February is our mid-Summer month here and today is yet another hot, steamy, bright-blue-sky-fluffy-white-cloud day.
We are coming to the end of a rather disappointing wet season. There's been some rain, but we haven't had the weeks of monsoonal downpours that usually characterise our short wet. I think we've had somewhere around one-third of the average wet season total so far.
Still, at least the liquid sunshine has brightened up the garden somewhat. ('Liquid sunshine' is our affectionate term for rain here, as we have a lot of sunny days ... around 300 rain-free, sunshine-filled days every year.)
The surrounding bushland is certainly looking fairly lush and green, so we have a rather picturesque outlook at this time of year. There are a few blooms to be found here and there around the garden, so let's take a quick wander around.
Out in the courtyard garden there have been some changes. I've planted out many of the potted plants in my new garden beds near the end of our driveway. As a result, there are very few potted plants left out in the courtyard, compared to this time last year, or indeed the couple of years before that.
There are a couple of Begonia semperflorens.
My Globba capicola is still growing in a pot out in the courtyard,
as is my Costus productus or Orange Spiral Ginger.
One of the potted Azaleas remains and is showing off just one pretty pink bloom at the moment.
There's still a pot of Torenias
and my potted Clerodendrum ugandense is still sitting out on the pavers in the courtyard.
The Jasminum officinale, which is slowly returning from the dead after Cyclone Yasi, has starting spreading out over the top of the pergola next to the courtyard garden. It started flowering with the arrival of the summer rain.
The Water Lilies growing in the small pond under the pergola are always blooming and attracting some interesting insect life.
In the garden bed at the back of the courtyard garden, my old stalwart, the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Snowflake' is blooming as always.
In the same bed the last of the bracts and flowers of my Mussaenda philippica 'Aurore' are showing
and the fabulous Phyllanthus multiflorus or Waterfall Plant is covered in pendulous flowers. This shrub really springs to life with the summer rain.
If you look high above the bed at the back of the courtyard garden, you will see there are still some golden racemes hanging in the Cassia fistula, or Golden Shower Tree,
and there are little gorgeous white flower sprays on the Citharexylum spinosaum, or Fiddlewood Tree.
If you walk under the pergola, up the stairs towards the hillside driveway, you will see flowers on both of the Hibiscus schizopetalus, or Japanese Lantern Hibiscus shrubs.
You will also notice lots of blooms on the huge Hibiscus rosa-sinensis that grows under the Cadaghi Gum trees
and there are a few flower sprays to be found on the Plumeria obtusa under the same Gum trees.
In the new garden beds I found the Hymenocallis blooming for the first time,
the Plumeria pudica is throwing out more and more flowerheads ...
and there have been Zephyranthes popping up with the arrival of some summer rain.
In the tiered garden beds,
the blooming Mussaenda 'Calcutta Sunset' and the Duranta repens make a great pairing ...
and underneath, the Pentas adds some contrast.
In the driveway garden beds,
the Thunbergia erecta 'Tru Blu' is looking fabulous ...
and the Turnera subulata and cream Russelia make a great combination.
In the front-of-house garden beds there are splashes of gold ...
on the Galphimia glauca and
on the Allamanda cathartica 'Sunee'.
the very tall Tabebuia heterophylla have begun another blooming cycle ...
and there are Pelargonium flowers to be spotted on the side stairs. That is a sure sign that our true monsoonal wet season has not arrived this year. I have absolutely no luck keeping Pelargoniums going through a true wet season. The steamy, humid temps and torrential downpours of a true wet season is not to the Pelargoniums' tasts, and they usually shrivel up and turn to mush.
It's a rare thing seeing Pellie blooms at my place in February. They've been enjoying the 'slightly damp' summer. Let's see how long they keep on keeping on, as it looks to me like they're going to make it all the way through to the arrival of our long dry season. That usually happens around mid/end of April.
I'm joining Carol's fabulous Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day meme.