Friday, June 15, 2012

It's A Beginning Of Winter Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day ... June 2012

So it's time for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day once more.  Here in the northern tropics of Australia we're experiencing our usual glorious winter weather, as June is officially the first month of our very mild winter time.

Not only is it now winter time, but of course we're now well into our dry season for the year.  So far this month we've had 12 mms (1/2 an inch) , of rain which fell over the very first weekend (which I note happened exactly as it did last year when I wrote my June 2011 GBBD post).

Dry season this year really began back in April, when the rainfall total fell down dramatically from March's total of 556 mms (22 ins), which fell over 20 days;  to a total of 16 mms ( less than 1 inch), which fell over 2 days.  May's total was slightly higher than April's, with 66 mms (2 1/2 ins) of rain falling over 6 days.  But with only 12 mms falling so far this month and no predictions for more over the rest of the month, I think the dry season is now well underway.

Things are still fairly green around the place right now at the beginning of the dry, but in another month or two the effects of our dry season will be very evident with extensive browning off of the grass and the bushland as a lot of the trees drops leaves and the grasses die back.

There's only a few blooms to be seen in the various far-flung corners of the property.  Most of the flowering plants right now are close to the house, such as in the front garden beds, around the courtyard and out in the shadehouse.  Comparing blooms with last year's June GBBD post, the only real difference this year is less annuals, as I haven't potted up quite as many this year.

Well, let's start searching for the blooms on this mid-June early Winter's day.  I'll begin with the courtyard garden ...

I have a real soft spot for these Salvias.  These are Salvia 'Dusky Hues' and they just keep on performing beautifully.   They're putting on a pretty display once again.

There's only one of my Pelargoniums in bloom at the moment, Pelargonium 'Vogue Scarlet'.  The others have had a hard time coming back from the trials and tribulations of the wet season earlier in the year, but I'm slowly getting better at cosseting them through that hard start to the year.  I'm sure there will be many more Pellie blooms evident as we get closer to springtime.

So, while I am missing my favourite Pellie blooms, there's still plenty of other flowers to enjoy.  Next to the Pelargonium ... starting top right ... there's my dwarf Azalea, Zygocactus or Schlumbergera, Salvia, Pentas, another Zygocactus and, in the middle, my double white Impatiens walleriana.

There's also some lovely Petunias and Pansies out in the courtyard at the moment.  This is the best time of year for them here in my north-eastern corner of Oz.

My favourite Petunias out in the courtyard right now are definitely the big frilly doubles.   They are terrific blooms.

Another brilliant annual that's starting to put on a good show out there is this unusual Antirrhinum.

The courtyard is not quite as full of colour as it will be as in the coming winter months, but it's looking quite lovely as it is right now.

Out in the shadehouse ...

The hanging pots and baskets of Dragon Wing Begonias and Impatiens walleriana are providing lots of colour in amongst all that green foliage at the moment.  I really love all the reds and pinks in amongst that varying shades of green.

Elsewhere ...

There's loads of blooms on one of the two very, very tall Cadaghi Gums growing down beside the hill driveway next to the house.   Because the flowers tend to be located at the top of the tree, it's difficult to get close-up shots.

Next to the newly re-constructed pergola down beside the hill driveway, the Euphorbia leucocephala or Snowflake Bush, and the Hibiscus schizopetalus are blooming.

There are just a few blooms out in the driveway garden beds and the front tiered garden beds.  Starting at top left and going clockwise, there's Galphimia glauca, Russelia, Gerberas, Malvaviscus arboreus, Calliandras, the very last Plumeria blooms and the unusual flower heads of the Justicia brandegeeana and Pachystachys lutea.

Finally, I'm seeing flowers on the variegated Ixora  out in the front tiered garden beds.  They've been a long time coming.

I'm also seeing more blooms appearing on my Callistemon 'Pink Champagne'.  This young shrub seems to throw out new blooms every few weeks, which is not at all what I was expecting.  However, ever since it showed off its very first beautiful pink bottlebrush flower with the gold tips, it's just kept on blooming sporadically throughout the entire year.  I just can't wait until it matures fully and is covered in these stunning flowers.

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

and Gesine for here Blogger Bloom Day

I'm also joining these memes, using this blog and not my usual Bush Bernie's Garden blog.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Time To Wander Around.

It's been a while since I did my last video diary, so I thought it was about time I caught up with this aspect of my blog.  Right now it's our first Winter month and the beginning of our 'dry' season.  The potted plants out in both the courtyard and the shadehouse have had time to recover from the 'wet' and most are therefore looking a lot happier and healthier.

I took a stroll around the Courtyard Garden, and then continued on into the Shadehouse Garden today at around midday.  It was a glorious early Winter's day ... blue skies, fluffy white clouds and lots of bird song in the background.  It was the perfect opportunity to catch up and see what the state of play is out in the garden spaces located right beside my house.

So, here goes ... first of all you will need to scroll right down to the bottom of the page and stop the playlist music from playing ....  then get ready for the Aussie drawl! 

First I take a wander around my Courtyard Garden ....

... and now I wander on through my Shadehouse Garden.

So, that's it ... a warts-and-all look at what's going on in my favourite garden spaces.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

It's Award Time! ... and it's a double whammy!

I've had the extraordinary honour of having both my blogs nominated for awards.  It has been both surprising and delightful to be so mentioned.  But not only that, this particular blog of mine has now been recognised twice over.

Mary @  Muse (formerly known as Going Native) has just recently nominated me for the  Sunshine Award  which is a prize awarded to those bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others. 

The rules for this award are:
1.  Thank the person responsible for nominating me.
2.  Answer 10 questions.
3.  Nominate 5 other bloggers who inspire you, link their blogs and let them know they've been nominated.

