Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mid-Spring Snapshots ... October 2012

Continuing with my Snapshots series for this mid-Spring month of October.

Conditions during October?

October is our mid-Spring month here and, as usual, the summery conditions have begun.  Spring here in the north-east really feels like the beginning of our long, long Summer. There are only slight differences between the two.  Right now the mercury is hitting highs of 30 deg C and slightly above during the day, although the nights are still a little cooler, hovering around 20 deg C.

The days have been bright and sunny, with lots of blue skies and breezes.  The last teeny weeny little bit of Springtime rainfall we had was back in mid-August, but we only received 1.4 mm (less than 1 inch).

Spring here is always light on rain, as the Spring months occur during the latter part of our long dry season.  This is the time of year when the yard looks decidedly brown, dry and parched.  We don't spend a fortune in excess water fees trying to keep the place green and lush.  We'd need to win the Lotto for that!!!

This time of year is also usually our bushfire season, and while there have been a few fires raging in the ranges over the last month, thankfully they haven't been burning too close to our suburb. 

Now onto what's been blooming so far during this mid-Spring month of October.

Starting with the trees on the property ...  what has been blooming?

The Plumeria rubras starting sprouting new growth back in September, after dropping all their foliage for the Winter.  New leaves and flower stems kept on appearing at the beginning of this month, and there are now quite a few sprays of flowers opening up almost every week.  These trees seem to run to the same schedule every year.

There were still a few blooms on my Bauhinia variegata, which suffered so dreadfully early last year.  It's only grown slightly taller than this time last year, but at least I got to enjoy more of its beautiful stark white flowers.

The lovely Lagerstroemia speciosa or Queen's Myrtle, which were covered in russet-toned leaves early last month, slowly dropped their leaves and the branches are now covered in tiny new leaf growth.

The Eucalyptus platyphylla trees, out in the bushland and on our property, were still dripping with fluffy creamy-white blossoms.  These beautiful flowers attracted large groups of Rainbow Lorikeets and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets for a feeding frenzy.

The evidence of their feasting was littered all along our driveway.

The pair of Corymbia torellianas or Cadaghi Gums showed the last of their blooms this month as well.  Now, there are only a few flower sprays left right at the top of one of the trees.

The amazing blooms of our native Planchonia careya or Cocky Apple have been on show throughout the bushland and on the few trees we have growing on our property as well.  These stunning flowers appear late in the afternoon, around dusk, and will fall off the tree by the next morning.

I find many of the blooms laying on the ground as I head up to the car shed to go off to work.

The Tabebuia heterophylla started another of its' flowering cycles for the year ...

... and the first of the Delonix regia or Poinciana blooms have appeared on the trees growing at the front gates.

Now, onto the shrubs  ....  what's been blooming?

Finally, there have been a few blooms appearing on both the Hibiscus schizopetalus shrubs, at either end of the pergola, that were cut back so severely last year.  It's always a treat to watch the flower bud open and the petals start unfurling and curling upwards.

Out in the Shadehouse Garden ... what's been blooming?

The predominant blooms out in the Shadehouse Garden have most definitely been the Impatiens walleriana,

and the Neomarica longifolia or Yellow Walking Iris.

There were still some blooms on the Begonia 'Tiger Paws'.  The Streptocarpus caluescens or Nodding Violet is covered in its purple flowers.  The double pink Impatiens walleriana had just a couple of flowers.  The Peace Lily has begun another blooming cycle.  The purple Anthurium is an all-year-round bloomer, and the first bloom on the pots of Asiatic Lilies have opened.

Now, out in the Courtyard Garden ... what's been flowering?

There has been lots of terrific colour out in the courtyard over this past month.

Pelargonium peltatum


Antirrhinum, Pansies, Violas, Zinnias, Osteospermum

Cycas revoluta male flower cone

Torenia 'Violet Magic', Crossandra infundibuliformis, Angelonia angustifolia, Pelaroniums


Asiatic Matisse Liliums

More Asiatic Matisse Liliums

Oriental Liliums

Asiatic Matisse Lilium 'Kentucky'

L.A. Hybrid Lilium 'Eyeliner'

Olde World Liliums ... a cross between Orientals and a Christmas Lily.  These Lilies have enormous, beautifully perfumed flowers.

The courtyard always seems to look its best at this time of the year.

Under the pergola ... what's been flowering?

There have been blooms on the Ipomea batatas, the hot pink Salvia and the Spathoglottis plicata or Ground Orchid.  My pass-along Water Lily has been blooming.  The climber Petrea volubilis or Sandpaper Vine threw out quite a few flower sprays, and one of the potted Neoregelias showed off its wonderful little flowers.

In the tiered garden beds ... what's blooming?

There are blooms on the pink Justicia carnea, the Duranta, the Dietes bicolor, the Justicia brandegeena, the Callistemon 'Pink Champagne', the Salvia 'Velour White', and the last bracts and tiny yellow flowers on the Euphorbia pulcherrima are showing.

