Monday, 10 September 2012

Spring has definitely sprung

The weather is warming up and the garden is full of the signs of spring.

The white wisteria is coming into flower. It only flowers for a short time and for most of the year is a tangle of dead looking stems trailing over the pergola, but when it flowers I know that Winter is over and I love it for that.

Bromeliads are blooming.

There isn't actually an official time for bromeliads to bloom. Different types send out flowers at different times of the year. They do however, seem to get a burst on once the weather starts to warm up. There are dozens needing dividing and repotting at the moment. I don't like to remove the pups when it's cold because they have less chance of surviving, but I can see a couple of weekends work coming up.
Plants that have lost their leaves have new shoots. Those that were dormant are sending up shoots. There is so much work to do in the garden at the moment to get ready for the peak growing season. It hasn't rained for weeks and now that we are getting days over 30C everything needs regular watering. They all need to be fed as well, and mulched so that the ground doesn't dry out too quickly.

The Hawaiian hibiscus plants are brightening up as well.

Most tropical plants suffer through the colder months. If they don't go fully dormant they just sit and sulk. We have a few plants with frost damage but this year was quite mild for frosts so most plants have survived. As I'm packing away my jumpers and blankets and enjoying the warm weather, they are coming to life again as well.

It's a different matter in the vegie garden. The winter vegies are just about finished.
Winter is my peak season for growing a wide range of vegetables and as soon as the weather heats up they start to suffer.  It can happen quite quickly over a few days. Everything starts to wilt or go to seed - the signal that the beds need to be cleared to plant the summer crops. We've harvested the potatoes. The lettuce and broccoli are finished. The chooks will have a feast with the last of the silverbeet (what they didn't already steal). Time to think about what to plant next. Sweet corn, eggplant, beetroot and carrots, capsicum and chillies, beans, and some melons maybe.
The coriander is going to seed. I'll keep some seeds for cooking and plant some in a more shady area over summer. I can (sort of) grow it all year round if I plant it in the sun in winter and in the shade in summer.
My English spinach is going to seed. I may get one more harvest before it goes to the compost bins.

The chives and spring onions have got into the act as well. I'll be planting more of these. They'll grow all year but they do go to seed more quickly when it's warm.

Another sure sign of warmer weather - if I don't pick the zucchinis quick enough they turn into monsters seemingly over night.

The snow peas have already been removed and the snap peas need to be as well. There are still lots of peas but the vines are spent. I'm not sure what I'll put in their place. Any ideas?

Even Missy has spring fever. As the weather warms up her hair needs regular trimming. Silkie Terriers have hair that grows like human hair. Show dogs have long silky locks down almost to the ground. (hence the name) Missy is NOT a show dog.  In Winter we let her hair grow to keep her warm but she needs it kept short during summer.

There's only two weeks between a good and a bad haircut, so they say. It's lucky she's not a vain dog.


  1. Here I was still enjoying the cooler weather - it has not got humid here yet, so as far as I am concerned summer is not here yet.... I always try and eek out my veggies at this time of year, and most things are still going strong. Our tomatoes seemed to be very late this year - we are only now starting to harvest them. No I am quite happy with the weather the way it is..... Your white wisteria is beautiful - I am suddenly loving white flowers. My neighbor has a white plumbago that I keep meaning to get a slip from.

  2. I really like that red hibiscus, we get away with growing those plants here, Ben gets a good haircut in the summer months, its just too hot for him with all his fur, they do look a bit funny but i think they feel better. Have a nice day.

  3. Spring, such a lovely season :) Great shots and exciting times ahead!

  4. That white Wisteria is just spectacular. Your Hibiscus are wonderful too. Of course up here in the north we don't have to worry about frosts, but our winter has just been fabulous. Temps are heating up now though, and we're in our dry season so it hasn't rained for many, many weeks now. It sounds like you've had it very dry down there as well.

  5. So happy that your plants are springing back to life in your garden.
    I love love love that white wisteria, as well as the red hibiscus.
    My little Buffy (rest her soul) was the one that I had to keep trimmed all the time, her hair grew in leaps and bounds. She had an endearing habit of peeking out from behind the hair that grew over her eyes....sometimes I would have to go right up to her to see if she was awake or not.....she loved tricking me this way.
    Missy knows that you mean well with that haircut.

  6. Your garden is looking great, Ros. I don't like being away from mine in early Spring. There is too much going on!

  7. It sounds like you and I have very similar climates. We have frosty fears in winter, but still plant tropicals since they handle the heat so well. And we have blistering, rain-less heat in spring...our drought time. Anyway, love those hibiscus! They are beautiful. I had a cocker spaniel many years ago and had to do the same thing...just way too hot for Florida.

  8. I think you should try cantaloupes again! Mine are in a moist spot with very rich soil thanks to all the compost I added. I think that's why they're so big. I love peas. Yours look wonderful to me!

  9. Your pink and yellow hibiscus is truly fabulous. You have a couple of spectacular Bromeliads. They are showy plants and the best part is that the flowers last many weeks. Missy looks more glamorous with her longer locks.

  10. hi ros, white wisteria looks heavenly - i wonder if it has a scent. Got a good laugh out of seeing missy before and after. She is so cute.

  11. Oh, spring is coming to your garden as autumn is arriving here...I'm so lucky to be able to follow along as your garden bursts into bloom while soon mine will be a big white blob. The colors and size of your blooms are so stunning; the hibiscus are perfection.

    All the vegetables, if I would take a picture of my one and only lonely tomato, you'd see my talents in vegetable gardening are woefully lacking.

    I just gave both of my dogs haircuts this week, too. Being Shih Tzu's it is much the same as Missy; a bad haircut only lasts two weeks and then they are all grown out again. I think they are so much happier with a sensible cut, though, don't you? The show dogs are pretty, but oh, what a lot of hair!

    So good to visit with you again.

  12. The white wisteria is so very beautiful. I had one planted together with my purple one. The white one has given up soon, after a year or so, now it is just the purple one. The white one has never been as strong growing as the purple wisteria. The Hawaiian hibiscus look really exotic showing off their special colours. Yes, there is a lot going on now, but it is also very dry, luckily the bulbs do not sulk to much. Missy looks like a puppy after her hair cut! She is a sweetie.


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


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