have also been the usual gardening buddies hanging around while I've been trimming and weeding and feeding and watering.
and Spangled Drongoes.
Unfortunately, the first term break is now over and I've already been back at school for pupil-free days, so I'm back to gardening mostly on the weekends once again. At the moment, the garden is still reviving from the 'wet' and the summer, so there's only a little on show out there.
Starting with the trees around the property .... what's blooming?
The rather understated flowers of the Tabebuia pallida are on show again. These trees have now fully recovered from last year's ordeal and are looking wonderfully healthy and happy once more.
The same is true for the Citharexylum spinosaum or Fiddlewood tree, which still has flower sprays on display and still leaving just a whiff of perfume in the air.
There are spiky lemony yellow rods on my Acacia in the tiered garden beds. It's been a while since it bloomed, as it took ages to recover from being striped of all its foliage at the beginning of last year.
The Melaleucas in the bushland on the little foothill opposite to us are all in bloom and look fabulous right now.
Next, out in the Courtyard Garden ... what's blooming?
Not very much at all at the moment. I've recently done a fair bit of trimming back or dead-heading of nearly all the potted plants out there, so the courtyard garden remains rather a dreary spot for now. The pots of annuals are not well advanced yet, and they will not be moved out onto the courtyard until they're beginning to bloom.
Here's the Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender',
and the Cleome spinosa 'Senorita Rosalita', up close.
The only other plants providing a little colour are the Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' and Wrightia,
and the Torenias, the Angelonias and the Begonia semperflorens.
Under the pergola,
there's a few Jasminum officinale blooms showing,
and one of the newly planted clumps of Spathoglottis plicata is blooming.
The first blooms on two of the newly planted Salvias have appeared.
There's the hot pink
and the white. (Thanks Titania ... if only I could remember their names!!!)
Now, which shrubs around the property are blooming?
Out in the front and side yards ...
Pentas lanceolatas continue blooming.
The first blooms on my dwarf Azalea have appeared ... a little early this year.
The dwarf Allamanda cathartica 'Sunee' continues to bloom. It's been blooming happily for months now.
There are still blooms on the Mussaenda philippica 'Bangkok Rose' and, of course, the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Snowflake' has blooms.
Down the driveway ...
The first of the Calliandra Haematocephala or Red Powderpuff flowers have appeared.
Right at the end of the hill driveway, there are still bracts and blooms on the Mussaenda philippica 'Aurore'.
In the top bed of the tiered garden beds, there are bracts and blooms appearing once more on the unusual Mussaenda 'Calcutta Sunset'.
Here and there in the garden beds ...
The Cuphea and Galphimia glauca make a great pair.
There are some pretty Impatiens walleriana blooms to be seen in some shady spots.
The Dianthera nodosa has started showing it strange Lady Finger flowers again.
The native Cordyline cannifolia in the tiered garden beds is throwing out flower sprays.
One of the real surprises out in the tiered garden beds was the unexpected blooming of my Hemerocallis 'Picotee Bubbles'. This is not usual for mid-Autumn!!
Last of all, what's blooming in the Shadehouse Garden?
Not much. The Curcumas have finished blooming a little early this year, and all the hanging pots of Impatiens walleriana are still springing back from the drastic haircut they all received a few weeks ago.
The ever-blooming Dragon Wing Begonias are still carrying on doing their thing,
as are the Costus productus.
The Globba winitii flowers still dangle from the end of the stems,
but the stars out in the shadehouse at the moment are my Dendrobium and Anthurium.
I'm joining Carol's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day,
Tina's Weekend Flowers,
and Nix's Floral Friday Fotos