Friday, 15 July 2011

The Mid-winter Garden

Although it may not look like Winter here to those who experience snow, it does to me. There are very few flowers around the garden at the moment so it hardly seems right to be joining Garden Blogger Bloom Day this month - but it's the 15th , and it's a wonderful way to keep a record of the changing seasons, plus I don't want to miss seeing everyone else's blooms.

For the last few days, the morning temperatures here have been sub-zero (-2C) which means frost. Our tropical plants are like me and can't stand the cold. Quite a few that are exposed to the elements have suffered frost-burn. The dead brown leaves will need to be cut back once all chance of frost is past - in a month or so.
Amidst the cold there was a wonderfully warm moment when I received in the mail a gift of yellow cosmos seeds from my blogging friend Gillian - African-Aussie  from Far North Queensland. I can't wait to sow these seeds and see the results. I hope they will attract butterfies for me too, but I can't expect to attract the same range of beautiful butterlies that visit her garden.

There are a few bright spots.
I have tried throughout the garden to create microclimates to protect the more sensitive plants and in some parts it's beginning to have a positive effect.

My favourite hibiscus is close to our cement pavers which are in full sun throughout the day & hold some heat overnight plus it is protected overhead by palms, so it hasn't realised that it's the middle of Winter and is still flowering.

and not just one lonely flower.

Another hibiscus close to the pool is also flowering. Again, it has palms protecting it.

The good old faithful climbing bauhinia STILL has some flowers. This makes it official. It flowers all year round. What a plant! ...and the only care it gets is to be cut back when it spreads too far.

It has seed pods. I've never tried to grow it from seed but I think it may be worth a try. If anyone (from Australia) would like some seed to try please email me at with your address and I can post you some pods. I can't guarantee results but we can try.

There's a few flowers in the vegie patch. They have a special charm. They turn into yummy food.
like the snap peas
The strawberries are flowering at the moment as well.
I love to see their flowers because I know what comes next.

It was too cold for me this morning to wander around the entire garden so I may have missed the odd bloom.

I noticed the strelizias were still flowering although on closer inspection some of the flowers were looking a bit singed by the frost. They are tough and don't seem to mind the odd cold spell.

The driveway hedge is making progress dispite the weather, but if you look closely at the new growth, there are a few frost bitten leaves. I have no doubt, they'll recover and by Summer it will look like a hedge again.

To see many more gardens (much more interesting ones with lots of blooms) visit May Dreams Gardens for Garden Blogger Bloom Day.


  1. I think with the beauties on display in this post, you can definitely join in GBBD. What a gorgeous Hibiscus that maroon and white one is! Now that's a true Queenslander with colours like that.

    I am definitely going to take you up on your offer of those climbing Bauhinia seeds. I've always admired it and I've been on the lookout for it up here ever since I first spotted it on your blog. Alas, I've had no success at all, so this is a wonderful opportunity I just can't miss. Thanks so much for this gift.

    I also received my seeds from Gillian and I'll be planting them this weekend. I can't wait to see them take off.

  2. Glad your seeds arrived, and yes I will take you up on your offer - something that flowers all year round seems like a definite keeper. It looks like it will grow here, and I have just the spot for it. We have to move our passionfruit vines after a couple of years as they get a virus, so I have an empty fence.

  3. Even in winter you've got plants in bloom that would definitely need a heated greenhouse in the UK. It must be encouraging to go out on your coldest days and still see colour and interest, knowing that there is lots more to come.

  4. I'm so glad to see your hedge springing back!! Impressed you have hibiscus in the depths of winter too!

  5. Missy,
    Happy to make your acquaintance! Thank you for your kind visit & comment at WMG.

    What fun to receive seeds in the winter months! and from a blogging friend too.

    And a wonderful hibiscus! Glad that you joined in to share your winter beauty.


  6. I can see why that hibiscus is your favorite... I don't think I've ever seen a more impressive one! Larry

  7. Hi Missy, Hi Ros,
    You've made an immediate friend this day. I've been looking for a gardener like you. You like compost. I like compost. We both have tropical gardens, chickens, palm trees, bromeliads, ferns (though, sadly I have no room for a fernery) and a love for blogging about it all.
    Hoot says 'Hi' and happy GBBD from Tropical Texana. We've put you on our blog favorites so that we can check in and see what's happening.
    As for that climbing bauhinia...oh my! What a treasure to have something so wonderful bloom every month.
    Oh, and the most amazing thing we have in common...we both HATE frost and cold and have a brush with it every now and then.
    I think Bernie (another blog friend) is spared such battles.

  8. Frost? Brisbane? Frost in Brisbane?????

  9. Those are all tropical beauties, I am amazed they can withstand your negative temperatures. That color for a hibiscus is lovely.

  10. Hi Mac. Never gets as cold as Canberra here but we can always expect a few days of frost each year in the western suburbs.

  11. Hi,

    Beautiful photos - oh how I wish I could still have peas growing in the middle of winter! haha.

  12. Thank you for visiting my upstate NY, United States, blog. I am going to enjoy reading the blog of someone with such different growing conditions. Here, as you know, 'below zero' means a whole other thing. And we do go below zero almost every winter here, besides getting some 80 or more inches of snow. (Sorry, too tired to do a metric conversion).

  13. Hi Missy, While you mind the cold, I mind the heat. Here it is humid and in the mid-thirties. I am just wilted!
    Isn't it nice to have received seeds in the mail? Bloggers are the best! Your red and white hibiscus is stunning. Stay warm!

  14. I can't believe your garden is still so colorful in the winter! I love cosmos--This year I didn't plant any, but I was pleased that some appeared in the garden from last year's planting!

  15. Oh, winter in your garden is so colorful. Just as you dislike the cold, I dislike the heat...maybe it's just all in what a person is accustomed to? I just don't know how you can work in the garden though, when the heat reaches the upper 90's, it just about does me in.

    The hibiscus is so beautiful and the hedge is making a strong comeback, too which is wonderful to see. I love the way it curves so nicely.

  16. Those blooms are plentiful enough to brighten up ones mood on a chilly winter's day :)

  17. I cant believe you have such flowers in the middle of winter! Thanks for visiting.

  18. Hi Missy, i didn't know you get negatives in those areas. Is it just a change in climate or normal? I envy the way you said you changed the microclimate of some areas to simulate a subtropical one! haha. They seem to like it. I didn't know there is a climbing bauhinia, just the tree. And you have lots of Strelitzia, looking already like a hedge. But of course Australian loans are always wide! Lovely garden.

  19. It's been so insanely hot here, I'd like a few minutes of your chill! Those hibiscus are really pretty. I've never seen any like that before. I wish we could grow bauhinia here. Every picture you've posted of them has been beautiful!!

  20. Your hibiscus blooms are so pretty. How could you have even considered not joining GBBD?


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