In Flower This Mid-winter’s Day At Bellis, Brisbane

Ipomoea fistula

Ipomoea carnea, syn. Ipomoea fistula

For Brisbane to skip one winter is forgivable, but to skip two winters in a row seems somewhat careless. May was the hottest month on Earth since records began. June 2014 is the 352nd consecutive month of above average global temperatures.

That means anyone born after 1985 will have no idea what a normal climate is like. This is what is blooming and happening around my garden right now. Not quite spring, but definitely not mid-winter…

In Brisbane’s former climate, Belgian-born gardening expert Harry Oakman (1906-2002) advised sowing the first crop of spring corn around the time of the Ekka (Royal Qld Show) which occurs around the 2nd week of August. This image is of my corn crop that is germinating in mid-winter. The second year in a row I’ve done this. This is at 15m elevation in the coastal subtropics.

My slideshow ‘The Future of Gardening’ highlights that global warming is occurring faster at higher elevations and at higher latitudes. Rhododendrons on Nepalese hillsides – inland and closer to glaciers – these spring flowering shrubs are flowering 45 days earlier in the ’emerging new climate’.

Ultimately a bit inconvenient for spring festivals, and other seasonal things like biology and ecology…

Facebook feedback:

Janis C, Herberton
“We’ve been getting winter here in Far North Queensland. Three weeks of rain, & cold. The sun came back Friday at last but now it’s even colder. The garden’s not complaining, I am. Beautiful photos, Jerry”.

Lorraine P, Hobart
“Its warm down here in Tassie too. Jonquills fully flowering and have been for the last two weeks!”

Sherida K, Gympie
“Very nice camera work…my garden also (Gympie).There are actually grapes on one vine. My deciduous fruit trees are not losing their leaves…although the tropical birch has…preparing for a dry spell as best I can…hope maybe winter is just late…”

Jeremy R, Canberra region
“We already have a daffodil flowering and my jalapenos are still going strong!”

Gabrielle LG, Canberra
Interesting to hear, thank you Jerry. I am in the hills outside/above Canberra and at 800 metres where it occasionally snows while we have had a few frosts (meant to have had many by now) the roses are still sending out new growth and haven’t stopped flowering. And I have an ornamental pear that still has a mass of green leaves on it JUST beginning to turn purple in parts. A very strange season this one”.

59 taxa

Jerry Coleby-Williams
21st June 2014