Conditions during April?
On the very first day of this month we received heavy rainfall and the rain continued to fall for the rest of that week. We received about 86 mm (almost 4 ins) in those five days. So it looked like the 'wet' season was going to continue for another month. Then, finally, the skies cleared and we began to see the familiar bright sunny blue-sky Autumn days. There has not been a drop of rain since! It sure looks like our interminably long 'wet' is over for this year. The heavens dropped close to 1300 mm (50 ins) for the period January to April ... a record for us!
But now it's time to get ready for our 'dry'. This usually lasts until December ... although 2010 was an exception. Our 'dry' is characterized by low rainfall, slightly cooler temperatures and clear skies. Our daytime temperatures have dropped just below 30 deg C and the nights have been a little cooler, hovering in the low 20s. This is the start of our best time for gardening here.
So my garden this mid-Autumn is still very much in recovery mode. There will be some changes from my last mid-Autumn snapshot post.
Starting with the trees around the property .... what is flowering?
After Cyclone Yasi cut a sway through here a couple of months back, most of the trees had their leaves stripped away, their branches were torn off and they suffered considerable damage. It's taking time for them to recover.
One thing that is noticeably different to this time last year, is the lack of blooms on the Acacia trees growing in and around our property. Most of them were also stripped during the cyclone of course, and I can only find one in bloom out in the surrounding bushland at the moment.
... but none of the Acacias growing on our property are flowering. They are, however, covered in new leaf growth.
Neither of my Lagerstroemia speciosas are flowering as yet. The one that was significantly damaged by the cyclone is breaking out with new growth though.
Next, out in the Courtyard Garden ... what is in bloom?
While one Curcuma is starting to die down, another is starting to bloom again.
Here it is on the left of the photo ... Curcuma 'Voodoo Magic' is starting to open up. Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' is flowering again and there are blooms appearing on the Streptocarpus caulescens.
The Crossandra infundibuliformis, shown in the centre of the photo, looks lovely even when the petals on some of the flowers start to fade and start to turn pale orange.
There are a few splashes of white out in the courtyard right now ... Angelonia angustifolia, Tabernaemontana corymbosa 'Sweet Love', Begonia semperflorens and Wrightia antidysenterica 'Arctic Snow'.
There are no pots of annuals scattered around the courtyard yet, but as I now have a week's end-of-term break, they won't be far off!
Now, which shrubs around the property are flowering?
Cyclone Yasi damaged every single Duranta repens shrub on the property and usually quite a few of them are covered in flowers at this time of year. Right now they are all still stumps throwing up new bright green growth and it will be quite a while before we see any flowers.
So I had to look elsewhere for flowering shrubs.
Starting at the top: Ixora coccinea, Hibiscus schizopetalus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Ixora 'Raywards Pink' and, in the middle, Mussaenda philippica 'Aurore'. All such commonly used subjects for photos of my garden.
My ever reliable Pentas lanceolata are all in bloom.
Salvia madrensis spires are looking quite majestic.
Turnera subulata and Allamanda cathartica 'Sunee' are adding bright golden splashes in the garden.
There was an unexpected show of blooms on this shrub that has been growing in our driveway garden bed for years and years without any sign of flowers. Obviously it has enjoyed the removal of the overhanging tree canopy ... courtesy of Cyclone Yasi ... and the drenching from the monsoonal rain season.
This is Pseuderanthemum carruthersii syn. Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum.
Then I stumbled upon this ...
as I was strolling past my Phyllanthus myrtifolius or Water Fall Plant.
It's the first time I've ever noticed these lovely dangling red flowers on the Phyllanthus. Have they been there before and I've just walked by without noticing? Or is this the first time they've flowered as a result of the long extended heavy 'wet' season we've just had?
Well, whatever the explanation might be, these arching shrubs are putting on a display that’s only noticeable when you get up close and personal. I find these tiny flowers quite pretty and I’m hoping they’ll come again soon.
Here and there in the garden beds ...
There's Neomarica longifolia or the Yellow Walking Iris.
There's my old, old red Gerbera.
There's my new Iris domestica or Leopard lily.
It's lovely to see to Hibiscus schizopetalus hanging over the hillside driveway once again ...
... and to spot the flowers returning on my oldest Hibiscus rosa-sinensis as it recovers from the drastic post-cyclone trim back. I love the way the petals on these flowers start becoming spotty and streaky as they wilt and die.
Last of all, what is blooming in the Shadehouse Garden?
Our 'dry' season is now about to begin as our weather fines up and cools down slightly. This is the time of the year when I get out into the garden any spare moment I can find. Roll on Autumn's end, our Winter and then our early Spring.
I'm joining Carol's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day meme
Tootsie's Fertilizer / Flaunt Your Flowers Friday meme,
Today's Flowers meme.