Sunday, July 6, 2014

Flower Flaunt ... On A Mid-Winter's Friday.

I'm a little late in posting this.  Whilst I started the post on Thursday, unfortunately I spent most of Friday until today laid up with the flu and I just didn't get the chance to finish.  Anyhoo, here it is at last ... late but I'll still call it a Friday Flower Flaunt post.

July is the second of our very mild winter months.  Our winter solstice occurred on June 20 and while we're waiting for the days to get longer and longer, we're still waiting for our chilly tropical winter temps.


We did have a couple of rather cool and drizzly days around the middle of June ... the daytime temps dipped down to around 19 - 20 deg C and we didn't see the sun for at least three days.  But since then the usual clear blue-sky, pleasantly comfortable days have returned and our daytime temps have risen once again to the 25 - 26 deg C mark.


There is a little bit of dew dribble on our verandah hood in the mornings, which is clear indication that our night time temps have been dropping.  Lately the overnight temps have been dipping down to the mid-teens, but it doesn't mean we've pulled out loads of blankets or that we're rugged up to the eyeballs in winter woollies. 


Some signs that it's tropical winter time include the appearance of bright red berries on the Ardisia elliptica, also known as the Shoebutton Ardisia.  These berries can be seen during our winter and spring.


Another sign that it's winter is the show of coiled seed pods forming on our native Acacia mangium. 


Of course, the show on the Euphorbia leucocephla, or Snowflake Bush, is a dead giveaway that it's winter here.
 

My shrub is covered in bracts and tiny blooms at the moment and has been for weeks now.


The Dracaena godseffianas are blooming, and this is a common sight during the early part of our tropical wintertime.


The flower sprays can go unnoticed by those who are not in-the-know, but they are quite a pretty sight close up.

The potted Azalea, out on my courtyard, has always put on a great show during our winter. There used to be a matching pair out there for many years, but I've moved the other one into one of the new garden beds and it's only now starting to show blooms.  That means the two little shrubs are no longer in sync with their blooming.


The few potted plants I have left out in the courtyard are all putting on a lovely show at the moment.  They're all covered in flowers.


The plants that I've added to the larger of the new garden beds have all settled in nicely, and there are a few blooms scattered here and there.



Crossandra infundibuliformis flowers pretty much all year round here.


There's a little Salvia hidden at the back of the bed that's in bloom.


There's also a Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana' blooming,


and it's scented flowers are filling the air with a heady perfume.


In one of the other new garden beds the Salvia involucrata is blooming. 


I just love those hot pink flowers.


I've planted a Euphorbia 'Hip Hop' next to the Salvia.  It's planted in the high end of the garden bed, out of reach of the marauding hordes of Agile wallabies that just seem to love nibbling this plant to the ground.  Thankfully the Euphorbia is doing really well now that it's allowed to grow and flourish.


There are some Salvia splendens in another part of this garden bed, and they're flowering too. 

Elsewhere at my place,


there's a Bougainvillea blooming,


an old double Gerbera flowering,


the Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum' has flowerheads,


the Thunbergia erecta 'Tru Blu' has begun another blooming cycle for the year,


as has the Polygala,


while the Russelias, both red


and cream, continue to bloom.


There are always Hibiscus flowers to be found somewhere,


and I just love catching a glimpse of the wonderful colours on the back of the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis blooms.


Near the pergola, my variegated Bougainvilles has started blooming again,


and my Hibiscus schizopetalus continue to show their wonderful flowers.


I can spot the very last of the Mussaenda philippica 'Aurore' bracts and flowers at the back of the courtyard garden,


while the white Impatiens walleriana and


the Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' put on a show out on the courtyard pavers.


I have one potted Eucharis sitting out in the courtyard.  It began throwing out a flowerhead a couple of weeks ago,


and it's now almost fully open and the perfume is simply adorable.. There are more flowerheads on the way.


My two potted Schlumbergera, or Zygocactus plants, are coming back from a horrendous ordeal suffered earlier this year.  When they're not in bloom, I stash them in my shadehouse garden out of the way.  Unfortunately they had been knocked over by a mother and joey Agile wallaby who took up residence in there for about a month or so.  I hadn't noticed the poor plants until it looked like they were well and truly on their last legs.


 Thankfully they have both risen from the dead, and are now showing some blooms.

Out in the shadehouse garden,


another of my Dracaena fragrans 'Mussangeana' plants, also known as Happy Plants, is blooming.  The perfume occasionally wafts into the house in the early evening or morning when I open the door on that side of the house.

So that's a round-up of what's flowering at the moment.


I thought I'd just add this shot, as the wonderful pattern created by some rather hungry little critter caught my eye.

I'm joining Tootsie for her Fertilizer Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers meme



and I'm joining Today's Flowers

 

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Drizzly Drowsy Long Weekend ... Our Tropical Winter Has Begun.


Our three-day long weekend has seen a delightful couple of days with all-day, all-night drizzle and dreary skies.  It's been a pleasant break in our dry season, although for those who took off to camp or fish over this long weekend, it hasn't been very pleasant at all.  My poor husband left very, very early this morning to go fishing and had to return a few hours later because of the dangerously choppy conditions out on the water.


It's been quite blustery, with some wicked winds whipping through the foothills here this morning.  The daytime and night-time temps have dropped, so we've experienced our first little bit of cool tropical winter weather.  Yes, a maximum of only 20 deg C, and an overnight minimum of 18 deg C, is quite cool for us!  I had to pull out my winter dressing gown and throw a blanket on the bed! 


Rain during our long dry season is not unheard of, of course, but it's always such a pleasant surprise when we do get a few mills.  This weekend we've had almost non-stop light drizzle and although it hasn't really penetrated the earth here in my corner of the foothills, it's certainly refreshed the plants and refreshed the gardener.


I've been out pottering around here and there, enjoying the cool raindrops.  You see, here in the tropics we're used to rain feeling very warm.  Our heavy rain falls during our late summer and it tends to be warm on the skin.  Feeling cool rain splattering on your face is such a refreshing change.  It gives us a little idea of what it must be like in the northern hemisphere when the rain falls in the cooler months. 

While out in the garden doing a little weeding, tending and planting, I really noticed how fabulous some of the foliage plants are looking these days.  I always notice them more when the flowers are few and far between.  Anyway, I thought I'd end off by sharing some of the wonderful patterns, forms and colours on the plants that I do rather take for granted.


















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