Saturday, March 19, 2011

Rain at last!

Goody goody raindrops! Some decent rain at last, the first good fall of the year, in fact, and we're halfway through the third month. Huey, you've been a disgrace to your profession of Aussie Rain Godlihood this year. Floods in Queensland and Victoria, and Sydney, which is piggy in the middle, gets almost no rain at all for the first three months. (Well, when I say "no rain at all", I mean 33mm in January, when the average is 103; 23mm in February, when the average is 117; and until yesterday only 14mm in March, when the average for the month is 131. That's a dry spell by Sydney standards.)

I'm not sure what has been going on up in the weather-making heavens, but here's hoping today's blessed sogginess is the beginning of some kind of return to normal. Let it rain, Huey!

There, I've had my say, on with the slide show. I do love a rainy day!

My curry tree, looking greener than ever thanks to the simple expedient of more food. I didn't realise they were so greedy. Just the organic liquid fish stuff, applied more often, does the trick.

Frangipanis manage to look equally nice in both rain and sunshine. And that perfume...

This year's annual flower discovery is the cheery, tough, long-flowering gomphrena. A little thing no more than 10 inches (22cm) tall, it has been flowering like this for three months now, and isn't about to stop.

This is a good example of bloody-minded determination at work. Late last year I sowed a punnet of 'mixed colour' capsicums and they were all pale lemony colour banana shapes. Boring! And so after I pulled up the last of the glut-making Lebanese cucumbers, I decided there was still time to have another go at growing some classic red and green bell-pepper style capsicums before it turns chilly in late autumn. This is the first green capsicum baby here, and so I think I'll get my colourful crop yet.

Rainy days and young lettuce are perfect photo partners, just like cute kids and fluffy pets.

Margaritas, anyone? The limes are ready to use now. Lots of Asian salad dressings for sure (1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon tap water, pinch of sugar, pinch of chilli, shake, pour). And lime delicious puddings, and lime wedges for Pam's Corona beers. It's a good thing we like limes, as there's always a glut at this time of year.

The 'Eureka' lemon is flowering its head off, as I just fed the tree two to three weeks ago. For Aussie readers, all citrus trees need a feed now, by the way. A rainy day like today is the perfect day for feeding trees, as the rain waters in the fertiliser for you.

Typical, this. I've never done all that well with dill before, but I never give up on these things. So I wondered if sowing seed a bit more thickly might help, and now I have a forest of the stuff.

If my dill is too abundant, then my rosemary is too tall. It's at fence height now, about two metres. It's flowering profusely now, the most it has ever flowered, and I think that's due to the very dry summer here, which is much more to its Mediterranean-style liking.

Like the rosemary, the grevilleas here have been enjoying the drier summer. This 'Robyn Gordon' grevillea can get a bit sulky in persistently wet and humid conditions, but it's loving the dry run it has been getting lately.

And not all the happy plants here are mine. My neighbour Nick is a keen gardener, and at the end of every summer a stack of his plants become part of my garden, leaning over the fence for a chat to my plants. This is his Chinese lantern plant, the Abutilon, which our local native honeyeater birds just love.

Another of Nick's plants, this is called Nick's Pink Thing because I don't know its correct name. Bet you its real name isn't as good as Nick's Pink Thing, either.

On the right, Pam's indoor plant, her Peperomia, is having a day out in the rain, keeping my goldfish pond plants company. The lush green thing behind is our low-growing Gardenia radicans, which is always happy, provided you liquid feed it every month.

And so that's my rainy day report. I plan to rev up this garden blog again, now that the awful summer seems to be over. Just a quick note of thanks to the good people who got in contact to ask if I had given up garden blogging altogether. No way, but I did need a break from it to freshen up my blogging batteries. I've been sowing seed, I have cunning plans in mind, there is digging to be done and, from time to time some (more frequent) blogging to be done, too.


Gourmet Hampers said...

Love your lime comments - ours were going great guns until some little fairies used them in their tea parties. We still have a few of the better disguised ones left.
Also have dill emerging after a rough few experiences with small kids too.
Shows how resilient our garden plants are!

greenfumb said...

Great to see you back.

Wet days are great aren't they, I actually did my ironing and some housework which, as a general rule, takes a definite backseat to my gardening activities.

Yesterday my tank was empty, by lunchtime it was half full and I suspect by tomorrow morning it will be over flowing :-)

simmone said...

I think Nick's green thingy is called a Justicia you have the original- rose pink.Enjoy the rain!

Anonymous said...

Jamie, the pink flowered plant is known by the names Brazilian Plume, Flamingo Flower, Jacobinia, Pine-Bur Begonia, Justicia carnea. I have it growning in the shade on the side of my house. It can get up to six feet tall. I also have the white variety. Here is a link to more information:
Love your blog!
Jacksonville, Florida

Jamie said...

Thanks Carol and Simmone for identifying the Justicia carnea. Now that's actually not such a bad name, but around here it's going to remain as Nick's Pink Thing.

FromTheKnightGarden said...

Good to see your back.
Lovely photos by the way, and glad you got your rain at last.

Alexa said...

Your frangipanni flowers are just gorgeous!