The first of the Hemerocallis blooms have started appearing as well.

It's been quite an enjoyable month out in the garden.  In about another month though, it will be almost impossible to get outside during most of the day, so I'm really taking advantage of every possible moment I can to get out and about to enjoy the blooms.


  1. Oh wow, your garden is bursting with colour, it looks fantastic. I have never seen that Hibiscus schizopetalus, very interesting looking flower.

    1. Thanks Garden Girl. That Hibiscus is regarded as an old-fashioned variety and it's not seen in many gardens anymore.

    2. it was on a What Is It G+ post recently. Lovely flower, strange how plants go in, and out, of fashion. I feel as if I've just walked thru the Chelsea Flower Show!

  2. Bernie your gardens are all a picture,a riot of colour in the shade house.'
    Considering the dry year we have had you garden did so well .Well done .

    1. Thank you Pitta. I'm getting better at managing the garden through the dry now. I don't have as many losses anymore. I'm well pleased with all the colour this year, and the effort it takes to keep everything going is not all that burdonsome any more. I've learnt my lessons over the last few years.

  3. Wow Bernie, your garden is gorgeous...lots of colour and so many different and interesting plants on show.
    To be honest, you could open a nursery now, don't you think??? Smile.

    1. Virginia, it sounds as if you've been chatting with my hubby. He thinks I should do the same thing! I'm not sure I'd do well competing with the big chain hardware stores with their attached nurseries though.

    2. something in the mail order - special plants for special gardeners - direction?

  4. Wow you have a great garden, seperated into different sections, we are having pretty hot days here around 30 c and sometimes 39 c but the nights are still pretty chilly, when I get up in the morning it's 10 c although Sydney weather is a bit milder, in the greater west were I am we tend to get the extremes.

    1. Karen, 39C is really getting up there, and it's still only Spring! 10C overnight to 39 is certainly an extreme difference. We don't get huge differences like that in a day here. I can't imagine how I'd cope with it. One minute cold, and a few hours sizzling!

  5. Incredible. I just stepped into "Bernie's Botanical Gardens", escorted through by veteran botanist and master gardener, Bernie from Oz! The "Cycas revoluta male flower cone" is the most exotic plant I've seen in forever, and yet it grows at your home like it's 'no big deal'?! So glad I'm playing 'hookie' from some homework I should be doing, to wander around your gardens! :)

    1. Lol, Shyrlene, you made me laugh out loud with your wonderful comment! I don't show the brown parched dry spots, and believe me there are plenty of those as our dry season rolls on and on and on. I guess I do take the Cycad for granted a little. They're a fairly common plant in gardens around here. I actually have two of them around the courtyard. They only bloom once every four to five years, so it doesn't happen all that often.

  6. It's very interesting to see some familiar blooms, in addition to more exotic plants that we don't get here. Your courtyard is a riot of color!

    1. That's why I love the Winter-Spring time here, Jayne. I can have lots of lovely colour out in my courtyard. I just love it!

  7. Oh I always enjoy a wander through your garden, and you certainly have colour in every corner! I love your lilies, and really don't have room so will just have to enjoy yours. I love this time of year when the horrible humidity is still around the corner.

    1. AA, I'm fast running out of room too. I just have to have the Lilies though. Ever since I first grew them two years ago, I've been completely smitten. The humidity levels are climbing here. We're up around the 70% mark now. I'm not a fan of the high humidity. It's a real killer!

  8. Wow, that's some courtyard, Bernie! Save me a cuppa, will you? I love that orange Crossandra but I think it only grows as potted colour here in Sydney. And it's certainly been the driest spring on the east coast for many, many years.

    1. Thank you so much, Catherine, I've worked hard to make the courtyard my lovely little sanctuary. It was quite soul-less and drab when we moved in here. Now I'm trying to squeeze more pots in every year. I'm getting really good at squishing things in!!!

      The Crossandra is pretty hardy, although I'm not sure it tolerates cold and frost all that well. We're used to dry winters and springs here in this part of the north-east. We can go without rain for up to nine months of the year most years.

  9. Your spring is filled with so many lovely gifts, so many colorful blooms. The hibiscus are so beautiful extending way out like a sword. My favorite has to be the Cocky Apple with their delicate bush-like blooms...exquisite. Do they have a fragrance? It is interesting that we are now admiring our leaf color as the blooms fade and your spring blooming season is hitting high gear. I am glad I can admire your season of blooms while mine is waning.

  10. Hi Bernie, I am pleased to nominate you for a Beautiful Blogger Award because I love your blog featuring the beautiful flowers in your courtyard! To accept all you have to do is tell us 7 things about yourself and nominate 15 other bloggers. You can find the BBA thumbnail on my blog for posting it on yours. Its is evident that your blog is a popular one. Regards, STilleTTo

  11. What a showcase of flowers! I love your garden even more since outside we have nothing but browns and drab yellows. Winter is quickly approaching here in Texas and all is quiet.
    Keep up the super duper job, Bernie.



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