Changing Seasons : January 2020

Half way through summer and what a devastating time it has been for large parts of Australia. Destructive fires down south. Our bush capital, Canberra surrounded by fire and overcome by smoke then hail storms and wind. Then recently the latest catastrophe has been torrential rain and flash flooding in the north. It has all dominated world news to the extent that travel alerts have been issued warning tourists not to come. That also is adding to the disaster as Australia depends on tourism.

Now I have to tell you that Australia is a huge country and many areas have not been affected and are open for business. So if you have plans to come here do not put them off, you will be warmly welcomed with open arms.

I am so fortunate to live in an area not affected by fire or flood. The rain has been moderate and 182mm spread over this month and the growth has been phenomenal.jan growth in garden rockery 008_5184x3888Everything is so green and vibrant.

Look at the growth on Jack’s Desert Roses.

Remember last month I had started creating a rockery? It was just a pile of rocks…seedlings 002_5184x3888  Finishing it has been the main job this month. I mixed up barrow loads of topsoil using coconut coir, old potting mix, organic top soil, perlite, 5 in 1 fertilizer and lots of sweat to mix it all together. It was surprising how much was needed to fill in around the 026_5184x3888Then I had to leave it to settle for a while before came the interesting part, planting…jan growth in garden rockery 002_3888x5184

A double red Desert Rose has pride of place in the pot at the top it will be surrounded by succulents eventually. The variegated roeo line the steps. A few bromeliads fill gaps and I will be putting more rockery type plants in, but will wait for the weather to cool down. A thick layer of sugar cane mulch helps protect everything from the searing heat.

Notice the pink and red Pentas flowers in the above photos? Last month those plants were totally decimated by caterpillars. But nature has a remarkable ability to recover, it took a short while and now they are back in full flower.

The below photo was taken last month when the poor Pentas were struggling to survive

garden december 012_5184x3888 The stars of the garden this month are the Strelitzia, commonly known as “Birds of Paradise”


Thank you Su for hosting this monthly challenge.

I have been recording the monthly changes in the garden for 2years now. Here is January 2019. This January 2018 was my first “changing season” post.

With one day to go in January I have actually beaten Su to the posting of this months “changing season” blog. So pop over and look at her blog and I will add the link to her changing season post when it arrives…


  1. Your garden is so beautiful and I commend you on your rockery. You have done a wonderful job and as the pink flowers are blooming once again, it shows. As you say, things to recover much to our amazement. Do take care.

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  2. Australia is such a vast country, Pauline. It’s unthinkable what has happened to so much of it. Meg is still only 4km from burning fires, but thankfully safe at the moment. I think it’s time politicians got their act together and set about solving a few problems instead of creating them. Good to know you and Jack are happy and well. Sending hugs :0 🙂

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  3. Great post Pauline only I would have put in that drawing you did of the Bird of Paradise flower.
    Also if I had not eaten those Dragon Fruit before you took a photo of them.
    You can never capture it all it is just too wonderful.

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  4. You have such a lush tropical garden PP. I love visiting it. I also had a look at the earlier posts, it has certainly changed since those posts two years ago. I admire all your effort and hard work in creating the rockery! I am going to try and sort out a sort of rockery wall this year. Remove all the weeds and try and plant succulents (hardy ones) along it. But lifting and moving heavy stones is not easy! Jack’s Desert Roses are fabulous. Does he sell them? And what happened with the Buddha’s belly plants?

    And I love the Strelitzia plants – they always remind me of South Africa. Too cold to grow here unless you have a heated greenhouse. I’d love to see your drawing of one too!
    Love to you and Jack, stay well xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I visit our daughter and s-i-l in Southern California, I see lots of Birds of Paradise. They’re beautiful. I enjoy seeing photos of your garden and while I’m sure saying summer is halfway done doesn’t make you happy, it makes me realize that means winter is halfway done here. 🙂 Of course when we move to Arizona, I’ll be missing winter and the snow, so I’ll just enjoy it while I may. So glad to read you’ve not been affected by the fires. So many places have been and so badlly.


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