Friday, January 14, 2011

Flower Flaunt on Friday - it's mid-Summer on this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

After the terrible events that have unfolded here in my home state of Queensland recently, it's a pleasant diversion to be focussing on what's blooming in my garden. 

As many of you already know, most of the blooms in my garden are on potted plants.  The garden beds here are totally dominated by palms, the old-fashioned red-flowering Hibiscus, the Giant Sword Fern and Duranta repens.  Whilst these plants certainly offer a lot in the way of terrific foliage, they don't really provide all that much variety when it comes to blooms.

So I started adding potted plants to both the Courtyard and Shadehouse Gardens in my effort to add colour other than green.
Here we see some of the potted plants out in the courtyard just as the 'wet' season began in early December.

After an unseasonably wet Spring in late 2010, they weren't doing too badly.  But as the 'wet' continued and worsened, with many, many gloomy days and lots of heavy rain over December into early January, most of my potted plants got very very leggy as they searched all over for some sunlight.  Sunshine has definitely been at a premium here in north-east Oz during this Summer.

Not only did these plants get scraggly, they started looking a little starved, which of course they were.  It's futile trying to keep up the regular feeding schedule during a wet season as the heavy rain simply leaches all the goodness out and it's not all that much fun standing out in driving rain with a watering can!

Added to all this, they had been attacked by the usual summertime visitors ... greedy gnawing grasshoppers.  These plants had what I refer to as 'the wet season woes'!  So, I spent some time over the weekend giving most of these plants a drastic trimming back, hence the lack of blooms in both the courtyard and shadehouse.

As a result, I had to look very carefully to find blooms elsewhere.   Out I went with camera in hand, during some breaks in the showers of rain today, to see what I could find in some of the other spots around the property.

As expected, there were the usual year-round bloomers - Hibiscus, Russelia, Neomarica, Evolvulus, Ixoras, Pentas. Such stout sturdy plants.  Then there were the trusty wet season bloomers, the Mussaendas and Salvias.

One thoroughly unexpected find were the two tiny Azalea blooms ... can't explain it!  They're slightly confused obviously, thinking it's still Spring.

The Mandevilla which really suffered from something during last year ... still haven't worked out what ... has recovered well finally and showing off some flowers.

Then there is the magnificent Tricyrtis x Empress - the Empress Toad Lily.  I had almost forgotten about this beauty as the Giant Sword Fern has all but taken over in the Shadehouse Garden and the potted Empress was languishing in a corner.  After the big clean-up out in the shadehouse, she has come back to life!

Here's what's going on in my garden today ... I did include some of the other sights out in the garden today.  See how many pesky grasshoppers you can spot!






I'm joining in Tootsies' meme Fertilizer Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers today with this video clip!  Make sure you go on over to Tootsie's blog and have a look at what's blooming in other gardens around the world as well.







I'm participating in the Today's Flowers meme and encourage you to pop over the see some outstanding flowers.

I'm joining the Blooming Friday meme and ...


... I'm also joining in Carol's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - GBBD meme.  There will be many gardeners posting about just what's going on in their gardens right now in mid-January, so make sure your visit and find out!


42 comments:

  1. This is a breath of fresh air after the diluge. You always make such an interesting page Bernie with little add-ons, a real treat to be here. I even saw a bee in there. You know I never saw one bee in the NT, don't know how things get pollinated.
    Your palms and fern are such a familiar sight, but it never tires.

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  2. Okay Bernie...I am still a little worried about you all over there...but I am glad you linked in so I can see you are okay...I love the foliage..it is just so comforting and inviting to me...I think if I visited you...I would have to be set up on the shade garden with a tent or something...I love it! I am so glad you linked in...and with or without blooms in abundance...your gardens look very nice to us who are suffering from three feet of snow! lol
    I see you have a Mandevilla....any tips you can give me? mine is in the greenhouse still...but it is looking like fall in fast forward right now...does it like wet or dry? I am getting frustrated...as it seems not to be as happy as it was last winter in there...lol Teach ME!!!! Please?
    Thanks for linking in today...please stay safe and warm...and I hope things improve for everyone over there...very soon!

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  3. Even in such a bad summer, you have lots of colour. I absolutely adore the Tricyrtis x Empress. My garden is very sad at the moment not one flower all the bad weather has seen to that!:0/

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  4. Hope ypur family in Brisbane is OK and that you are not touched by the cyclones out at sea.

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  5. Marguerite ... how strange that you never saw bees in the N.T. Maybe it's too hot, lol! You've got me wondering just how plants are pollinated up there now.

    Glenda ... thanks for dropping by. Yes all the family are fine. My eldest and his family are back in their home and everything is as they left it ... well,except for the mess in the fridge. The electricity was off for a while. My youngest is fine too. Thanks goodness!

    As for Mandevillas ... mine suffered quite a bit last year as well. It really didn't like being trimmed back and re-potted and it's only just now coming back. I found out they don't like having their roots disturbed.

    I know they definitely don't like wet feet during Winter ... over-watering can be a problem. They're prone to root rot if they're in poorly drained soil. They will also sulk a little in Winter in a cold climate ... they like a warm microclimate eg. a well-lit north facing position. Hope that's helpful.

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  6. Hi Bernie, glad everything is ok over there.Your garden has lots of variety of flowers and plants. I love your lush looking fern and the beautiful Empress Toad Lily, I thought its an orchid.

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  7. Nice to see that even with the struggles you're enduring there is some colour.
    I saw a grasshopper in the azaelea photo - you grow them big down there!

