Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Just Another Mosaic Monday.

The first month of our Autumn is almost over and here's a few things I've spotted around my place lately.

Raindrops on gum trees,

and all over flowers.

Foliage that pleases for hours and hours.

Kingfishers showing the blue on their wings.

These are a few of my autumnal things.

For great Mosaic Monday posts, visit Mary's blog Little Red House

Friday, March 25, 2011

Flower Flaunt on Friday ... as the end of our 'wet' season approaches.

I've had enough of the sweltering heat and the pelting rain now, thank you!  I want our typical dry, sunny blue-sky Autumn days.  The weather seems to have fallen into a regular pattern ... dreary start to the day, hours of sweltering heat and maybe, an hour of harsh intense sunshine, but usually the day is gloomy and overcast with the occasional heavy shower of rain, and then a battering bucketing downpour while we're sleeping.

Here's the view towards the ranges this morning.
There's just the hint of blue sky behind all those clouds, but don't be fooled into thinking it might be a lovely bright sunny blue-sky day.  No such luck!

I do admit that the rain and the break from fierce sunshine might be very helpful for the recovery of the many damaged shrubs and trees, but loads of sunshine would certainly mean the other shrubs and plants would be blooming far more profusely. 

So here are a few of the rather meagre offerings around the garden right now.  You'll see so many of the blooms are weighed down by raindrops!

Pseudomussaenda flava (Dwarf Yellow Mussaenda or White Wings)

Scutellaria suffrutescens (Pink Texas Skull Cap)

New Guinea Impatiens

 Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Roseflake'

Turnera ulmifolia  (Yellow Alder)

Turnera subulata (White Alder)

Acalypha wilkesiana

 Rex Begonias

Globba winitii

I did find a few surprises in my early morning jaunt.
There's a gorgeous bunch of flowers on my Rosebud Zonal Pelargonium finally.  Most of the Pellies have not done well during the last few months and are longing for a hot bright sunny day!

One of my Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' is showing blooms once more, although the other has given up and shrivelled away to nothing but a stick.

There's one lonely flower on my Allamanda blanchetii, which was cut back rather severely after cyclone Yasi's departure.

I have also noticed that my Serissa foetida (Snowflake shrub) is starting to show its' tiny white flowers again.

For many more Fertiliser / Flaunt Your Flowers Friday posts, visit Tootsie's meme over at Tootsie Time

I'm also joining the Today's Flowers meme and would recommend a visit ... go on over to Today's Flowers

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mosaic Monday ... Feathers, Flowers, Sunshine and Blue Skies Sometimes.

Autumn is here, 'wet' season is almost over and finally we're seeing blue skies and sunshine hanging around a little bit longer every day.  My garden and I are coming out of the summer doldrums.

It makes a glorious change to wake up and spot patches of blue in the early morning sky  ...

... and then to see blue as the day's work draws to an end.

There may be some grey in between, but at least there's blue!

There seems to be more life around the garden too.  The dragonflies hover ...

... and the birds re-appear.

There are flowers on the Palm trees ...

... and flowers on the Crotons.

Even these flowers, which usually go unnoticed, are cheering me up no end as I walk about this garden in recovery.  It's about time I appreciated these mostly unappreciated blooms .  They are a great sight as I wander amongst the damaged plants at the moment.

For so many more great mosaic, go and visit Mary's meme  Mosaic Monday

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's an Early Autumn Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day Downunder.

Isn't she lovely?  Isn't she wonderful?  Oh dear, now I'm waxing on using Stevie's lyrics!  Apologies, but this solitary beauty appeared just this morning ... just in time for my stroll around the garden while the rain clouds hovered in preparation for the daily dose of liquid sunshine.  I couldn't have been happier to see this gorgeous thing ... it's a pass-along so I'm not entirely sure what it is.  (Thank you Ami, after seeing your comment below, I did some research and you're right ... this is Iris domestica, previously known as Belamcanda chinensis, and commonly known as Leopard Lily).  
Anyway, it was a joy to behold ... a promise of more beauty to come!

Here in the southern hemisphere, March is the first month of Autumn ... and in my corner of north-eastern Australia, Autumn is really the start of a brand new gardening year.

I say good riddance to the hot, sultry, steamy Summer and soon I'll be able to bid farewell to the horribly long, drenching 'wet' season with its' accompanying nasty, damaging cyclone season. 

So much of my garden is in recovery mode and it's not a pretty sight.  The whole place is looking totally sodden and water-logged ... there's no chance of mowing.

Everywhere you look there's stumps (can you see the Coconut Palm tree stump through the stairway railings?) where there used to be tall shrubs or trees.  There are rather ugly nastily trimmed trees, thanks to the force of cyclonic winds, and broken dying branches up high in trees where our ladder just won't reach.   These are sights I don't want to share.

