With apologies to Jimmy Cliff, but after weeks of heavy rain, wind and storms, this week’s forecast is for fine weather. We have had over 500mm / 20″ of rain since the second week of April with only about 3 or 4 days without rain in-between.
So what a difference a bit of sun makes to the spirits.
Acer palmatum and morning sunlight
As you can see, water is still draining out of my yard: everything is slushy underfoot.
Water, water, everywhere
My little pine forest that I look out at from the study, is still in tact – so far – they took about 10 trees from within this area, and I certainly hope they have finished. Compare above (after the trees have been felled) and below – not too much difference, thankfully, but the rain may merely have delayed the operation.
Same view about a month ago
After a lot of chilly weather (which isn’t going to get any warmer), most of the bigger floral displays have well and truly finished, anything that would still be flowering is a mushy, hail damaged, frost-bitten mess, so it is a case of enjoying subtle beauty.
The Camellia sasanqua ‘Mine No Yuki’ has been beautiful, although its blooms have suffered in the storms with a lot of brown spots:
Camellia sasanqua ‘Mine No Yuki’
I love how the shrub holds its delicate double blooms back-to-back. Quite stunning!
During the weeks of inclement weather, Rosellas sought refuge in the bottle brush (Callistemon viminalis) tree: eating the seed pods that form along the branches. This made for excellent bird-watching on otherwise grey days:
If only I weren’t an indoor cat?!
Like the Grevillea, these Australian natives bloom when most others stop and are great to ensure visitors to the garden:
The rain has also flushed out some interesting bugs. Here is a rather unusual wingless fly (Boreoides subulatus) native to Australia: only the female is wingless. She uses that pointy tip to lay rows of eggs in damp crevices:
Even the damp-loving insects need a break from the rain
Salvias continue to be the mainstay of the bloomers, bravely enduring the rubbish weather, although these, too are looking like they need a rest after flowering since December:
Salvias are now starting to slow down for winter
Of course, there are still some other stragglers from late summer:
Clockwise: Achellia, Osteospermum, Cosmos, Verbena, Bellis perennis, Papaver nudicale, Argyranthemum, Rosa ‘Iceberg’, Felicia ameloides, Penstemon, Sisyrinchium and Brachyscome
Then of course, there are the confused spring bloomers. In the warm shelter of the front veranda, these little pansies have started to bloom well ahead of schedule. Outside, they haven’t even started:
Pansies and Bamboo…don’t ever plant this type of Bamboo in the yard unless you want the world’s worst headache!
Or the azaleas:
Spring and Autumn….just look at that Hydrangea….!
The Hydrangea has been in glorious leaf for about a month now. I am definitely going to take more cuttings from this one, and probably sell it via a friend at the plant markets as it’s just so unusual to have such beautiful autumn colour on a basic hydrangea: it really makes for a superior type of shrub!
This is one of the ‘Mai-Ko’ types, on a shrub that I took a cutting from two summers ago.
Of course, autumn colour isn’t unusual on Hydrangea quercifolia and this has also been going for quite some time as well:
For those of you in the Spring, it’s not too late to rejuvenate old evergreen shrubs.
I cut this old Hebe back hard last September and it has really bounced back. It was about 2m / 8′ and probably 30 years old.
It is as tall as the railing in this year-old photo, and although it is difficult to see, it was very leggy and only gave a few flowers despite its size. It is to the right of the stairs:
From a year ago: the Hebe is next to the stairs and the house is still only half-renovated
It was cut within 20cm / 6″ of the ground last spring – this is about a month afterwards:
Recovering from a hard-prune
And here it is now:
Healthy, and even a little flower 🙂
At least now, I can keep it bushy and start to re-shape it.
And speaking of Spring, it’s nice to have that snow-drop look in Autumn: Leucojum autumnale is a dainty little bulb at this time of year, but it is tough:
Of course, there is still a lot of autumn foliage around:
Clockwise: Enkianthus, Acer palmatum near the secret garden, Acer palmatum over the garage, Quercus rubra showing fantastic patterns
Even though the colour isn’t brilliant (it’s still in a pot waiting to be planted out) the Quercus rubra certainly has wonderful patterns!).
Lastly, the little Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Seiryu’ has given some nice colour. It goes well with the larger maple behind it:
Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Seiryu’ dissolves into the larger Acer in a fiery display
Happy Gardening 🙂