January is our middle Summer month. Yesterday the daytime high was up around 33-34 deg C and the air con was definitely on. Our nights are slightly cooler, hovering around 25 deg C which isn't too bad. It means you can sleep with just the fan going and be quite comfortable. Humidity levels haven't been all that bad either lately. Relative humidity seems to remain around the 60% level, which is bearable.
We had some really lovely decent rainfall nearly two weeks ago, with around 73 mms falling over the first weekend of the new year.
This was followed up by another 12 mms or so just last week. There's been nothing since, so the wet season hasn't quite arrived in its full glory yet,
but now there are hints of green grass in the front yard whereas last month it was pretty much a dry parched shade of brown.
With the arrival of rain last month, the Rain Lilies started blooming and they've continued to flower off and on ever since. There were splashes of lemon and pink in the garden today.
Summertime is always the time when the Mussaendas bloom. The colours are wonderful.
Summer also means the Cassia fistula and Delonix regias are flowering. The bright yellow of the Cassia and the shade or orange and red in the Poinciana all scream summertime.
The arrival of rain showers has sent the Murrayas into a flowering frenzy. The perfume from the flowers is simply heavenly. I like nothing better than to wake up to the beautiful smell of Murraya flowers wafting on the morning breeze.
I just love bringing in a few sprays of flowers inside the house. You don't need air freshener when you have a few little vases of these in your home.
Actually there are a few perfumed plants in bloom at the moment, which makes an early morning or early evening wander such a delightful way to start or end the day.
There's Plumeria rubra, Murraya paniculata, Gardenia 'Soleil d'or', Hedychium coronarium (White Butterfly Ginger) and Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle). Each one adds something extra special to the sights and smells in my garden right now.
One of the plants that is showing off its first ever flowers right now is this pink version of the Iris domestica, commonly known as the Blackberry or Leopard Lily. I do have the more common orange variety as well, but I have to admit I think I much prefer this variety with the more subtle pink shades.
One other plant that does seem to respond to rainfall is my Phyllanthus multiflorus, or Waterfall Plant. It's covered in pendulous red blooms at the moment. These look rather like Christmas baubles to me. They are tiny and rather hard to see though. You have to get up close and personal to really notice them.
Elsewhere around the garden,
this lovely red Alpinia has bloomed for the first time ever,
the Mandevilla White Fantasy' is flowering,
the Gloriosa superba, or Gloriosa Lily is showing off its peculiar flowers,
and the Galphimia glaucas are covered in golden yellow flowers.
I did notice as I was wandering around that there's a whole lot of red and white in my garden presently. I'm such a fan of white in the garden, so I'm so very pleased that I've managed to get it spread throughout various corners of the garden. Red is a must-have in a tropical garden, I think. It just seems to blaze so brightly in our fierce sunshine.
There's also quite a bit of orange popping up here and there.
I did find one little splash of purple in the garden. I almost walked right on by my little Brasso-cattleya Orchid in the shadehouse without seeing the flowers. Thankfully I looked in the right direction, so I'm able to share it in this post today.
There have been literally hundreds of butterflies and other insects feasting on the nectar of the Duranta blooms and the flowers of the Neem trees.
I just had to share some photos of these beautiful creatures.
The Common Grass Yellows are swarming around in little clouds. They are fluttering around every Duranta, Murraya, Hibiscus and Neem flower on the property.
I'm not sure about the identity of this little fellow, but he was certainly enjoying the nectar of the Murraya blooms,
and this beautiful little spider was having a great time chilling out on the Rain Lily petal. I'm always amazed at the variety of insect life that is at home here in my garden.
I'm joining Carol for her Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day meme.