In Flower Today

Brisbane‘s subtropical winter comes to a happy, floriferous end in mid-August. Today there’s around a hundred different plants flowering, two weeks before Australia’s official first day of spring.

Perhaps it’s Global Warming, or perhaps it’s just been a milder than usual winter, but several tropical plants have survived, not died, and some have flowered right throughout coldest season.

I’m so glad I renewed all the mulches about ten days ago, as our comfortable, productive winter weather will end abruptly next month. Our subtropical spring is a testing time: September ushers in strong winds, clear skies, low humidity and rapidly rising temperatures.

September is the driest month in eastern Australia, and mulching isn’t just about its cosmetic effect, it’s fundamental to retaining as much moisture as possible in your soil. Achieve that and you’ll squeeze out the longest spring display from your flowers. Especially in an ornamental garden like mine…plants get watered six times after planting, and then they’re on their own.

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Jerry Coleby-Williams

18th August 2012


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Jerry – thank you for having your Open Garden day last weekend – inspirational work on developing a sustainable micro climate – it was well worth the 1000km return trip – your helpers made us both feel very welcome. It may be spring floristically for us all – but we have some confused plants this year – mulberry tree with last years foliage as well as new growth and fruit at the same time.


    1. That’s a good observation, Stephen. Thanks. I’m relieved your trip was worthwhile and hope my patch wasn’t the only thing you did in Brisbane 🙂

  2. Tim Moulton says:

    Jerry, ‘Hi.’
    Beautiful photos!
    I have quite a patch of nettle that gets away from me occasionally. I note you’ve got annual stinging nettle. Does yours behave itself?
    My hedged H.insularis flowers quite poorly. Should I feed it more? It doesn’t get as much sun as yours, a neighbour’s terrace takes much of its afternoon sun.
    Always so jealous of Bellis…

    Best always,

    Tim Moulton

    1. Hi Tim,
      Nettles need discipline – I’ve never seen them behaving 🙂
      And H. insularis needs good sunlight – a minimum of six hours full sunshine – in order to flower well.

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