Sunday, 10 June 2018

Winter Gardening in Tropical Mackay


Delicate Tropical orchids are bringing some bling to our garden at present. May and June seem to be the flowering season for Cattleya orchids and this beautiful Village Chief Armani is no exception. I bought this one two years ago from a local orchid grower, MnS Orchids, and it has surprised me with three beautiful blooms. It is a show stopper.

 This is a glimpse of Gardening Mackay during a tropical Winter, it's not quite Gardening Australia, however the weather has been so mild and beautiful that we have been spending quite a lot of time outdoors. Can this really be Winter? Minimum temperatures of 7 degrees last week, and maximums of 23 degrees had us reaching for our doonas at night however the days were perfect. It has warmed up slightly now, but it is still OK to be in the garden at midday. This is very different to our summer scenario when gardening and walking are over by 9am. 

I took time to wander around the garden with my camera and thought I would share with you some of the flowers and colorful plants I discovered which are the highlights at present. Some plants are dormant in Winter, however there are always flowers to be found somewhere in our garden. Whilst the individual flowers are nice to look at in photos, gardens are more than the sum of their parts and when appreciated as a whole, the colour, form, balance and structure of the garden come together to give each garden it's identity. This is a just a glimpse of our eclectic garden. Year round colour can be a challenge in gardens, however in the Tropics it's not difficult. I hope you enjoy a wander around our garden.


Meet Little Suzie, growing wild on the Golden Penda tree as she should be doing. She is a food loving and food lover's orchid, with the full name of Lc. Little Suzie x C. Chocolate Drop. I broke up this orchid at the end of last year and tied a couple of pieces to the tree as I was in a hurry to relocate it and she has flowered already. She is healthy and happy in her natural habitat. Orchids also respond very well to being fed finely chopped banana skins, believe it or not, and used coffee grinds. What's not to love.

Every tropical garden has a hibiscus tucked away somewhere. Ours is slightly dormant at present but I though this individual flower was quite spectacular.

Hibiscus


This one is the first purple Zygocactus in flower. It is in a hanging basket framed by some Button Orchid, which is somewhat of an epiphyte.

I brought back a Medinilla sp Thailand (below) from Cairns in May 2016. The Friends of the Botanical Gardens in Cairns hold regular fund raising plant sales where plants can be purchased at very reasonable prices. This one has just started flowering and grows well in a hanging basket. I have another different species of Medinilla growing in the ground which is still to flower. My friend and gardening guru Ann, asked me to bring her back a couple of Medinillas during the 2016 Cairns visit, and that is how I discovered them.


Pure, white and simply special is the first flower of this Eurachist Lilly this Winter.

Eurachist Lilly
This deep pink flowered plant below, came as a cutting from my Mum in Rockhampton many years ago and is now a very large plant in the rainforest section of our garden. It often needs to be pruned back. I've forgotten it's name though. Can anyone help me with that?





Purple Salvia bringing beneficial insects including bees, and honeyeaters to our garden. A gift from Ann.


A holly Bougainvillea above


Red trumpets sparkling in the morning sunlight

Bromeliads
A large leafed Caladium growing next to chillies. They are scattered throughout the garden bringing Winter colour.

A Delicate Cooktown Orchid, growing on a potted Fig Tree

Succulents in a bonsai pot





This is such a resilient pink gerbera, an old variety still seen in cottage gardens. Other gerberas are taking it easy during Winter, however this one keeps flowering.


Ground orchids need to grow in full sun which isn't a problem in our garden and they make a beautiful colorful border. The pink and white ones are also pretty and available now from most nurseries. We had a small yellow tomato bush growing as a weed through this front garden when I took the photo. We pulled it out though, as it was taking over and climbing up into the mandarin tree.
And it's back to my garden.

Until next time, happy gardening. Thanks everyone for visiting my blog. I would love to hear from you in the Comments box  if you have time.

Pauline

1 comment: