Monday, April 15, 2013

Snapshots of Mid-Autumn on this April Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, 2013

Continuing my Snapshots series ...

I know I'm a little late for GBBD, but better late than never.  It's been such a long time since I last posted on here anyway, that I felt I should make the effort, even if the due date for joining Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day has passed.   Work life, home life and family life are always priorities over blogging, and those areas of my life have been so very, very busy over the last couple of months.  The garden has suffered somewhat as a consequence, with the more favoured areas, the courtyard and shadehouse gardens, receiving very little attention; and the other garden spaces being left to fend for themselves.

Conditions during April?

We've had mostly fine blue-sky days so far this month.  Our dry season more or less begins with the start of our mid-Autumn month of April, so our skies tend to be clear and bright blue.  We did have two days of quite decent rain which totalled around 43 mms (almost 2 inches).  As the wet season had been a big disappointment, it seemed like a rather cruel joke that right at the end of the wet, we get a reminder of what decent rain is like!!! 

So far this year our rainfall total has reached only about 516 mms ( 20 inches), which is less than half the total reached by the same time last year.  It's meant that our wet season has been remarkably dry this year, which is not good news for a garden that's about to suffer through a long nine-month dry season.  I think it's going to be tough going for some of the younger plants that have only been planted out in the last two to three years.

Anyway, let's take a wander around and see just what's going on this mid-April.

Starting with the trees on the property ... what's blooming?

The answer is short and sweet.  Very little!

I found one lone flower spray on one of my three Lagerstroemia speciosas, or Queen's Myrtles.  This particular Queen's Myrtle is growing at the end of our hillside driveway, and the flower spray is the last for its flowering season.  The other two Queen's Myrtles finished their flowering season quite a while ago now.

The only other tree blooms to be spotted were those on a couple of the native trees around here.

There is one Acacia mangium growing near our shadehouse, and it's covered in lovely lemon flowers.

There are also blooms on the Acacia leptostachya trees, out in the bushland.  Luckily there's a rather large tree growing very close to one of our fences and the flower-laden branches are hanging out over the fence onto our property.  It's a lovely sight.

April last year, I remember there were still blooms on the Tabebuia heterophylla and Citharexylum spinosum on the property, and there were loads of flowers on the Melaleucas out in the bushland.  There are no flowers to be seen on any of these this April.

Onto the shrubs ... what's blooming?

There are a few more blooms to be spotted on the various shrubs around my place.   Of course, there are always flowers showing off on the various red-flowering Hibiscus scattered in the far corners of the garden.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Snowflake' at the back of the courtyard,

Hibiscus schizopetalus near the pergola,

more Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Snowflake' in the front-of-house garden bed,

and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis in the hillside driveway garden bed.

The Mussaenda philippica 'Aurore' growing down at the end of the hillside driveway is covered in white bracts and little yellow flowers.

Down the gravel driveway there are flowers on some of the Crotons,

and out in one of the front-of-house garden beds the Allamanda cathartica 'Sunee' is still showing a few of its bright yellow flowers.

Now, out in the potted courtyard garden ... what's blooming?

Again, not much, as I cut back most of the potted plants out there a couple of weeks ago now, and they're still filling out.

Tabernaemontana 'Sweet Love' is showing off its stark white pinwheel flowers.

There are flower spikes on the Coleus and the Angelonia angustifolias.

The lovely double white Impatiens walleriana flowers are still on show.

The climbing Jasmine officinale is still flowering and filling the air with a soft, sweet perfume.

There are a few flowerheads on the Cleome 'Senorita Rosalita', 

and the Salvia splendens 'Vista Mix' and Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' are all starting to fill out and bloom once more after their cut back.

Onto the shadehouse garden ... what's blooming?

 Once more the answer is pretty short and simple ... not much.

My fabulous Dendrobium bigibbum continues blooming,

and the Streptocarpus caulescens is putting on a great show.

The Aeschynanthus lobbianus and Costus productus also add a touch of red,

and there are a few Impatiens walleriana flowers to be seen here and there.

