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Bernieh
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Our Wet Season Was A No-Show.

Category: My Dry Tropics Garden | Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:45 pm

It's mid-Autumn in the land Downunder. In my part of Oz there are no huge seasonal differences, and certainly not much changes from our mid-summer to our mid-Autumn.


Bright blue sunny mid-Autumn sky ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

The weather conditions are exactly the same in one respect. Most days the temperature high is up around 30 - 33 deg C (86 - 92 F). However, there are some other small differences which make the weather slightly more comfortable. The night-time temps are a little lower, only by a couple of degrees, but much more comfortable so we don't need the air-con on at night any more. The humidity levels are lower too, which makes the daytime temps quite comfortable for most of the day, and the air-con only comes on briefly in the afternoons some days. At the moment, the humidity is down to 50%, which is terrific. All the windows and doors are open and there's a slight breeze wafting through the house.

Right now it's supposedly the tail-end of our wet season. During some years it can last from late November to late April ... sometimes! This wet season, however, has been pretty much a failure. We've had one of the driest and hottest wet seasons on record.


The yard is drying out and Agile Wallabies are having trouble finding food. ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

We had 185 mm of rain back in January, which wasn't too bad considering our average for January is around 273 mm. From then till now though, it's all been very, very disappointing.

Only 31.8 mm fell in February - our average is around 305 mm - and a teeny weeny 5.2 mm fell in March, when we usually average around 190 mm. So, our total rainfall for 2015 so far has reached 230 mm. Our average Jan-Apr total is around 836 mm. Not good! Not only were the rainfall totals very poor, but the falls were quite scattered and uneven, so not all parts of our city and surrounds received the benefit of even these meagre falls. My little corner of the area is one of those spots!

The result of this failed wet season is, of course, a garden that's looking pretty dismal with few blooms to share. Mid-summer to mid-Autumn is pretty much down time in my garden anyway, but it's been even more so this year.


One of the new garden beds established last year - needs the sprinkler. ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

Right now, the new garden beds don't have all that much colour, but thankfully the plants are still hanging in there with help from the garden sprinkler.


Overgrown rock garden at the end of our long driveway. ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

Other areas that don't get a lot of watering from me, look terribly limp and thirsty once the sun gets high in the sky!


Along one side of our long driveway, the sprinkler system has been turned on. ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

It's very early in the year for me to be watering the beds down beside our long driveway. That doesn't bode well. I think I'm going to have a hefty excess water bill this year.

Right now there are not many plants showing off loads and loads of blooms.


Jasminum ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

There are some flowers on the Jasminum that's climbing up the pergola out in the courtyard,


Jasminum ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

and the perfume that wafts across the courtyard into the kitchen is quite lovely.


Jasminum didymum subsp. racemosum ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

The native Jasminum, Jasminum didymum subsp. racemosum, is also blooming at present. It's growing in a distant spot along one of our fencelines, and climbing all over another of our native shrubs.

The perfume is quite delicate and you do have to get close to discern the scent. Fortunately, I was strolling around the place very early in the morning and stumbled across the climber in bloom. This is the first time I've noticed the whole climber covered in flowers. Obviously I need to stroll around that corner of the garden more often.

The two Jasmines are the most prolific bloomers at the moment. Apart from those two, there are only one or two blooms to be found on other plants scattered here and there around the place.

In the new garden beds located at the end of the driveway, you will find ...


Gerbera ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

my new Gerbera with a couple of blooms,


Alpinia NOID ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

one bloom on my Alpinia NOID,


Hibiscus NOID ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

one tiny little flower on my teeny-weeny Hibiscus NOID,


self-seeded Celosia ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

a couple of flower spikes on the self-seeded Celosia,


Hedychium coronarium ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

the last flower spray of the Hedychium coronarium,


Iris domestica ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

and one or two flowers on the clumps of Iris domestica,


Iris domestica seeds ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

which are turning to seed. You can see why its common name is Blackberry Lily.

In my shade house, there's not much in the way of blooms either, apart from ...


Dendrobium bigibbum ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

one bloom on my Dendrobium bigibbum bicolour,


Dragon Wing Begonia ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

and a few flower sprays on the Dragon Wing Begonias.

In the front garden beds ...


Mandevilla 'White Fantasy' ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

Mandevilla 'White Fantasy' is showing a couple of blooms.


Ixora ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )


Mussaenda philippica 'Bangkok Rose' ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

Ixora NOID is blooming and you'll see the last bracts and blooms of the Mussaenda philippica 'Bangkok Rose'.

In the courtyard garden ..


Impatiens walleriana ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

Impatiens walleriana are blooming,


Spathoglottis plicata ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

as is the potted Spathoglottis plicata.


Azalea ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

The potted Azalea has just begun its blooming cycle, so there are a few lovely fluffy pink flowers to be found.


Hibiscus schizopetalus ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

The Hibiscus schizopetalus throws out these fabulous flowers every week or so.


Torenia ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

I've also only just potted up some Torenias


Portulaca ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

and Portulacas to add a little extra brightness to the courtyard garden.


By the pond ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

I've also planted some little Petunia seedlings, Petunia 'Bonanza', which are doubles, my favourite annual. Soon I'll have a little more colour to cheer me up.

In the surrounding bushland the Acacias are beginning to bloom, but most of these are a long way from our house and verandah so we don't get to see them close up.


Acacia ( photo / image / picture from Bernieh's Garden )

There is one located on our property though, and it's throwing out more and more flower spikes every day.




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Comments

 

Henry Johnson wrote on Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:32 pm:


Beautiful pictures, Bernieh; thank you very much for sharing them vvith us..
Hank




Cayuga Morning wrote on Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:14 pm:


You have a lot in bloom Bernieh despite the drought. Beautiful flowers. The drought is concerning though, how low your rainfall has been for 3 months.




 

Bernieh wrote on Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:36 pm:


Thank you Henry. There are a few flowers here and there despite the dismal wet season.




 

Bernieh wrote on Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:37 pm:


Yes you're right, Cayuga Morning. Our dry season is about to begin and it goes on for about seven months. Without the usual wet season, my plants are going to do it really tough in the coming months.





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