Friday, October 15, 2010

Before the deluge

I'm addicted to the weather bureau's online weather radar, and today the forecast is basically "deluge headed your way". It's one of those big big ones, with about half the continent covered in swirling grey clouds. While this is great news in the long run for our dry rivers and farms, over the next 48 hours it's bad news for delicate flowers, spindly seedlings and people planning outdoor weddings. And so I thought I'd pop out this morning to capture the scene here in Amateur Land, before the deluge.

Yet another of my Photoshopped panoramas, if you click on the photo it should come up much bigger on your screen. While it isn't exactly a carnival of colour, there are lots of things in flower now. I've been a bit distracted with work and other projects these last few weeks, and the garden has largely been looking after itself quite nicely. A few close-up details are in order.

Oh goody, another excuse to show you my Louisiana iris again. Each flower lasts only four or so days at best, but as it fades another bud rises, opens and takes its predecessor's place. I found the plant label in the shed, and this is Lousiana iris 'Gulf Shores'.

Just behind the Louisiana iris, the Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream' is coming back into flower, after a major cut-back two months ago. It's lovely the way the flowers change colour from one end to the other.

All the brodiaea bulbs are flowering now, and while they're too sparse to be spectacular the colour is complex and their sheer unusualness will do me.

When viewed from above you can see the brodiaea's star shape most clearly. If I grow them again next year I'll plant them twice as densely as the bulb packet said to plant them.

Growing close to the brodiaeas, the love-in-a-mist is almost there. All this flower bud has to do is survive the forecast strong wind and rain over the next couple of days. The 'mist' part of its name is of course the fine green 'hairs' which surround each bloom like a veil.

Needless to say the poppies are still popping up daily, now past their fourth month of doing so. The pinky-purple coloured ones on the left are self-seeded 'wild' poppies that always make a welcome appearance in the second half of the poppy 'season'.

We have two wonderful pelargonium plants here, both of which are actually grown for their foliage, but right now they're enjoying a little burst of spring flowering. This pale-leafed pelargonium is a shocking garden bully, muscling in on everything else in the local area. Perversely, it loves being cut back and grows back vigorously every time. It's one of those 'beat me, whip me' kinds of plants.

On the other side of the garden, the lemon-scented pelargoniums are putting on a very good effort at flowering. You can smell the foliage of the plants from a few feet away, and brushing against it while you're weeding or working on a neighbouring plant is like stepping into a perfume shop. But right now it's sending up little clusters of pink blooms which dot the plant, rather than cover it. A major wind-and-rain storm last spring belted the daylights out of this long-stemmed plant, but true to the indestructible ethos of the pelargonium genus, it bounced back, as it will this time if the winds knock it around.

And as combatants in any contest in the modern media like to say, "bring it on" (the wind and rain, I mean). I do enjoy a good storm and lashing rain, and even if the garden gets knocked around, watching nature grow back after a battering is almost as fascinating as watching it basking beautifully in the sun.


Paul said...

The trouble with the rain (for me anyway) is that some of the garden loves it and just goes berserk, but some just can't take it and shrivels and rots. Oh well, you can't please all the flora all the time.

Some nice blooms there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for introducing me to the love-in-a-mist; what a stunning and unusual flower (I just googled to see more of it!) I'll be praying for yours to survive the coming rains (still just wind out here at the base of the Mountains so far) so that we can soon all enjoy it in full bloom.

Sue O said...

I'm pretty sure that the brodiaea is what I have in my front flowerbed and it comes back and multiplies every year. So maybe yours will do that too?