Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Time for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day ... April, 2015 ... mid-Autumn.


So, it's the 15th of April already and time for a Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day post.  My last GBBD post was back in January, which was our mid-Summer month here Downunder.  Now it's mid-Autumn.   In my part of the world there are no huge seasonal differences, and certainly not much changes from our mid-summer to our mid-Autumn.

Loads and loads of bright, sunny, blue-sky days at the moment.
The weather conditions are exactly the same in one respect.  Most days the temperature high is up around 30 - 33 deg C (86 - 92 F).  However, there are some other small differences which make the weather slightly more comfortable.  The night-time temps are a little lower, only by a couple of degrees, but much more comfortable so we don't need the air-con on at night any more.  The humidity levels are lower too, which makes the daytime temps quite comfortable for most of the day, and the air-con only comes on briefly in the afternoons some days.  At the moment, the humidity is down to 50%, which is terrific.   All the windows and doors are open and there's a slight breeze wafting through the house.

Right now it's supposedly the tail-end of our wet season.  During some years it can last from late November to late April ... sometimes!  This wet season, however, has been pretty much a failure.  We've had one of the driest and hottest wet seasons on record.

The yard is drying out very quickly and the native wildlife is having difficulty finding food at our place.
We had 185 mm of rain back in January, which wasn't too bad considering our average for January is around 273 mm.  From then till now though, it's all been very, very disappointing.

Only 31.8 mm fell in February - our average is around 305 mm - and a teeny weeny 5.2 mm fell in March, when we usually average around 190 mm.  So, our total rainfall for 2015 so far has reached 230 mm.  Our average Jan-Apr total is around 836 mm.  Not good!  Not only were the rainfall totals very poor, but the falls were quite scattered and uneven, so not all parts of our city and surrounds received the benefit of even these meagre falls.  My little corner of the area is one of those spots!

The result of this failed wet season is, of course, a garden that's looking pretty dismal with few blooms to share.  Mid-summer to mid-Autumn is pretty much down time in my garden anyway, but it's been even more so this year.

One of the new garden beds established last year.
Right now, the new garden beds don't have all that much colour, but thankfully the plants are still hanging in there with help from the garden sprinkler.

Overgrown rock garden at the end of our long driveway.
Other areas that don't get a lot of watering from me, look terribly limp and thirsty once the sun gets high in the sky!

Along one side of our long driveway, the sprinkler system has been turned on in the last couple of weeks.
It's very early in the year for me to be watering the beds down beside our long driveway.  That doesn't bode well.  I think I'm going to have a hefty excess water bill this year. 

Finding loads of flowers for this GBBD post proved to be just a little difficult.


There are some flowers on the Jasminum that's climbing up the pergola out in the courtyard,


and the perfume that wafts across the courtyard into the kitchen is quite lovely.


The native Jasminum, Jasminum didymum subsp. racemosum, is also blooming at present.  It's growing in a distant spot along one of our fencelines, and climbing all over another of our native shrubs.


The perfume is quite delicate and you do have to get close to discern the scent.  Fortunately, I was strolling around the place very early in the morning and stumbled across the climber in bloom.  This is the first time I've noticed the whole climber covered in flowers.  Obviously I need to stroll around that corner of the garden more often.

The two Jasmines are the most prolific bloomers at the moment.  Apart from those two, there are only one or two blooms to be found on other plants scattered here and there around the place.

In the new garden beds located at the end of the driveway, you will find ...


my new Gerbera with a couple of blooms,


one bloom on my Alpinia NOID,


one tiny little flower on my teeny-weeny Hibiscus NOID,


a couple of flower spikes on the self-seeded Celosia,


the last flower spray of the Hedychium coronarium,
 

and one or two flowers on the clumps of Iris domestica,


which are turning to seed.

In my shade house, there's not much in the way of blooms either, apart from ...


 one bloom on my Dendrobium bigibbum bicolour,


and a few flower sprays on the Dragon Wing Begonias.

In the front garden beds ...


Mandevilla 'White Fantasy' is showing a couple of blooms.
 

Ixora NOID is blooming and you'll see the last bracts and blooms of the Mussaenda philippica 'Bangkok Rose'.

In the courtyard garden ...


Impatiens walleriana are blooming,


as is the potted Spathoglottis plicata.


The potted Azalea has just begun its blooming cycle, so there are a few lovely fluffy pink flowers to be found.


The Hibiscus schizopetalus throws out these fabulous flowers every week or so.


I've also only just potted up some Torenias


and Portulacas to add a little extra brightness to the courtyard garden.


I've also planted some little Petunia seedlings, my favourite annual.  Soon I'll have a little more colour to cheer me up.

In the surrounding bushland the Acacias are beginning to bloom, but most of these are a long way from our house and verandah so we don't get to see them close up.  


There is one located on our property though, and it's throwing out more and more flower spikes every day.

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



25 comments:

  1. Oh that Hibiscus schizopetalus is beautiful. It has suddenly become very dry here too which for April, in the south west of England, is unusual. Do you feed the wallabies?

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    1. That poor Hibiscus really went through the wars a few years ago when Cyclone Yasi almost destroyed it. It's taken a while, but it has finally recovered and looking as good as it once was! I just adore it and have to admit it's my favourite Hibiscus. It's an old-fashioned variety, hard to find in nurseries these days as the newer, showier, more colourful Hibiscus seem to be favoured now.

