Sunday, September 15, 2013

Early Spring Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day ... September 2013

It's GBBD time once again, thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  Here in Australia, September is our first month of Spring.  There are birds galore perching on the trees around my place.

The bird song can be heard at almost any time of the day.

There are strange insects hovering around the flowers.

There are birds, like the common Yellow-bellied Sunbird, building nests for their offspring.

In my north-eastern corner, Spring arrives smack bang in the middle of our dry season.  We have not seen rain now since around the middle of Autumn, back in April.  Our Winter was bone dry, so the landscape around here is wearing the typical brown, parched early Spring look.  The native Eucalypts and Planchonias have dropped loads of leaves everywhere

Around the house, the plants and grass are looking pretty withered and dehydrated.  It's not the best look, but we're used to it.  The plants themselves are all drought tolerant and come through the long dry time of the year a little battered and baked, but alive!  I don't do much to help them, apart from occasionally turning on the irrigation system, about once every month or so.

The conditions have turned rather warm, with the mercury now hovering up around 30 deg C (86 F) and slightly above, for most of the day.  The vast blue skies go on forever, with the occasional smattering of puffy white clouds.  The sunshine is more intense, and now has a bit of a bite to it, especially from about 10.00 am onwards, so I'm not wandering around the garden much these days.  I do my watering jobs, but that's it.

The plants that are not so drought tolerant are located in my shadehouse garden,

and out in my courtyard garden.  I spend most evenings or early mornings watering these potted plants on alternate days, and giving them a feed every few weeks.

When standing near the back verandah and looking out over the courtyard, I can see the hills in the background.  The end of winter through to early and mid-Spring, is about the only time of the year when I can see those particular foothills to the north-west.

The Hibiscus at the back of the courtyard drops a lot of foliage at this time of the year because of the dry conditions, and the row of Neem trees behind that rather forlorn looking Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, drop all their foliage at the same time, so there's an uninterrupted view from my courtyard across to the foothills at the back.  I never see them during the wet season in mid to late Summer, nor in the early months of Autumn when the shrubs and trees are clothed once more.

Out in my courtyard, the native Sterculia quadrifida, or Peanut Tree, that arches over the space is also starkers,

except for its seed pods which add a bit of colour against the backdrop of those clear bright blue skies.

Well, enough of the not-so-great-looking plants in this dry, waterless, moistureless, rainless area, let's check out what is blooming around my place right now.

A real treat for my this week has been the sighting of a native tree in flower out in the bush paddock, where we've been working hard at removing horrid pest plants and invasive species.  It's the first time I've seen this sight from our verandah, out in plain view and on show at long last as a result of the removal of a huge bank of Chinee Apple trees.

The flowers on this native Kapok, Cochlospermum gillivraei, add bright golden splashes of colour out in the parched looking bush paddock. 

Another couple of great natives on display at the moment, near our house,

are the Corymbia torellianas or Cadaghi Gums, which are both blooming beside the hill driveway.  The perfume of those fluffy, creamy-white flowers fills the air at the moment. It's quite a heady, honey-like scent and those nectar-laden flowers are attracting flocks of Rainbow Lorikeets and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, as well as countless bees and other insects.

I'm sharing this video clip of the chorus I hear almost every morning at the moment from the tops of the Cadaghi Gums.

Apart from these couple of native trees, the only other flowers to be spotted on the trees around here include

the very last of the Bauhinia variegata blooms,

and the one remaining flower on my Tabebuia impetiginosa.  It is the last one left on an enormous tree.

It's the courtyard garden and shadehouse garden that provide nearly all the blooms at this time of the year.

Out in the courtyard ...

Torenias, Rosebud Pelargonium, Impatiens hawkeri 'Harmony' and Nasturtium 'Alaska'.

Azalea, Violas, double Petunias, Cleome spinosa 'Senorita Rosalita' and Petunia 'Bumblebee'.

The Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi?) is finally blooming, and one of my newly purchased Hemerocallis 'Tootsie' is flowering quite early.

My new favourite, Gardenia ... I think it's Gardenia tubifera kul ... commonly known as 'Golden Sun' Gardenia is blooming.  I'm just loving the exquisitely perfumed flowers on this plant.  They open an ivory-white, then turn golden yellow and orange yellow as they age.  It makes for a great show.

Out in the shadehouse ...

it's the Begonias and Impatiens that are providing all the colour at the moment.

The only other blooms to be found around the property at the moment are scattered in a few little corners here and there, like the driveway garden bed or the tiered garden bed. 

These are few and far between though, and you have be paying attention or you'll miss them.

