I'm a little late in posting, but as I missed last month's GBBD I thought I would try and catch up this month. Downunder, August is the last month of our winter. Here in the tropical north we're starting to feel the weather warm up considerably, and that fierce sunshine can definitely be felt now in the middle of the day. The nights are warming up as well, and the doona has been pulled off the bed.
Our daytime temps have been hovering up around the late 20s ... 26 to 28 deg C (78 - 82 F) ... and the humidity levels have started climbing up around 70%. Skies have remained bright blue and fairly clear. We've had no rain for the month of August, as is usual for our long dry season.
Now, when I say our skies have been fairly clear, I should have said mostly clear, as it's burn-off time and bush fire time around our city. Smoke from controlled burn-offs, and smoke from uncontrolled bush fires in some of the bush areas around our city, have created some hazy days of late.
This is the time of the year when our Fire Brigade and Volunteer Fire Service members actually do set fires in various locations around our city as part of the annual fire-prevention measures. These burn-offs are designed to create a protective barrier around various residential suburbs, as during this dry and cooler time of the year, the risk of fire is very high because of the tinder-dry vegetation all over our region. There are also a couple of bush fires blazing in a couple of areas on the outskirts of our city.
Looking at this photo taken from my side yard this morning, you might be forgiven for thinking those are rain clouds hovering to the north, but no ... that's smoke from a bushfire that's raging in one the ranges near our outlying rural suburb. We're in no danger from this fire, as it's quite a long way off and will never make it to this location, but this is the time of the year when we have to vigilant in suburbs like mine.
Now onto what's blooming around my place.
As you enter the property and pass through the gates, you will see the Calliandras in bloom on either side.
These Powderpuff flowers are looking fabulous at the moment.
As you drive further down you might notice the last of the Tabebuia impetiginosa blooms high up amongst the tree tops on the left hand side.
The flowers are quite beautiful if you can get close enough to see.
Right towards the end of the driveway, you will then see one of the Bauhinia variegata tree covered in its stark white orchid-like flowers. It's a fabulous sight to come home to after a long day at work.
When you stop at the end of our long driveway, you might also notice that there are still some gorgeous pink bracts and little flowers on my dwarf Euphorbia pulcherrima in the tiered garden beds,
and as you wander down the concrete driveway that leads to the house, you will see the potted Eucharis grandiflora, that's sitting under the African Oil Palm next to the concrete driveway, blooming beautifully at the moment.
Upon stepping into the courtyard garden, you will see lots more colour. This space is a favourite of mine at this time of the year, because you forget about the dryness and dreariness of the surrounding dry-season landscape, and you can enjoy all the lovely blooms.
Some of my favourites right now are ...
the Salvia splendens hybrids
the Rosebud Pelargonium
Cleome 'Senorita Rosalita'
Petunia 'Bumble Bee'
Petunia 'Bonanza Series'
the dwarf Azalea
and the Torenias.
There are lots of insects buzzing around the various blooms in the courtyard at the moment, but the Salvias certainly seem to be a favourite right now.
After you've enjoyed a cuppa whilst sitting out in the courtyard and enjoying the bird song, you might then wander through the house and enter the shadehouse garden that runs down the entire western side of our house.
There's quite a bit of colour out there at the moment, mostly provided by the various pots and hanging pots/baskets of Impatiens walleriana and Dragon Wing Begonias.
There's also a couple of hanging pots of Streptocarpus caulescens in bloom,
and some rhizomatous Begonias flowering.
This space is another of my favourites at this time of year. I really enjoying just wandering around in the shadehouse doing the watering every couple of days before I head off to work in the morning.
There are so many little corners just filled with great colour and texture.
I'm joining Carol for her terrific Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day meme.