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!

video


38 comments:

  1. Beautiful examples of the resilience of nature. The detailed photos really tell the story of how well your garden is recovering which is so nice to see.

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    1. It is definitely clear that so many of the trees and shrubs here are very resilient. It's been an amazing thing to watch. In the end I only lost two shrubs and one big old tree.

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  2. Oh, Bernie, that's fantastic! It's devastating at the time (literally and figuratively), but it's amazing how quickly plants bounce back up here. In this case, with your loving care.

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    1. Snail, I was rather worried for a while as you know we do have a long dry here, so vastly different to rainforest areas. But there's just been almost full recovery and it's just such a delight to see it.

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  3. It’s amazing how Mother Nature works her magic. What a difference a year makes looking at the photos I was remembering the clip of you walking through the garden just after Yatsi struck and hearing the sorrow in your voice as you named the plants that had been ripped apart. Now look at it gorgeous once again. Bush Bernie Mother Natures chief gardener!

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    1. Lol, Mother Nature's chief gardener ... you are good! Thanks for that. I guess it was really sorrow in my voice that morning when we went outside to find out how bad it was. I've never really experienced anything like it before, not to that degree of damage anyway. It is magical to see how the garden has finally bounced back.

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  4. Dear, dear Bernie ~ What a difference a year can make. I can feel your joy as the brokeness heals and fills out once again. It is all looking good. I loved the before and after pictures and have been inspired once again to keep plugging away in my own little space.

    FlowerLady

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    1. Flowerlady, it's certainly been a slow recovery but I'm pleased with how everything is going now. I'm a much happier person when wandering around the garden these days.

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  5. Hi Bernie, I can SO totally relate to your story of devastation. On September 13, 2008 my garden was hit by Hurricane Ike. What a horrible feeling to see your garden in shambles! My heart really goes out to you! It is amazing to see how far your garden has come in just one year! I know it will only get better as time goes on…Thanks for sharing your story!

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    1. Lucy, obviously we're kindred spirits when it comes to the effects of cyclones or hurricanes. Devastation is exactly the right word for it. I'm so looking forward to seeing the progress as this year goes on.

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  6. What a wonderful recovery. Although you and your garden may have been devastated at the time mother nature wove her magic. Beautiful. Sometimes we need to hep her along with some serious pruning.

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    1. Lancashire Rose, serious pruning is a great way to describe what the garden went through early last year, lol! Thankfully it doesn't seemed to have done any harm. Rather, everything looks a lot fresher somehow.

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  7. You've done a wonderful job, cooperating with mother nature to bring back your garden to its former glory, Bernie! Simply love your photos and slideshow that speak more than a thousand words.... two thumbs up for you! Another feature that fascinates me so is a couple of your magnificent trees with seemingly 'white-washed' trunks, they look so charming against the green foliage!

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    1. Jacqueline, I think Mother Nature did most of the work ... both in the devastation and in the re-generation. She does keep us busy! Those 'white washed' trunks are the trunks of a Eucalyptus tree that dominates the bushland around here. It's a fantastic looking tree and I just love it.

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  8. What an amazing transformation! Mother Nature is amazing. I really enjoyed seeing the differences side by side. I'm so glad your garden seemed to have recovered so well.

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    1. Holleygarden, the garden does look a whole lot better these days and I'm starting to enjoy it once again.

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  9. Ah the tropics can be wonderful as well as terrible. Everything grows so quickly.
    An old gardener told me once that most plants in the tropics benefit from a good hard chop back occasionally. Your garden has proved him right I suppose, but I hope you never have to go through it again.

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    1. Missy, it didn't really seem like a quick recovery to me, but I suppose it was in fact pretty fast given the dry season in between. My garden certainly had a very decent hard chop back, lol! Maybe it was a timely event, although I think I could have done without all the excitement.

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  10. How lovely to have the before and after photos - amazing! No wonder you have a smile on your dial now... Your garden is looking so lovely. Are those the cosmos seeds that I sent you? glad they are doing well.

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    1. Thanks Africanaussie, it's a very broad smile on my dial these days. Yes, those are the Cosmos seeds you sent me. Aren't the flowers fantastic. I just love the patch of colour.

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  11. Your garden is a wonderful example of the restorative power of nature and a lesson to us about healing and recovery. So glad everything has bounced back so quickly!

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    1. Thanks Debsgarden. It's a happier garden and gardener these days.

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  12. Hi Bernie, if anybody looks at it now, they will not know what happened, very healthy and looking great again. I still remember the Duranta erecta overflowing with blue flowers, which i totally envy as ours don't behave as profusely flowering like that. And I am also waiting for that jadevine to grow tall and long and bloom too. How does that area look like now? I think I already memorize your garden, haha! Lastly, i think this post will qualify for Word for Wednesday by Donna at GWGT.

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    1. Andrea, I've been sorely missing the wonderful flower display on all the Durantas. I've finally started seeing a couple of flower sprays in the last few weeks, but it will take some time before I see the profusion of blooms that I've been used to.

      The Jade vine is doing well, but growing slowly. We've only been receiving showers of rain lately and I think some decent rain might help it along more. Fingers crossed we get some heavy rain soon. The area under the pergola has now been planted out, and everything has settled in well. It will take time to flourish but I'm pleased with the result so far.

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  13. I am so happy for you Bernie. The progress is marvellous. There is so much more greens now. Your plants know that you care for them haha... I hope very soon you will see their beautiful blooms :-D

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    1. Thanks Stephanie. The re-growth and re-generation has been marvellous to see, but it will take a little longer for the flowering displays to begin once more ... especially on the Durantas. Still I'm happy with all the progress so far.

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  14. all the plants look so healthy and green! It's like nothing happen to them!

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    1. Malar, it's getting back to what it once was, but it's not quite there yet. Another year or so and I'm sure the place will be looking great.

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  15. A joyous post Bernie that almost makes the decimation feel right as if nature likes to begin again, rejuventated and strenghtened. Took time with the tour and appreciating the differences. Vid and music put a smile on my dial too :) (will always remember this expression)
    p.s. now my computer is no longer a stick-in-the-mud, have also been catching up with a host of your posts. Wish I'd seen more of your 12 days Christmas at the time.

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  16. Hi Bernie - I came across your blog about a year ago and really felt for you facing up to the damage and trying to be positive. I think you have done an amazing job and should be proud to share your photos, though of course you know your fellow garden bloggers wouldnt have judged your eyesores, just felt for you. Lets hope the coming year is better for you and you can build on this year's wonderful achievements.
    Helen x

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  17. I knew you would get a lot of growth back from those great roots in your garden. Other than storm damage it is a great idea to compare the garden year after year. I always tell new gardeners to take "before" photos as they will be amazed how far their garden has come - and gives a great boost to want to do more.

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  18. Hi Bernie
    Amazing 'after and later' pics, so to speak.
    Nature is wonderful even when it thrashes us, isn't it?
    Lovely garden.
    Jane (Gardener's Click)

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  19. I am stunned to see how much new growth you have in one years time !!!! You have such a wonderful garden !!!

    greetings from Belgium,

    rita

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  20. Wow...what a difference a year makes! And in each one there has been a definite improvement. I really enjoy the different ways people are interpreting the word, time.

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  21. What a wonderful difference! Time heals all.

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  22. what a difference a year makes... lovely!

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  23. Everything look so lovely now! It's like nothing ever happen last year!

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