Saturday, 15 October 2011

October's Flowers

It's Spring so there should be flowers in the garden. Much of our garden is trees, shrubs and foliage plants. I don't grow the traditional Spring annuals and I've had visitors ask me why I don't grow flowers - but if you wander around the garden there are quite a few making an appearance.

The giant Strelizia is impressive but as the plants get bigger many of the flowers are up high or wedged between stems.  These plants need a LOT of room. They grow to over 3m tall and have almost filled the corner behing our Balinese hut. We (well actually John, with me pointing and saying "That one") chopped out quite a few to thin them out a few months ago.
This is a longer shot just to show how tall they are. You can see they are much higher than the roof .

and if you look closely, there is a big blue and white flower up in the centre of the leaves.
This is it up a bit closer.

Bromeliad flowers are scattered throughout the garden. There are such a wide variety of broms; there always seems to be a few flowers throughout the warmer months. Of course, with many of the broms, their leaves are more colouful than their flowers. I bought a couple of pots of these variagated ones at an open garden last year with the intention of using them as a border along a pathway. They're still sitting in their pots near the pathway waiting patiently.

Poinsettia flower throughout Winter but the flowers on this large double seem to last longer than the singles. Most of our poinsettia have been cut back and we have cuttings waiting to root so we can give some to a friend.

They are easy to grow from cuttings. You just let them dry out a bit and put them in a free-draining mix until roots form. We cut the tops on an angle so we know which end is up.

 Acalypha reptans makes a great ground cover. It's growing in light shade here. It would probably flower more with more sun.
I love Bouganvilla flowers but the plants can quickly become rampant when planted in the ground, plus they have very nasty thorns. I keep them in pots and chop them back a couple of times a year to keep them under control. Because they are so hardy, they forgive me if they don't get watered so fit right in here.

There are dozens of colours available these days. They create splashes of colour around the garden.

I pruned most of the hibiscus back by between a third and half a few weeks ago - late Winter. They have lots of new growth and are just beginning to come back into flower.

Golden Candles has more flowers than leaves at present.

Geraniums or are they Pelagoniums. They grow in pots in the kichen garden area to add a bit of colour amongst the herbs.
Pentas fill a few empty spots around the garden with a splash of colour as well.

The Seaside Daisies just keep growing and spreading. They've even escaped the garden bed into the lawn, where they are mowed down but quickly shoot back to life. Since it seems to be so resilient, I think I'll dig some out and transplant it around other areas that could use groundcover.

Another ground cover I love is the common nastursum. They are great to use as a "green" manure to improve the soil (which is why I originally planted them). - but what I've discovered is - They self seed and come back each Winter / Spring when many of my other plants are dormant, then they die back in the really hot weather so get pulled out & added to the compost bin.... to return next year and start again.

The climbing bauhinia flowers to some extent all the time, but by the number of buds, it's getting ready to burst into full bloom.

A bit exciting - The avocado is starting to flower. It's still fairly young so I hope we get fruit this year. Last year tiny litle avocados formed and fell off before they matured.

As I went looking, I discovered quite a few other trees are currently flowering.

Native franjipani

The white cedar is in bloom.

The callistemon are loving the weather at the moment and the local birds are loving their bottlebrush flowers.

The Mongnolia Grandiflora has flowered for the first time and I almost missed it. There are quite a few buds yet to open so I'll be keeping a closer eye on it over the next couple of weeks.

Best of all - the Powderpuff Lilly Pillys Syzigium Wilsonii are flowering. They are a native rainforest tree. John propogated 12 trees from seed and they struggled for their first couple of years because of the drought. This is the first year they've flowered. The blooms are so large and heavy they are weighing the branches down. I had to hold it up to take its photo.

For more flowers visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens . She hosts Garden Bloggers Blooms Day on the 15th of each month.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Great Potato Harvest

We weren't sure whether the potatoes were ready to harvest or the recent rains had damaged the plants. It was only just on three months since I planted them. Either way, the plants were dying and they had to come out.
A bucket full came out of approximately a square meter of garden, so we were more than happy with the harvest. Some are small, but there are also plenty of really good-sized potatoes as well.
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Monday, 3 October 2011

Afternoon Tea for the Ladies

We didn't eat all the muffins I baked and they had gone a bit stale. Around here between the compost bins, worms, dog and chooks, not a lot gets thrown in the rubbish bin. The ladies appreciated the muffins.

Flo was in there first

She loved the berry topping

Dorrie and Ginger couldn't work out how to turn theirs over

Gladys to the rescue

Not often they share - usually one will run off with the prize and the others chase - but today they used their best afternoon tea manners.


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