      No, we don't feed any of the wildlife here, including the birds. We would much rather them have a natural life and not be dependent on us for their well-being. Sometimes I do see the birds drinking from the pond, and I did find a little wallaby swimming around the pond when I came home from work one day. Not sure if it was drinking and fell in, or was trying to cool down by taking a dip!!!

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    2. Interesting.Here,in Florida,we should be in the heighth of hot,dry season.But it seems the hot,rainy summer pattern is upon us.

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    3. Ah ha, so that's where all the rain went! Our summer is usually our wet season too, Chris. It does seem that we're are definitely going to miss out this year though.

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  2. There is still a lot of colour from beautiful blooms. Love the Torenia and Petunia. Great to have some pots and baskets filled with colourful favourite. Yes it was quite a dry spring and summer, here too.

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    1. Thanks Titania. I'll be adding some more potted annuals out in the courtyard soon. I've been missing the usual colour out there.

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  3. Truly amazing specially mandevilla, jasminum, orchids and how are you able to grow azalea in your hot dry climate? I just does not grow well in my low elevation southern subtropical climate. I would also like to know how fragrant is mandevilla?

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    1. Thanks for visiting Muhammad. That Azalea is quite old now and has been in the pot for around 15 years. It started off quite badly way back then, and I had to really nurture it a lot through our horrid summers. It's well established now though and doesn't require much looking after at all. It seems to be quite at home. The Mandevilla is not fragrant at all. It's just showy.

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  4. You do have lots of flowers, after all, even if it doesn't feel like it to you! I find the same, I look out at my garden and it just looks green but when I actually hunt for flowers I can find dozens of different types. I think it is part of the difference between the (sub)tropics and temperate gardening. Flowers are more evenly spread throughout the year. We have also had a very dry autumn in Sydney, completely different from last year (my first here), but nothing like as dry as yours and we should still have more to come with any luck. Good luck with managing your water bill!

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    1. Yes you're right Janna. When I start looking closely I can find a few flowers here and there. I'm really looking forward to seeing more colour out in the courtyard once the potted annuals take off. I do get tired of all the green foliage that's the stalwart of gardens up here. There are colourful Crotons around the place as well, but I do love my Annuals.

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  5. Well, I think you have plenty of luscious blooms! I'm dreaming of a tropical garden someday - THIS is inspiration. Wonderful but I feel a little thirsty ... I do hope nature is kind to you.

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    1. Kathy, I've often dreamed of having a temperate garden where I can witness the huge seasonal changes! I guess we often want what we don't have, and take for granted what we do have. We're still keeping our fingers crossed for some heavy rain before the end of this month. We'll see!

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  6. You have a lot of flowers compared to us in our autumn, some really lovely blooms. We are having very hot weather for April at the moment, it shouldn't be this hot until July/August. The flowers are over almost as soon as they open, and no rain on the horizon! We soon realise how important rain is once we start gardening!

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    1. Pauline, because we have such a long dry season every year here, we really rely on our short wet season to arrive with heavy rain so it can penetrate and really soak through the layers of the soil. Unfortunately when the monsoonal rains don't arrive, the heat and humidity of our summer bakes the ground rock hard. Some of my plants are going to have a very tough year. It sounds as if you've had some slight differences in your weather patterns as well. Hopefully your plants will get through it all well.

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  7. Oh, my! I think you did just fine in finding "loads" of flowers. They're all quite beautiful. I especially like all the pinks and reds. It's the middle of spring where we are, so our blooms are just beginning. It's wonderful to see what's happening with your plants with the seasons just the opposite. Quite an interesting post. Thanks so much!

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    1. So glad you popped by and left a comment, Anna. You'll be looking forward to the coming weeks then, waiting for all your colour to appear.

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  8. Absolutely gorgeous, Bernie!

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    1. Thanks very much Linda, glad you enjoyed the photos.

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  9. Hi, Bernie! I thought to check in to see how you are doing. I wish I could send you some of the rain we are having here. I always enjoy seeing your exotic blooms. The Wrightia antidysenterica 'Arctic Snow' is amazing!

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    1. Lovely to see you popping by, Deb. How I wish you could share some of your rain. We badly need some of the decent heavy stuff. We actually have had just a couple of light almost-not-worth-it showers in the last two days. They didn't last long and barely touched the ground. Useless really, but the smell was divine.

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  10. We haven't had as much rain as we normally do during March/April and I am hesitant at watering extensively to keep my garden alive....thank goodness I've made an effort to plant mostly drought-tolerant plants...however I know I will lose a few of them no matter how hard I try.

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    1. I also have a lot of drought tolerant plants here too, but they might do it really tough this year. Hopefully they will make it through. I haven't added many pots to my courtyard garden at all this year, because I know I won't be able to keep up the watering that will be needed to keep them flourishing.

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  11. Bernie you have lots of lovely blooms considering the lack of rain....and I love jasmine...wish I could grow it here....funny how your weather isn't much different...ours is pretty dramatic from mid=summer to mid-fall...well between any season really.

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  12. Just had a look again through your autumn garden. I love this native Jasmin I have not seen it around here, I must look out for this one. A few month back I planted jasminum officinale along the chicken fence. the scent is so lovely. I would have preferred the native one. I hope you get some of the rain we are having here now.

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  13. Lots of flowers as usual Bernie, lots to see despite your dry period! Loved the Dendrobium, when I get a greenhouse (and I really am going to get one in my new garden!) – I will have many more Dendrobiums, I have two indoors now. Hope you get some rain soon :-)

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