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

The huge sprawling Salvia madrensis is throwing out loads of flower spikes,

and the Justicia brandegeeana is covered in its wonderful bracts and tiny blooms.

Here and there, around the place ... what can be seen?

There's a Vriesea bromeliad blooming as it sits in amongst the stumpy ends of old palm fronds,

and there's a patch of Cosmos sulphureus that have re-seeded in a spot in one of the gravel driveway garden beds.

I'm joining Carol for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day


  1. Your plants are indeed lovely and luscious. Most of the plants in your garden can be found here except for Streptocarpus caulescens and Justicia brandegeeana.

    1. Thanks Stiletto. Yes I would have thought you would recognise many of these plants. What a shame you can't grow the Justicia. It really does so very well here, without any fuss.

  2. You have loads of lovely blooms. Some can be found here in Portugal, others I have never seen before.

    1. Mara, our climates would be similar in many ways and we would have a lot of plants in common. It's always fascinating to see that there are difference though, and some plants just won't grow. I think the main difference is usually the humidity levels.

  3. Hi Bernie, stunning as ever, those orchids are to die for. I think I may have trouble pronouncing the Dendrobium without bursting out into fits of laughter. Take care

    1. Thanks Bramble! I only have a couple of Orchids and the one featured today does so well without much help from me. Thanks goodness. As for the name, it always makes me chuckle!! Who comes up with these names, I'd love to know!!

  4. G'Day Bernie! Bootiful garden as usual....dry or not. We had 80's one day....the next it was in the 40's and scattered frost last night.
    The joys of Tennessee weather. I will send you a picture of my biggest native azalea that is as high as the house. Have a good weekend.

    1. You're very kind, thanks Jean. What a dip in temps you're having at the moment. Here we're still getting rather summery temps, and we're waiting for them to dip just a little teeny weeny bit!

      I've received the photos of your stunning Azalea. It really is beautiful. The flowers are so different to the Azalea flowers we see here.

  5. Your autumn looks like a lovely summer for me!

    1. Yes you're right there, Donna. There's not a lot of difference between our Autumn and Summer here, apart from the fall in humidity levels.

  6. So many gorgeous tropical blooms! Your Streptocarpus are amazing. I have one very like yours but it never blooms like that. Maybe it needs a bigger pot, or some Australian atmosphere. The main Hibiscus I can grow are rosa sinensis, the plain purple with magenta eye. I like the red Snowflake, incredible! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's always fascinating to look at the flowers one can't grow. I guess the Daphnes here would have to substitute for your fragrant white flowers, and now that I think of them the Sarcococca and also the Osmanthus, and Elaeagnus ebbingea.

  7. Bernie, your gardens look lovely, and you say you have very little flowers?!
    As always you have lots of flowers to die for, with names I have never even heard of, but I do know your hibiscus, I'd love to have them - perhaps not your variety, but there is a hardy variety that can grow here in Britain, only problem is it gets very big so I haven't got space for it. Your orchids are lovely too, I have a Dendrobium kingianum, but it has never flowered, I don't think it gets enough sun on my kitchen window sill.
    Have a great week, take care.

  8. Your garden actually looks very tropical now with lovely flowers blooming and there are orchids too. Hopefully the dry season will not come so soon and less severe this year.

  9. Isn't that Justicia brandegeana a doer? I have both the rusty red and yellow forms and they are rarely without a flower. I remember it from my childhood - it grew in soil in an old concrete pot that only got an occasional bucket of water tipped over it, and was regularly pruned by bicycles whizzing past. Now that's tough as old boots!

  10. Really enjoyed your beautiful pictures. You have so much blooming. Love it!

  11. Your snowflake hibiscus has won my heart! Also love your croton. The thought of a nine month dry season is frightful, but it looks like you do have a lot in bloom for now!

  12. Your autumn is scrumptious with beauty and color. I particularly like those cascading golden blooms of the acacia. And I know what you mean about life and blogging. It has been a similar month for me with life issues taking priority and then connectivity issues. The garden always helps me put things back into balance.


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