Changing Seasons : January…

This month we had 19 out of 30 days when it rained. A total of 237mm. It was warm, gentle rain. North and west Queensland were getting storms, torrential rain and floods while, incredibly, this corner of Queensland was blessed with perfect growing conditions. And grow everything did. So the main jobs in the garden this month was to keep things under control.

The Plumbago has almost finished flowering so time for a haircut.002_5184x3888

Now that looks better.

The Murraya was the next on Jack’s hit list. It has a small, rather insignificant white flower with a sweet scent, but I like to keep it trimmed as a feature ball. So it doesn’t get chance to flower as it grows so fast, needing constant trimming as a hedge would. 

The Frangipani has not flowered so well this year and my theory is that because it has been so wet this year, compared to other Queensland summers, the growth has all gone into the leaves. They have been thick and abundant. But they are now doing their annual dying and dropping garden chores 003_3888x5184

That means another daily job for Jack to rake them chores 012_5184x3888

The Poinciana tree is just coming into flower. It is very late this year, usually being in full bloom early December. Could it be the rain again I wonder.ew seat kookaburra 008_5184x3888

Notice the seat in the shade of the Poinciana?garden chores 009 crop_2815x2316

That is another job done this month. We love seats around the garden and this particular seat was bought 20 years ago for the grandchildren to sit on when they visited. They are now into their 20’s and the seat had become shabby and worn with the back rusting. So Jack gave it a repaint and built the base to put it on in the front garden for the neighbours children to sit on when they visit us. The base still has to be finished we will be looking for some tiles at the recycle place to face it with.

garden 002_5184x3888

A success story this year. The native violets have never flowered as well as this before. Again I think it is the regular rain. Other years I have to put the sprinklers on every day and they never flowered this well. Notice how they are colonizing the paving  area. I debate with myself whether I should pull them back. But I do like the wild, feral appearance. Maybe when they stop flowering I will clear them from the paving area. garden chores 007_5184x3888

The caterpillars have arrived. They come every year to totally trash the Pentas plants  They are green and small and very hard to see. There must be an army of them as they strip the plant in a few days. But I don’t mind  as I prune the plant back when they have gone and every year it will flower again. And caterpillars become chores 005_5184x3888

I tried to get a photo of one. Can you spot it? If you want to see Pentas in all their glory pop over to Bushboys site he has a magnificent display. He also hosts the “changing season” challenge with Ju-lyn.

The kookaburras are back. Hopefully they are finding some of the caterpillars.

Meanwhile in the back garden the Turmeric plant is dominating the herb patch. But again a different caterpillar is attacking the Finger Lime shrub in the pot under the Turmeric plant.

The greenhouse is starting to fill up. Jack’s baby Desert Roses are doing well and I have recently planted some spinach seedlings. The pots are starting to multiply again!!!

One final job Jack did was to paint the white plastic chairs we bought to add even more seats  around the garden.

So it has been a very busy month. Now time to take a glass of wine and Jack will have a beer and to sit out and enjoy the garden. It would be lovely if you could join us. But in the meantime you can have a virtual visit.


  1. I would join you any minute! Thank you for the walk and glorious views! Love the bench too – so sweet. I’ll tip my husband, as I probably will be a grandmother in May. Tour garden always makes me long for spring and summer – greeeeeeen!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Nice post and I like the way you put in good links.
    Your blog and the garden keep me going Pauline no need for the gym anymore.
    No danger of convid in the garden, melanoma is the problem.
    That’s a good excuse to take a seat in the shade.
    A garden without seats is like the “Pub with no beer”. 😎

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Poinciana is rad! Another blogger in Texas sent me some seed for Pride of Barbados, which I also know as poinciana. I made the mistake of telling my colleague in Southern California that I got poinciana seed. He now wants at least one copy for a street tree in Los Angeles. Rather than explain my mistake, I purchased some real poinciana seed also. They do not like the climate here, so all will go to the Los Angeles region. I may plant one here, but it will get frosted back, like jacaranda trees do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not heard it called that before Tony. Mine drops its large seed pods and when they split open I have baby Poinciana trees popping up everywhere. The garden only has room for one though as they do grow very wide.

      Liked by 1 person

      • They are two completely different species. Pride of Barbados is smaller and shrubbier, and more resilient to minor frost. We just know it as poinciana because it is resembles poinciana, and can be grown here, although very rare. There is no confusion for us because the real poinciana does not live here.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Your garden will be spectacular when you both are finished with it. Couldn’t see the first caterpillar, although the kind of webbing they leave reminds me of a caterpillar here called the ‘tent caterpillar’. That’s the way you know they’ve come to certain trees and plants. But the other caterpillar you have looks wicked with all it’s spikes coming out. All in all, I see you have a good looking gardener to help in the process and he’s dressed for the job. Thanks for sharing you garden. Take good care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The caterpillar is hard to see. Just a small slightly paler green blob under one of the leaves. Jack is an Aussie, born in Sydney, and loves the heat. With my English background I find the heat and humidity hard to put up with. So it is so good to have him share the work load.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a busy month it’s been for your garden & thank you for the update! Jack’s certainly been getting his exercise – good man! Such a charming bench and what a delightful thought to put it to use out front for more children to enjoy! Up here we’ve had the third weekend in a row for snow in the forecast. Extremely unusual for this area, but luckily none fell in my small patch. Last weekend I got out the broom to clear our hallway!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Not as terrible as that might seem, Pauline! Let’s see if I can explain…
        This is a garden apartment complex — 3-story, open-ended buildings. Meaning, hallways with apartments on both sides only on each end with the end itself being open to weather. The centre of each building has apartments only on one side; the other side being open, curving gently around a plot of grass & shrubs in the centre. My apartment is at the end of a building, so I open my door and the railing on the left is open (i.e., at the end of the building). The right side goes down the hallway toward the centre, toward daylight from the mid-section. Prevailing winds are often from the open end of my building, so it’s not unusual for rain, sleet or snow to come right down the hallway past my front door.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m worn out tonight, Pauline. Those 5 and a bit hours I watched tennis this morning have finished me off. You know I love him but I’ve never been prouder of Rafa Nadal. What a performance! What a weekend! Oh, I forgot- we’re supposed to be talking about the garden!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gosh you are a hard task master Pauline 😂 Jack’s doing a great job though of keeping things in check and tidy and that bench is so lovely. You must show it to us again when the base has been tiled. Your Poinciana tree is a true beauty and I love those sweet faced violets. Wild violets have self-seeded around my place (not as pretty as yours, just plain violet) and are a nightmare to pull out! They get their roots deep into the smallest of cracks. I’ll have a nice glass of Shiraz please as I join the pair of you on one of your benches. 🍷

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jack loves helping in the garden Jude, thank goodness 🤗A job shared is a job halved….
      I think it will be hard to rein those violets in they’re getting right through the beds as well as the paths. But if we get a dry spell they’ll soon die back. But can’t see that happening any time soon. We are in the middle of another storm at the moment and horrendous 90% humidity. Aircon on all day. We would love you to join us for a wine I have a nice Aussie Shiraz waiting for you 🥂🥂🤗


  8. I am reminded why your garden is paradise – you & Jack work so very hard to make it so … right down to every leaf, every seat, every bloom. Visiting with you is a balm.

    Jack works magic on that bench full of memories, and those chairs look super after that coat of paint … you both are so very talented … I marvel at the work of both of your hands …

    The kookaburras are so adorable – they must love visiting paradise too!

    Liked by 1 person

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