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.


  1. Never mind not having Spring annuals, you've got so much in bloom at the moment. My favourites are definitely the Powderpuff Lilly Pilly blooms, the native Frangipani flowers and those gorgeous climbing Bauhinia flowers. Unfortunately the seeds you sent of the Bauhinia didn't take off, but you did say propagating these from seeds is difficult.

  2. I'd say you managed to find some flowers, even though you don't engage in growing the more flowery kinds. It's funny how you plants look like the selections we grown here in Southern California. We have a neighbor down the street who wanted a quintessentially subtropical garden and planted a big row of the giant strelitzias, spaced as if they would get only waist-high. I should point them to your blog for a reality check...

  3. Wow so many of these I've grown in the past as houseplants here in Scotland. You've got a wonderful display of perennials especially that Frangipani and bottlebrush flowers.............who needs annuals when you got those! I love that Acalypha as groundcover - I used to grow mine in a hanging basket.

  4. aloha missy,

    love all the tropical colors, love the last one of the powderpuff, reminds me of calliandras...beautiful.

  5. So pretty, refreshing and tropical. You have some very pretty blooms for GBBD. Missy, I love that hibiscus. It is such a regal flower.

  6. Beautiful photos and flowers--much more tropical than I can grow! I absolutely love the the Powderpuff Lilly Pillys-so unusual :)

  7. So many gorgeous blooms there's no need for spring annuals in your garden.

  8. Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful! Enjoy Spring!!! xxx

  9. Who needs annuals when they have a garden as gorgeous as yours! So many flowers, so much beauty. I never knew bouganvilla had such nasty thorns, ouch, those look wicked, but oh....the flowers...

    The powderpuff lily, just everything! is stunning in your garden. Then I see the orange nasturtium which I have growing here and wonder why it looks so much happier in your garden. Well, that's because you are an amazing gardener!

  10. Wonderful to visit and see all the opposite season plants. Happy GBBD.

  11. It is refreshing to see your spring and exotic, to me, plants. Here, we have autumn and a very different garden. Happy GBBD!

  12. Spring is looking very good in your Australia garden. I'm so glad I stopped by to see it! Happy Bloom Day.

  13. What a beautiful series of photos. Come winter (I'm in the northeast United States, awaiting our first frost any day now - with 80-100 annual inches of snow soon to come) I'll be visiting your blog so I can dream of green. Happy GBBD.

  14. gosh, you found plenty of flowers - I enjoyed the tour around your garden. Like Bernie, those seeds you sent did not grow, but looking at your photo I realize I have a little bush that is quite similar. I wonder if I have it already - ??

  15. What exotic looking flowers you have in your garden, love them all!! And to start the blog with a photo of a strelitzia flower too! :)

  16. Lovely post...Nasturtiums really are great for their transient beauty

  17. I love that powder puff flower! Your acalypha is known as chenille plant here and it's an annual. My father-in-law calls it caterpillar plant because the fuzzy flowers remind him of caterpillars. I love it so much I grow it every summer. I finally have a little piece of Australia in my garden! Hooray!

  18. We almost have the same climatic conditions, except that yours are much colder and more heavenly than ours, haha. But we have common plants and flowers. I love those Strelitzia too but i just hate it when they become forest-like. This happens also with some of my Heliconia. I always cut and remove some suckers but still they get so prolifically vegetative. Is your conditions the same with Bernie? I love your poinsetia, which i don't see here.

  19. I didn't realise strelizias could grow that big. I love the bromeliad flower. The powderpuff lilly pilly is fantastic!

  20. Hi Missy,
    You have a lovely set of blooms. I so enjoy tropical gardens like yours. I'll keep my fingers crossed on those avocado blooms. Most avocado trees need to have two trees in order to hold fruit. Both male and female blooms are on the same tree, but open at different times. Cooler weather causes the two to overlap a bit and self-pollinate, so hopefully that will happen. (You can tell I've had the same problem on my avocado tree).
    David/ :-)

  21. We share many of the flowers. Your garden is full of lovely blooms now. The strelitza is really huge. What I have seen around here is only 1/3 of its size!

  22. Missy you have an absolute plethora of flowers! I love your garden... it just always looks so lush and bountiful - I suspect you of having a very green thumb!


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


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