Season: end-of-Autumn, and 'dry' season
Oh what a glorious weekend we've just had. (Be warned ... this post is photo heavy!)
The days were clear, sunny, blue-sky days with temps just below 30 deg C, and with lovely soft breezes. The nights have had the slightest hint of the cooler weather that's on its way. Our night-time temps are now down around the 20 deg C mark, which is very, very pleasant. There's no sign of any more rain. I think that solitary day of showers, during the last week of April, will be it for a long while now, as our dry season rolls on. Out in the yard and the bushland, it's still fairly green and easy on the eye though.
There were no big gardening jobs to be done this weekend, so I've had the luxury of just pottering around the place, pulling a weed here and trimming a branch there, and enjoying the company of dragonflies, birds and wallabies.
I've so enjoyed just wandering around making sure everything that has been recently planted is looking happy and healthy. So far, so good!
Both of the rock garden beds in the driveway garden are almost finished now, and seem to be doing well. The plants installed just last weekend have settled in beautifully, so this weekend I was out there giving them a long drink and a few words of encouragement.
The other section of rock garden, planted up a couple of months back, is coming along slowly. This weekend, the plants that are already established in this bed were also given a nice long drink and some lovely compliments, just to reassure them that they're doing their job quite nicely.
The two Turnera ulmifolia, which are a brilliant golden yellow, are the stars in there right now. They've just started to really take off. I do want to add a Turnera subulata, with its creamy blooms, though. It will add a little contrast in amongst the yellows.
I'm on the lookout for some more little Scutellaria indica too. It pairs so well with the Ixora 'Golden Ball'. The last of the tiny purple flowers on the one that's already planted can be spotted in the photo above. It will be a few more weeks before the next blooming cycle begins, and hopefully by that time I'll have added a few more of this lovely Skullcap.
The area under the recently re-constructed pergola, next to the courtyard garden, is starting to pick up now. The Palms are on their way back, and the newer plantings are settling in. I've added just a few more dwarf white Angelonias to fill in under the taller plants.
The Cordylines, which had been trampled quite badly during the re-construction work, are starting to recover and look a whole lot happier now. I still haven't gotten around to draining the pond yet. Maybe next weekend!
I have, however, finished arranging all the potted plants out in the courtyard. This was the view out there as the sun was setting late this afternoon.
It's great to see the annuals beginning to bloom. This is why I so love this time of the year. End of Autumn through to early Summer is the time for annuals in my garden. They do brilliantly through the cooler months here. Summertime is just too harsh for them.
Sitting on the old broken woodwork around the pond (still not replaced!) are pots of lovely colour, and I'm looking forward to seeing them fill out in the coming weeks.
A new plant for me that I've just added to this collection near the pond, is this gorgeous Salvia farinacea 'Strata'. It has the loveliest bicoloured flower spikes carrying blue blooms with white calyxes. It can take the full sun that drenches this particular spot of the courtyard, so it's well suited to this area.
As is my old favourite Salvia farinacea 'Victoria White'. This particular Salvia has never let me down when positioned in full sun. Both Salvias are perennials here and only require a bit of a trim back when each flowering cycle is over.
Another of my old favourites, which has also joined the pot collection in this corner of the courtyard, is my Impatiens hawkeri 'Celebrette Series'. The flowers on this contrast so well with the dark foliage. It's a striking combination.
Alright ... continuing the view around the courtyard, this is the back section which is bordered by a raised garden bed filled with shrubs.
I just have to have a pot of Snapdragons ...
... and some Portulacas sitting over on this side.
Now we keep on turning around to the right, towards the house and back verandah. The Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' look a little blue in this afternoon light. They really are a lovely lilac purple though.
There's a little pot of Schlumbergera, sitting on the courtyard garden table, as it does every year at this time.
Now, swinging further around to the opposite side of the courtyard ...you might be able to see the first flower spike on my Cordyline 'Purple King' if you look up high next to the arching fronds of the Cycad.
These flower spikes are a beautiful rich purple, while the flowers have purple petals and yellow stamens. They are just spectacular up close.
It's great to see the colour of the Amaranthus Tricolor once more. I had thought I'd lost this lovely thing, but it's self-seeded in the pot for me. What a lovely surprise! There were a couple of other little surprises I've also noticed out in the courtyard during my wanderings.
My Pilea cardierei is blooming ...
... and so is my Dracaena godseffiana. Can you see those green spikes at the end of the stems? I've never noticed blooms on either of these plants before, and I've had them for a few years now. Isn't nature grand?
Out in my shadehouse garden, I finally had the time to pot up my little baby Aeschynanthus lobbianus or Lipstick Plant. You can see it in the brown hanging pot to the left. I think it will handle the weaker Autumn-Winter sunlight in this location, but I will have to move it into a far shadier spot when Spring rolls around.
I'm really impressed with the unusual looking red flowers on this plant. It will make a stunning display when the plant matures and fills out the pot.
Outside the shadehouse, in the tiered garden beds,
I found my first ever Adenium obesum bloom had finally opened up ...
... and close by, the Justicia carnea is blooming once more. They sometimes go unnoticed down under the Lagerstroemia indicas.
It's just been the perfect weekend. Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year?
Just in closing, I'm adding some short video clips captured over the weekend. You will have to scroll right down to the bottom of the page and stop the Playlist from playing first before going any further. That way you will be able to enjoy the background bird song that accompanies these clips.
Right ... now the first clip shows a rather young Agile Wallaby joey grooming itself while sitting in the safety and comfort of its mother's pouch. This is definitely a baby as it is looking a little bald and hairless.
The second clip shows a young Agile Wallaby joey out on its own for the first time. It's no longer allowed in its mother's pouch and has to fend for itself. Such a darling thing. You will also hear the screeching of some Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos in the background.
Last of all ... this clip shows some of the Agile Wallabies munching on the 'grass' (for want of a better term!) out in our front yard. You will hear the Laughing Kookaburras and the Figbirds in the background of this clip. You might even pick up the sound the Sunbird towards the end of the clip, if you listen carefully.
You will also notice that the older Agile Wallabies are in a group further away from the house, while the younger ones are romping around close to the front verandah. Perhaps they're just not quite as wise in the ways of the world! Of course, they're perfectly safe at our place. We never try to befriend them or get too close without a very good reason.
So that pretty much covers my lovely weekend at home here in the foothills as our last Autumn month begins.