Monday, 15 August 2011

August - much to do in the garden

Winter is coming to an end and while the garden is probably at its least interesting and least attractive, it is one of the busiest times in Missy’s Garden. Mornings are still quite cool (around 1-4 C) but during the day warms up to over 20 degrees Celcius.

In protected areas the cordylines and crotons produce a bright (some may say gaudy) display of colour, but flowers are in short supply.

August is a time for working in the garden and preparing for Spring, rather than enjoying its beauty. Over Winter, many of the tropical plants such as the cannas, gingers and heliconias die back, are cut down to ground level and covered with a blanket of mulch. Any that weren’t cut back were killed by frost and need to be removed. The hibiscus, alamandas and acalyphas need pruning to keep them compact.

Now the threat of frost has virtually passed, mass pruning begins. The mulcher works over-time and the compost bins overflow but the garden looks quite bedraggled with it’s bare spots, frost burnt foliage and short-back-and-sides haircut.

The palm trees lose a lot of fronds at this time of year and they don’t go through our mulcher very well so trips to the green-waste area of the local rubbish tip become necessary. In total, we have about 60 - 70 palms so you can imagine how many dead fronds need to be disposed of.

Rainfall is always low here during Winter and Spring, so as the daytime temperatures increase, watering becomes a priority. We are lucky to have 3 large water tanks and in some areas we can connect the hose to a sprinkler, but hose holding is still necessary for a few hours a week.

We spent a day in the fern house last weekend removing some of the ferns that grow too vigorously and choke their more fragile neighbours and soaking the hanging baskets in a mix of seaweed solution and Charlie Carp (fish emulsion). It really gives them a boost.

At this time of the year it is a case of too much to do and too little time. Every year I say I should take holidays at this time of year to work in the garden and every year I use up my holidays and don’t have enough to spare.
I haven't taken many photos lately but don't I want to miss Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - and I did find a couple of blooms. 

The ixoras have new buds. Do they count?

Found the white calliandra when I was searching for something in bloom  in the front yard.
Then I looked up ...
The strelizia are still blooming and the Sheenas Gold hedge is coming along well, but the grass is dry.
Don't think it will stay dry with those clouds...

 I think we will definitely get some rain out of these.

..........and that's as far as I got with searching for what's in bloom.....down it came.

What was I saying about not having much rain this time of year?

If you want to see lots of beautiful blooms visit May Dreams Garden where garden bloggers bloom day is held on the 15th of each month.


  1. Love the ferns! I think we shouldn't take "bloom" to literally (I've seen pictures of flowers on potholders and such on some winter posts). I think you garden still looks lovely, and just the green is soothing to the eyes.

  2. Crotons and Cordylines .... gaudy!! Never, I say. What would our gardens be like without them? They add such great colour. I think I need more ferns in baskets. I have heaps of the Giant Sword Fern growing everywhere in shady spots, but I would love some of the prettier ferns. I've been looking everywhere for a white Calliandra. No luck in the nurseries, but I did spot an ugly uncared-for one in a neighbour's yard. If I ... uumm ... accidentally fall into it and break off a bit, do you know if it would strike easily?

  3. Ah, to have a winter garden that looks like yours! How beautiful everything is and your expert touch with the pruning shears is in evidence. Your swimming pool is simply amazing, with the gorgeous stonework and the crystal clear water. One thing we have in common is the fact that Spring has got to be the busiest season of all for a gardener. Everything is growing and needing attention all at once; it can be overwhelming, but also exciting. I'm looking forward to seeing your garden in every season!

  4. you have such a gorgeous winter garden! mine is all sticks. a few blossoms here and there. but mainly sticks LOL! you really have one of the most beautiful backyards...actually I can't even call it a backyard. It's definitely A Garden!

  5. Oh I do love your swimming pool! Your garden looks just fabulous, so green and lush - how do you do it??

  6. You're in that period now when you start to get busy clearing up from winter and preparing for spring. But how exciting it must be knowing that spring is just around the corner!

    The garden is still looking great with all those lovely foliage and colours from the cordyline. Busy, busy days ahead but I'm sure you'll still get all things you want done in time :)

  7. Winter wonderland means something totally different in your neck of the woods. Beautiful GBBD showing. I never heard of an oxoras before. It is a pretty, but odd shaped flower.

  8. A lovely showing - I like the bed with the Stelizias and Sheena's hedge! Lovely!
    Happy GBBD :)

  9. Love your pool/pond! Your blooms show so much character and beauty...happy GBBD!

  10. Hi Missy you have a beautiful and wide garden, that's where you get all those wonderful flowers for your collages! Somehow, i love also wide angle garden shots. Those plants you have are also thriving in our hot climate 24-38C, can you thrive in that temps? haha. I love most specifically that variegated is that Agave in that first photo?

  11. I also make use of foliage for colour in my tropical garden. Glad it rained.

  12. Looking a lot better than my plot does in midwinter! 20C is a warm summer's day with us. Spring should be a delight that I would bet you're looking forward to.

  13. I wish I had taken more pictures of the waterfall at the gardens we toured, too...I could have taken a close-up of the stonework. Our waterfall needs major work here, and we can use the ideas, too!

  14. Hi Missy,
    I wrote you a nice long note just now and blogger erased it! Ugh.
    I'll just say I loved your garden tour and will be back next month to see your GBBD! :-) David/ Tropical Texana/Houston

  15. Beautiful plants. I love your garden spaces! Chris Las Aventuras

  16. 60-70 palms? WOW!! I also give my plants fish emulsion fertilizer and they love it. The colors in the first picture are really festive. Here's hoping you get more rain so you can water less. :o)

  17. Hi Missy - love the gunmetal sky brewing in the background.


I would love to know what you think and appreciate your comments.


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