Friday, 27 January 2012

Rainy weather

After the dryness of the last few months of 2011, the weather is certainly playing catch up here in Brisbane as January draws to a close. This month marks the first anniversary of the devastating floods we experienced, but, fortunately, although there is some flooding, it will not be anywhere near the same extent.

Although I managed a good stint in the garden yesterday - a public holiday to celebrate Australia Day - today, on my extra day's leave from the office, it has been much wetter, and the pups and I have been restricted to the house most of the time. While I was standing watching the rain from the cover of my front veranda, I noticed the Ivory Curl Tree across the road was coming into full flower, so I ducked across when the rain eased off a fraction for a closer look.

The Ivory Curl Tree  Buckinghamia celsissima   

Ivory Curl Trees are used in street plantings quite widely throughout Brisbane. They range in size from large shrub to small tree size and are a great hit with nectar-loving birds.

I snapped this one on a sunnier day!

Elsewhere in the garden, I had the first flower on one of the dahlias I bought as tubers in early December. The other tuber 'Mrs Rees' was very shriveled and had looked suspect. It was pretty late in the season to be planting, and I wasn't surprised when it didn't come up. I am looking forward to adding a few more to my collection in Autumn. The current dahlia wish list, inspired by Belinda, my cut flowers guru over at  Wild Acre, is a dark red or dark pink pompom or ball variety, an almost black waterlily, and a dark red or dark pink cactus - perhaps 'Mrs Rees' again - (and maybe a gorgeous burnished orange).

Dahlia 'Marie Antoinette'

Another potential loss is one of the new daylilies I bought, 'Colin Campbell' - as fate would have it, the most expensive one I have bought to date! When I was tidying up some dead leaves around it yesterday, the new shoots came away in my hands. They had rotted through just under the surface. I fear my cloggy clay soil may be to blame. Fortunately, 'Russian Ragtime,' the other new one that I planted in that section, still looks okay.

I planted some more cosmos and zinnia seeds direct into the front garden. The zinnias are mostly pastel shades: 'Isabellina', 'Pastel Dream', 'Polar Bear', plus 'Violet Queen' and the green 'Envy'. I  tidied up the broms in the front, moved a couple of hidden neoregelias to the front of the bed, and some taller varieties to the back. A couple of gingers have popped up in the middle of them, but will die down over winter.

Apart from that, everything else is just wet, and that's fine! The sun has just set, so I think it's time for a glass of red on the veranda to listen to the rain and some mellow music, like Craig Armstrong's sublime 'Weather Storm'.

Plumeria obtusa

Hibiscus 'Wilders White'


  1. What a magnificent sight! The Buckinghamia in full bloom is a real stunner. Great photos. Sorry to hear about your Daylily. That is a real shame. Your Brom bed is looking terrific and I love the white Frangipani and Hibiscus blooms.

    1. Thanks Bernie. I was actually visiting your blog when your message came through, but then had a few computer problems. The Buckinghamia is very lovely. I would love to be able to find a spot for one in the garden.

  2. The buckinghamias look great around the streets this time of year, don't they. Ours isn't blooming yet. A bit late this year for some reason.
    I think the plants are loving this rain although it would be nice for it to not come all at once.

    1. Yes, gardening would be a lot easier if our rain was spaced out a little better. I have a mild dose of cabin fever today as I haven't been able to get out at all - and I really want to dig out my lemon grass while the soil is nice and soft. Still, at least the ironing pile is going down!

  3. Oh my...How tremendous...That ivory curl tree is tremendous...I haven't seen anything like that around here!!

    1. They are lovely. Originally a North Queensland rainforest tree, they would probably do well in your neck of the woods. I get the impression that Florida's climate is pretty similar to Queensland's, just reverse seasons.

  4. Marisa, the ivory curl tree looks stunning. I have planted some in my wild garden, I have to go and look if it is flowering. Haven't been down there for a while, occupied with a new planting project. The chickens were relocated to the other more sunny side and now the old chicken yard is all MINE! It is annoying to lose some newly planted and expensive Dayliliies. In winter when I divide mine you must come down, the gold coast is not that far from Brisbane, and get some. There is always some cleaning up to do. The white Plumeria and white Hibiscus look gorgeous. I love Dahlias the optimal cut flowers. Happy gardening and cheers T♥

  5. Thanks Titania. That's a lovely offer. I know your part of the Coast quite well. I went to school at Burleigh, and a bike ride to Currumbin rock pool was a popular school holiday adventure. I keep hoping that it will re-shoot, but the longer the rain lasts, the less likely it is.



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