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  8. Bernie, Your garden looks beautiful! I love your courtyard, your mandevilla, azaleas and toad lilies. It's winter where I live, and to see your beautiful garden is really great!
    Blessings, Beth

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  9. That Empress toad lily is beautiful- I am fascinated by it. Mandevilla has at last made an entrance into the nurseries here, though prohibitively expensive.

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  10. Bernie, I am glad you and your family are hanging in there, such a great deal of scary TV coverage here in the U.S. Your flowers are wonderful looking even with all of the rain.

    Eileen

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  11. I like the combination of palms and ferns. You have many interesting blooms. The toad lily is gorgeous! Love the courtyard shot with all the lush plants...very beautiful!

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  12. Beautiful plants and patterns

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  13. Despite the problems brought by grasshoppers and too much rain your garden still looks wonderful, very lush and thick. Hopefully those problems will end soon.

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  14. Hi Bernie: Your garden looks so cool and inviting and the plants just luscious. V

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  15. Oh, it´s like a jungle, your garden :)
    Tjingeling

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  16. Bernie, your garden look wonderful. I love the lush look with the palms and ferns. Take care and happy gardening.

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  17. Bernie....It is WONDERFUL hearing from you again and seeing shots of your beautiful plants and flowers. I hope you are beginning to return to your life as it was before the disaster. Thanks goodness you all are fine and your garden is thriving. Hugs...Genie

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  18. Bernie, I love visiting your blog to see some green instead of white. I think of you every time I see the flooding on TV. I can't imagine going through that. Hope you and your family are safe.

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  19. Your first image of palms and ferns is so refreshing to see amongst all the devastation I have seen via TV. I am so sorry for Queensland and the areas affected. Your potted plants are colorful and joyful.

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  20. Your garden is a feast for the eyes! Winter has finally arrived here and I can't say goodbye soon enough!

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  21. Beautiful Blooms! Happy blooming day!

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  22. I'm so glad you have had a break from the rain. Your garden is lovely and I love the tropical foilage. I am envious that your mandevilla is blooming - I haven't had much luck with growing them here as aphids seem to take over them.

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  23. I'm glad your family is okay.

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  24. Bernie, So sorry for all the suffering in your part of the world, and so glad you are okay. I am amazed at the variety of plants you grow in your containerized courtyard - that shot with the bee on the red salvia(?) is really nice.

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  25. I LOVE the toad lilies! Your ferns and palms are gorgeous.

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  26. Fantastic garden.
    So many beautiful trees and plants.

    Here we have alot of snow and rather cold.

    Have a nice weekend
    Gunilla

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  27. Bernie, All quite lovely when we are expecting our third round of snow in a week. I am thankful for the snow because it protects my plants from the cold temperatures. 'Empress' is one of my favorite toad-lilies--so fun to see it in Australia. Carolyn

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  28. The Toad Lily is very impressive. Flowers in pots are very useful as you can move them about when necessary and hide them away when they are past their best. Yours must be getting very tired of rain!
    Have a good weekend.

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  29. I am so glad you are safe from the terrible flooding. To walk into your garden on this miserable Texas bloom day was a breath of summer air.. and the music was a delight too. I t reminds me of several discs we have of Carl Doy piano music. Who is it and what is the piece?

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  30. Oh, your garden is so green and lush. I am going to have to become a migratory bird. I just love that mandevilla bloom.

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  31. Bernie! I didn't realize you had a blog too! What rock in the garden have I been under? I'm ashamed. Oh, what a lush garden and wonderful blog.

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  32. I am in awe of your garden. Just beautiful.

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  33. Lovely shots! So glad you're okay down there!
    Hope you're having a good weekend!

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  34. aloha,

    love your post today bernie, your garden is looking fantastic this summer (i think thats right for aussie land?)


    have a great weekend

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  35. Hello Bernie, loving your tropical garden ,these are are my favourtie plants ,with everything so luch and green and colourful flowers ,I can have a few tropical plants here in Sydney ,I haven't had too much luck with the white mandevillea but my red and pink ones do ok! I am your newest follower.
    ~Sharon~

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  36. Very beautiful garden with lovely and colorful blooms.

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  37. I do hope your weather is calming down now. Thought about all my Australian friends out there with all that bad weather. Your garden is absolutely grand. I loved all your photos and I loved that walkway brickwork too. Beautiful garden!

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  38. Summer there, Winter here. It's a joy to see your tropicals. I'm just far enough south to expect Duranta and Mandevilla to return come Spring.

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  39. Hi Bernie - I love container plants - they are like mini gardens and easier to control the environs of soil and light etc. Despite wet weather woes, you still have some lovely blooms and what terrific tryphid-like foliage. Video would not load to look for peskys but did spot a gorgeous blue bee on your salvia
    Laura

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  40. Que lugar lindo! Dá pra sonhar olhando para essas fotos e ouvindo essa música linda do seu blog!

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  41. aloha bernie,

    glad that things are okay in your home/garden - it looks spectacular, i love the entry with all those stately palms and arecas..beautiful

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  42. Bernie, your beautiful garden is a breath of fresh air as we endure this 'arctic', snowy winter. The cold and snow seem never ending, and we're in a particularly cold spell at the moment, with a frigid wind added just to rub it in.
    I loved seeing the kookas and wallaby mixed in with your lovely blooms and gorgeous foliage plants. Thank you!
    I hope by now your sunshine has returned to refresh those poor, sun-starved plants in your beautiful gardens.

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