But, on closer inspection of my potted plants and the very few undisturbed corners of garden beds, there are little splashes of colour here and there.

Scattered throughout the Courtyard, Shadehouse and Front Garden are some blooms ... some are hidden by hideously overgrown patches of ferns ... some have just started to appear again after experiencing a very, very tough summer ... and some have been in the background largely unnoticed until they're suddenly now they're one of the few things that are actually flowering!

My ever-tough Pentas and Hibiscus fit that category, along with the tiny flowering Cuphea plants that are hidden in under so many of the shrubs.

So, let's see what's out there if you look really, really closely!
My beautiful Viola hederacea and Azalea which are both adding joy to my day right now!  Sorry, I've gone a bit overboard with the photos of both, but I'm just so pleased to have these in flower out in the rather dreary Courtyard Garden.

This amazing Spathoglottis plicata or Ground Orchid has shown its' first ever little spray of flowers and they've been showing off for ages now ... they've got my tick of approval.

Look!  I spotted just a couple of lovely dainty Pink Trumpet flowers on one of my decimated Tabebuias.  It's almost like the tree is saying it will never be beaten!  Such a welcome sight!

I also spotted a raceme of golden yellow flowers on my rather battered Cassia fistula ... the lonely spray was way up high and almost hidden at the back of the tree, but my eagle eyes found it!

To share what else I found in bloom around my place, I have created a little slideshow.  There's music accompanying the show, so please go over to the sidebar on the right and turn off the Playlist ... the stop button is at the bottom of the circle shape on the virtual ipod, sorry it's hard to see!

I'll end off by showing some of the fabulous foliage plants adding a touch of interest to this early Autumn garden that's slowly getting back on its' feet, so to speak!  These fabulous plants have weathered the storms, the deluge and even the cyclones of the past Summer, and deserve their place in the sun!

I'm joining Mary's Mosaic Monday  meme,

and Pam's Foliage Follow-Up  meme with my post today.

Please do go and visit these sites to see some fabulous photos.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Flower Flaunt on Friday ... the beginning of Autumn Downunder.

Wow this week seems to have rolled on by pretty darn quickly ... and it's time to flaunt flowers again.  My post-cyclone garden is starting to show more signs of recovery as the rain keeps on a-fallin!  We're had around 270mm or 10 inches of rain already this month and there's more forecast.  Our 'wet' season is not quite over yet.

I took a quick walk around the place in between showers to see what I could find. 

I was immediately greeted by the sight of a gorgeous dragonfly ... which really brightened my day.  I haven't seen any for quite some time so it was great to see the return of at least one!

Something that really caught my eye was the appearance of a Poet's Jasmine flower.  I have so missed the blooms on this creeper and it was a joy to finally spot one!
My jasmine covered pergola has been markedly devoid of any flowers during the Summer just past.  It's usually covered in blooms sending a beautiful perfume wafting through the house on a Summer's evening, but it obviously just didn't like the unseasonably wet weather we had last year ... and hadn't flowered at all during the summer months.
Finally I got to see the faint pink tinge of a new bud and the lovely white petals of the flower.
Another gorgeous white bloom that made an appearance was my Jacobinia or Justicia carnea 'Alba'.
Continuing on with the white theme, my Mussaenda philippica 'Aurore' was badly bruised by Cyclone Yasi but not beaten.  Many of its' leaves were stripped off in the cyclonic winds and the bracts and flowers that were there before Yasi were simply ripped off during the cyclone.  Well the bracts have made a re-appearance and the tiny yellow flowers will not be far behind.

As I wandered around the garden today I found quite a few flowers to gladden my heart and bring a smile to my face.  There's still only a spray or two here and there, but it's been an absolute delight to find them.

Our native Viola hederacea
Cleome spinosa hybrid 'Senorita Rosalita'
Ixora 'Raywards Pink'

Pentas lanceolata  ... I love my Pentas!
Allamanda cathartica
Pseudomussaenda flava
Salvia splendens
Russelia juncea, with Scutellaria suffrutescens in the background

Hibiscus schizopetalus
Celosia argentea or Cockscomb

The first bloom on my Justicia brandegeeana or Shrimp Plant continues to open.

The Azaleas have also started making an appearance ... they usually don't show their beautiful faces until late Autumn.
It was great to see the Agile Wallabies making a comeback appearance around the place.  Can you see this little one trying so hard to be invisible?

For more fabulous Fertiliser / Flaunt Your Flowers Friday posts, go and visit Tootsie at Tootsie Time

I'm also joining in the Today's Flowers meme and would recommend a visit to see some beautiful blooms.

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