Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Tale Of Two Gardens ... My Dry Tropics Garden Journal ... Week 8, 2012.

Date:  February 19, 2012

Season:  end of Summer, and 'wet' season

For this Garden Journal entry, I'm going to look back to the same time last year and compare what my garden was like back then, and what it's like today ... one year later!  Regular readers of my blog will know that this time last year was a time of great change here in my corner of north-eastern Australia.  For others, I will just say that this time last year was about a fortnight after an rather extreme weather event which caused a lot of damage around my place.

(The journal entry from last year can be found here: Autopsy Of A Cyclone Ravaged Garden and I'll be using some of the photos from that post as a point of comparison.)

So, let's have a look at how things have fared since then and why I'm finally wearing a smile on my dial as I wander around the garden.  What a difference a year makes, although the intervening 'dry' season which lasted around seven months last year meant things didn't change overnight!  But with the arrival of the summer rains, I'm happy to say my place is looking decent once more.

Nearly all the trees are now covered in dense foliage once more and looking so much healthier.  The view at the back of the courtyard garden no longer includes our neighbour's cyclone-damaged back yard, nor our fence that runs down the hill driveway.  Now the aspect is one of shrubs and trees and flowers.  Feels much better!

While the courtyard garden itself didn't suffer much last year, there were quite a few areas that were suddenly changed from alright-looking to downright ugly.  But every single one of those spots has turned the corner and are now not so cringe-worthy!

The broken Tabebuia pallida is looking a whole lot better now and back to its usual flowering cycles.

February 2011

February 2012

The enormous Ficus benjamina was looking rather forlorn and broken, but is now looking green and resplendent once more.

February 2011

February 2012

The Citharexylum spinosum or Fiddlewood Tree had its branches literally torn off and they lay about like broken matchsticks.  Now it's healthy and covered in blooms again.

February 2011

February 2012

My beloved white Bauhinia suffered considerably from the cyclonic winds and looked almost at an end.  But Mother Nature can not be under-estimated.  Now my Bauhinia looks like a younger version of itself, full of life and vigour.

February 2011

February 2012

The Tabebuia impetiginosa was an absolute mess.  Its top was not ripped off entirely, but was left dangling down and shredded.  It's now looking magnificent again and I can't wait for bloom time in Winter/Spring.

February 2011

February 2012

All of the Duranta repens along the driveway were left broken or ripped out of the ground.  They were trimmed back to stumps as all the branches were lying in a tangled mess.  Now the bright green new growth looks so fresh and healthy.  Some have even thrown out a few flower sprays.

February 2011

February 2012

Down near the front gates, the Calliandra and Pseudomussaenda flava were torn to shreds.  They're back! ... and looking good!

February 2011

February 2012

At the other end of the driveway near the car shed and entrance to the house, there was quite a bit of destruction, but I rather like the new look now that the shrubs have come back and a patch of Cosmos has taken off.

February 2011

February 2012

It was the driveway where the most obvious damage occurred and spots like the one below were left ugly and exposed after the clean-up.  

February 2011

Now the visual is a little different as I took the opportunity to re-plant after the 'dry' season was over.  It's starting to take off now with the arrival of the rain in the last few weeks.

February 2012

Down the hill driveway, the trees suffered terribly with almost the entire canopy removed.  It's taken a while, but the whole area is looking so much better now.

February 2011

February 2012

So the garden is now doing quite nicely thank you and I've been out there adding some plants to the remaining bald spots.  Whilst it's not yet back to its former glory, at least now I'm happy enough to show photos of spots I've studiously avoided showing since the beginning of last year.  So, to end off, here's a slideshow of shots taken as I wandered around the place this weekend.  It's a homage to the restorative power of Mother Nature and time ... and summer rain!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day ... On This End-Of-Summer Day.

Summer is here with a vengeance now.  The days and nights are very very sultry and extra toasty warm!!  The air drips with moisture as the humidity levels climb and climb.  At the end of a long hot humid day, the colours in the evening sky go a long way to lifting the spirits.

The garden ard I are not at our gardening best at this time of the year.  We are both wilting and waning now, and finding it tough going.

There aren't all that many great displays of flowers at the moment.  But if you take a closer look in amongst all the foliage you will notice the odd bloom here and there.  All praise to those hardy plants that are still blooming away despite the insufferable heat and excruciatingly painful humidity.  They deserve to be highlighted.

There are loads of lovely flowers on the Tabebuia pallida, which is now almost totally recovered from the destruction it suffered last year.

My fabulous Fiddlewood or Citharexylum spinosum is still covered in sprays of tiny white blooms.

The climber, Clitoria ternata, which is a weed in my garden, has burst into bloom all over the spots I haven't as yet got to weed!  While I certainly love the blooms on this plant, it does take over very quickly when the rains arrive.

Thunbergia erecta 'Tru Blu' looks fantastic with its lovely purple flowers.

I need to add more Galphimia glauca around my garden.  I love the little splashes of yellow it provides.

My new Spathoglottis plicata has been blooming.  I'm looking forward to planting this under the repaired pergola and watching it spread.  More white in my garden, yahoo!

The Lipstick Hibiscus or Malvaviscus arboreus is bursting into bloom.

Strangely, I spotted just one golden raceme in the Cassia fistula tree.  I'm not sure why it's suddenly appeared as the blooming time for this tree finished quite a few weeks ago now.  Still, it's a pretty sight.

My Mussaenda philippica 'Aurore' has recovered from its drastic trim back.  I was worried for a little while there because it seemed to take ages to suddenly spring back into life.  But now it's throwing out new branches and sporting a few floppy flowerheads.

I nearly jumped for joy when I spotted this.  One of my Hibiscus schizopetalus climbers has actually flowered, even though it's still only a metre or so tall.  Both my Japanese Lanterns were cut almost back to ground level when the pergola was being repaired, and they're taken their own sweet time in coming back.  I was very pleased to see a bloom.

The Duranta repens down the driveway have also shown lots of new growth lately and a couple have started showing off their flower sprays once more.  I've missed their display in the year since Cyclone Yasi knocked most of these shrubs out of the ground.  It's wonderful to see these gorgeous flowers again.

There are flower sprays on the Crotons,

and the Dragon Wing Begonias are flowering again after getting a severe haircut.

My favourite Angelonias, the whites, are flowering.  I need to start adding lots more of these beauties to couple of  garden beds I have, now that I know just how well-suited they are to this climate and our local conditions.

The young Lagerstroemia indicas are still throwing out flower spikes.

The Salvia leucantha is blooming, but it's almost time for a trim.

The Scutellaria suffrutescens is another plant that I really should start adding to some of the bald spots in the garden beds.  It really does well here.

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

and Gesine for her Blogger Bloom Day meme.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Yahoo ... yes I'm back!

Well, that was a very interesting 36 hours!!!!

Google shut down my account while I was sleeping and I awoke to find I could no longer access my email, my blogs, my Google+ stream or my Picasa albums ... all of which were associated with my google account.  Apparently somebody out there was messing with my account ... what is wrong with these people?  

Anyway, it seems everything is back to normal ... well for now anyway.  I was suffering from some serious withdrawal symptoms for a while.  But I can once again participate in the online gardening world.  Happy days!

Apologies to those who've already read this post on my other blog.  I'm being a little bit lazy and just posting the exact same thing on both my blogs.
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