I'm joining Carol for her  Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day meme.


  1. As always, it is a treat to visit your wonderful part of the world. I love seeing your wilder countryside and your shade and courtyard gardens. Hearing the morning bird tweets was really nice.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

    1. Hi Lorraine. I've been rather quiet on the blogging scene lately, but I just had to make the effort to post for GBBD. The 'wilder' countryside is putting on its usual dry season show, but at least I have the courtyard and shadehouse spots providing some great colour.

  2. What an amazing variety of flowers you have, so colouful in spite of all your dry heat. Your verandah looks really beautiful with all its floral containers and you have a view as well, fantastic!

    1. Thanks Pauline. Yes the two spots close to my house, the courtyard and shadehouse have lots of lovely flowers right now, and provide a welcome relief from the brown that surrounds us at the moment.

  3. Bernie I really enjoyed walking your garden as always. Its looking awesome.. So very differnt and of course as our gardens are all slowing down yours is food for our gardening souls! Thank you so much for sharing. Its always such a treat as well for the plants we can not grow... do not know etc... So its always an educatinal walk. I also love the birds that visit my garden and again you have such different ones!... I will be waiting for your posts..

    1. Thank you, Kate. It's always great to hear people do enjoy reading about my little garden. I've been getting worse with posts this year, as I keep thinking people have heard all this before and perhaps it's not worth posting about. I guess I should just keep on making the effort.

  4. Your site will be such a treat when we in upstate New York are in winter. We commonly get 80-100 inches of snow a year. The long 95 degree summer would be a trial for me but come January, it will sound wonderful. I loved all of your flowers and the lorikeet song video. I compost my spam, by the way - but frying it may be a better idea.

    1. Snow is something that's not in my realm of experience, Bookworm. I've seen it twice in my life and that's it! I think I would find long freezing cold winters hard to put up with. I have to admit though that I'm not a big fan of our long baking hot summers either. I'm so glad to hear you've enjoyed your visit and I hope you pop by again soon.

  5. I enjoyed the tour of your early spring garden. Your gardenia really is lovely with its color transformation, and it must be wonderful to have such a variety of beautiful birds. I was amazed at the nest of the Yellow-bellied Sunbird!

    1. Hello Deb. Those Sunbirds do build the most amazing looking nests. If you look closely enough, you will see that there's a little porch roof built over the top of the nest opening. That keeps the rain out. They're just so clever!

  6. Amazing birds! I thought I was special seeing the yellow one... Happy GBBD

  7. How interesting to see your early spring garden just as we are about to head into fall here. Your garden is gorgeous as it always is at every season. Happy Bloom Day.

  8. The dry spring deciduous trees really are spectacular - how lucky for you to uncover that lovely Cochlospermum gillivraei. And excellent photo of the colour-changing Gardenia. Arno King did a great blog on GardenDum last February about golden gardenias but he didn't capture it the way you have.

  9. Hi Bernie! Wow, seeing the golden blooms on your native Kapok is really cool! I had no idea you had not experience a drop of rain since April. Your blooms are looking wonderful though! Wishing you a Happy GBBD!

  10. What a colorful showcase Bernie!

  11. Spring at long last. Your garden is looking great Bernie, keep up the good work.

  12. Hi Bernie, those Gardenias are stunning, we have to grow them as house plants, there is one garden variety but aphids just adore it. Perhaps one day when you get five minutes you might like to catalogue your plants, like to know how many thousands it runs into. As we are now entering our autumn and winter I will keep up to date with your blog for your very colourful displays.

  13. Hello Berieh its always a real joy to come and read your blogs and see your amazing photography.

    We have had short but when it came a wonderful summer season and still into September its nice bit chill first thing but still nice.

    How are you ?


  14. Hi Bernie, i am a bit late here, i even forgot to join GBBD. I can relate to your photos of the environment which really looks dry and hot. That is how ours look like during the dry season, but our temps and RH are higher than yours! But your protected plants are so plenty and still looking beautiful. I envy the variety of plants you got in your nursed garden. My sister is in NZ, experienced her first winter there, and their spring is also September.

  15. Hi Bernie, I'm now catching up with my blog reading after being away.
    Despite the heat and the drought, you still have lots of beautiful blooms to enjoy. Thank goodness for your shade house and courtyard garden.
    I've lost quite a few plants during the hot dry weather that we've been having.....even some plants on my patio have called it's really hot.

  16. Hello Bernie! It is always wonderful to see a garden flourishing so naturally. Even those birds and insects are loving your garden!!


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