I was also awarded the Leibster Award  back in February by the lovely Marisa @ Onslow and Miss B.  Liebster is German for ‘favourite’ and the Liebster Award is given to blogs with less than 200 followers. 

The rules for this award are:
1. Thanks the person responsible for giving the award.
2.  Pass it onto 5 favourite up and coming blogs with less than 200 followers.

So I'm combining both awards in this post, and as I said, it comes as a great surprise when these lovely events happen and I do want to thank both Marisa and Mary for the honour. 

I know both their blogs inspire me and are definite favourites of mine.  Mary's blog is a voyage of discovery.  Not only does she share her wonderful garden, but her posts often raise many questions and issues that need careful thought and fruitful action.  Marisa has a terrific blog that covers everything from her passion for travel, to her gorgeous garden, to the lovely area she lives in and the dogs that accompany her almost everywhere she goes.

Well ... let's get onto those 10 'Sunshine Award' questions now ... and the photos are all mine.

Favourite colour ... has always been purple since I was very young.  That hasn't changed!  You'll always find gorgeous purple blooms somewhere in my garden.

Favourite animal ... butterflies!  They take my breath away.  I could follow them around all day.  Actually I did that when I was a child.  There was a stand of Oleander shrubs out the front of our yard and I experienced the joy of watching butterflies emerge from their chrysalis and try out their new wings.

Favourite number ... 8.  That number has special significance for me.  It's the date my husband, my first grandchild, my first childhood best friend and myself were born.  It's also the date I first met my live-long love, my husband.

Favourite non-alcoholic drink ... tea!  Yes I'm unashamedly a tea drinker, can't stand coffee.  I absolutely love a cuppa in a fine china teacup poured from a teapot.  Strange to say this, but it's true ... there's nothing quite so refreshing at the end of a long hot summer's day.

Bushbernie At Drytropicsgarden

Facebook or Twitter ... Facebook.  I love it.  I have two Facebook pages.  One is my personal page where I keep in contact with friends and family near and far, and the other is my gardening persona's page ... BushBernie ... where I become part of a very wide world filled with fascinating gardeners.

My Passion ... not surprisingly I would have to say gardening.  I'm not into elements of garden design or landscaping.  I'm an eclectic gardener and my place shows it.  Unlike my father who had a passion for growing just Roses, I'm one of those gardeners who just loves growing plants ... lots and lots of different plants.

Getting or Giving Presents ... definitely giving.  I love trying to come up with something that will have meaning for the recipient and will be something they will treasure for a long time.  Of course with the grandchildren it's brilliant to see their reactions ... yes, Grandma the boat is fantastic, but look at what the sippa cup can do!!!!

Favourite pattern ... I found this an interesting question, but after much thought I think I would have to say that I am a big fan of the patterns in Nature.  The patterns on tree trunks, the patterns in sand dunes, the patterns on leaves and flowers, the patterns in clouds, the patterns on shells, the patterns in waves ... there is no end to the wonders of patterns found in Nature.

Favourite day of the week ... Sunday.  There is just something about a Sunday.  Waking up on a Sunday morning, knowing that a new week has begun, is so re-affirming and full of promise.  But what I especially love is knowing that even though the week has begun, the hectic pace has not, and it's a day to kick back, relax and rest.  Sunday is usually verandah day around here ... breakfast, morning tea and lunch are eaten out there and we seem to spend a little time just snoozing after that!!

Favourite flower ... now this is hard, very hard.  I am a flower nut.  I don't think there's a flower anywhere, any place that I would not love.  Well, maybe not the bloom of the Corpse Plant, the Titum Arun!!!!   Anyway, if push came to shove and my life depended on identifying a favourite flower, I would probably say ... the humble Daisy.  I do so love Daisies of all types. 

Righto, now to share some of the bloggers I find positively inspiring and are amongst my favourites.

Laurrie @ My Weeds Are Very Sorry is a gardener in Connecticut where she has a wonderful garden with a wild meadow and hillsides behind her suburban lot.  She shares her successes, her mistakes and the lessons she's learned on her gardening journey.  I'm in awe of her obvious talents when it comes to designing a garden.

Steve @ The Rainforest Garden is not only an inspiring gardener with a love of tropical plants, but is also a very creative soul.  He shares his love of gardening in his corner of Florida and shares his wonderful artistic talent, with a dash of humour and joie-de-vie!

An inspiring Aussie gardener is definitely Catmint @ Diary Of A Suburban Gardener who shares her beautiful garden filled with natives, her thoughts on environmental challenges and threats to wildlife, as well as her love of literature of all sorts.

I find Karen @ Wall Flower Studio Seeds  not only inspiring because I'm in awe of her great artistic talent, but also because of her commitment to natural, organic gardening and the growing of heirloom plants from seed, and her commitment to speaking out about environmental issues that affect her beloved country of Canada.  She is a multi-talented lady ... a horticulturist, a floral designer, a gardener and a professional artist.

Then there is David @  Tropical Texana. He is a fellow teacher, a Texan with a great sense of humour, a beautiful garden and some handsome looking chickens.  You never quite know what to expect from David's posts and that's what keeps me going back.  I really enjoy his idiosyncratic blogging style

There are of course many, many other wonderful bloggers who I find inspiring, but being limited to choosing a certain number makes it impossible to share all those bloggers I love to visit. 

So many of the bloggers that I would love to have included are highlighted on my sidebar titled 'Bloggers I Love To Visit'.

But for these awards, I have intentionally stuck to bloggers who don't have hundreds and hundreds of blog followers and are perhaps not as well known as many others.  I think the purpose of nominating bloggers for awards like these is surely to shine a light on those who don't have thousands of people visiting their blog every day or those who have not been previously nominated many, many times by other bloggers.

In closing I'd really like to say once more ...

to Mary and Marisa.

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