The Garden View

A few months ago, I did the writer-thing and set a short story about universes next door in my own backyard. The big fan palm in the corner was a prominent presence in that.

Fan Palm

Now, while the northern hemisphere slides into winter, Australia is heading toward spring. Or, more accurately, where I live in North Queensland, north of Capricorn, we are reaching the end of the Dry, and looking thirstily for the pre-Christmas storms that, in a good year, will open the Wet. In September-October, not merely my backyard but my whole garden is in the throes of “spring.” Looking at the photo below taken a few weeks ago, lots of dry leaves are falling. I can say that these garden hose are great when it comes to durability; we can water the plants without hassle.

On the one hand, what counts for a lawn is as brown and dusty as the country beyond the town’s continually sprinkled parks and median strips, or non-ecologically minded yards. And the deciduous imported trees like my fiddlewoods, African mahogany and river cherries, planted for speedy shade when I came here ten years ago, are shedding like autumn in Vallombrosa.   


At the same time, many trees and plants are rousing with the increased daylight and bursting into flower, natives and imports alike. On my footpath, the everlasting tababuia is covered with blossom right next to the native bottlebrush. 



On other streets, the yellow tababuias are flowering as madly as the native kapok trees out in the bush.

In my back yard, the balsams, or impatiens, have just recovered from a virus and come back into flower. Balsams

In the front yard, my red lilies are producing their once a year flower spikes.

Red Lilies

The white “spider-lilies” that grow both in gardens and the bush won’t flower till after a good rain,

Spider Lilies

but the native crowsnest ferns are putting out new leaves,

Crowsnest Fern

while the sun jewels next to the purple and carnation-pink native parakeelia are full of red and gold flowers.


Just round the corner, the plants we call ground orchids have their bloom spikes up,

Ground Orchids

while at my front gate, the creeping begonia is blooming and growing new leaves.



And round the other corner, the caladiums are coming back from winter hibernation, like a tropical version of daffodils. Spring in the tropics is its own little floral fest among the falling leaves and dust.




The Garden View — 2 Comments

  1. You not only have a green thumb but an eye for a good pic, Sylvia. All this and writing too! Too much talent by far:-)

    But what a lovely part of the world you live in!

  2. Thanks, Satima! It is nice here sometimes – that said, it can also be horridly humid and sweaty, but September was really wonderful this year.