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A wishy-washy Autumn weekend from downunder.


By bernieh


Our autumn weather has been so indecisive … Mother Nature just can’t seem to make up her mind lately! One minute it’s this ….

… then an hour later, this!

We’re now halfway through the first month of our Autumn and the weather is getting in the way of a good start to our growing season. As you know, autumn through to the beginning of summer is the best time in our gardens here in north-eastern Oz.

I’ve been running in and out of the greenhouse all weekend like an idiot moving trays of seedlings from the few-and-far-between sunlit patches to the rain-sheltered patches … trying to encourage then along! The trays are so moist at the moment that I’m sure I’ll see signs of mould soon! I’ve already lost some sunflower seedlings, some Marguerite daisies and Brachyscome.

I’ve also been trying to keep some rather friendly Agile Wallabies out of my courtyard garden and away from some new plants. Yes these are the culprits caught in the act!!

Don’t be fooled by those cute faces … they’re really Portulaca poachers and Salvia snatchers!!! NOT very happy with these cuties at the moment!

My other concern at the moment is what to do with the bulbs I received … not having had much experience with these at all! Right now I’ve got them in the fridge because the daytime temperatures are still quite high – around 30 degreesC / 86F – and so are the humidity levels. They’re to be potted up and I know the soil can get rather hot in those conditions.

I’m thinking that I should keep them refrigerated until the end of our Autumn … that’s around ten weeks away. If anyone has any ideas on this, I’d be glad to hear them. This is an experiment for me this year … so I’ll see how it all goes.

On a more positive note though … I am rather happy with the first bloom on my Curcuma ‘Anita’…

… my orchid is blooming once more ….

… the first teeny tiny flower on the Geranium ’Jester’s Jacket’ has appeared

… there’s a sign of life on one of my Pelargonium peltatums

… the Costus productus is showing some new flowers

… and I’ve spotted the first few buds on my Empress Toad Lily … so exciting!!!!!!

More blog posts by bernieh

Previous post: Around My Garden After the 2009-2010 Summer Downunder.

Next post: Mid-Autumn downunder ... and it's still raining!



Hi Bernie

Sounds like you’ve had a right run around this weekend with the weather and those pesky wallabies a right pair of bandit’s lol! I think your doing the right thing with your bulbs. When we wanted to delay things for the Chelsea Flower Show we put them into cold store and they were fine for a couple of months.
Your Curcuma ‘Anita’ and Orchids are gorgeous I like the Geranium ‘Jester’s Jacket’ as well the flower is sweet. It’s lovely to see your garden bursting into bloom.
My seeds are showing through in the greenhouse and I spent a couple of hours tidying and rearranging my pots on Saturday. It was Mothers Day today had family over so no gardening. Well its 1.15 am my dear husband is snoring for England:0( and I’d love to go to sleep but he has driven me out of the bedroom with his racket so I’m going to make some tea and try and nudge him or throw a pillow at him!! Have a good week :0)

15 Mar, 2010


Well if you catch this before you go to Dreamland ... Happy Mother's Day! I'm still looking for some further signs of blooming from my seeds ... sweet peas are doing fine and some of the impatiens ... but doesn't look good for the snapdragons! Glad to hear your seeds are showing some signs of growth.

15 Mar, 2010


great blog Bernieh do the wallabies cause much damage?

15 Mar, 2010


I'm sure it is only because Skippy is hungry ..:o))..
How high can they jump.
Just wondered if you put up a fence to keep them out how high would it have be?

15 Mar, 2010


Hi Sandra and Mushy ... They don't cause too much damage Sandra, but when they hop up onto the courtyard garden and start munching away I get a little miffed!
Mushy, they pretty good jumpers. Our fence is just over a metre high and they clear that easily. I think it would have to be several metres high to stop them ... but the property is just too big to have a fence that high and it would really spoil the bush view.

15 Mar, 2010


Nice blog Bernieh. Those Wallabies are cute, must be hard to be too cross with them :-))

15 Mar, 2010


Enjoyed your blog Bernieh, sorry the weathers not settled, sounds as if you are being kept very busy between the weather and the Wallabies, sure things will improve soon for you !

15 Mar, 2010


Thanks Annella and PP .. yes the weather has been so changeable and PP, I'm not sure about the 'things will improve' part as now there seems to be another cyclone on the way!!! It's the tropics ... always so unpredictable.

15 Mar, 2010


Oh Dear hope it lets you off lightly Bernieh.

15 Mar, 2010


Sorry the weathers not behaving very well for you, its still quite cold up in the northwest, cant wait for warmer weather to come, like you say those wallabiesdo have cute faces though dont they.

15 Mar, 2010


We have had two good gardening days so far still things should start to get better now, Love your Wallabies

15 Mar, 2010


Hi Berhieh! It's lovely to see your lush green garden, and quite a novelty with the Wallabies! Lovely lovely plants, especially the Curcuma - it;s a very beautiful colour. Hope your weather doesn't turn out to be as depressing as ours has been over the must be about a year! No, I shouldn't moan, we did have a few nice days last spring!

15 Mar, 2010


Bet you dont stay cross with those wallabies for long ! The weather in general seems to be changing across the globe...signs of things to come ...

15 Mar, 2010


Great blog as usual ! Loved the pelargonium !


15 Mar, 2010


Hi Bernie sorry the weather is so changeable for you, It sounds like your doing the right thing with the bulbs, oh those cute Wallabies munching your plants, I know how you must feel, I have a cute squirrel but he has eaten some bulbs from my pots now I have a patchy display of crocus and I'm keeping my fingers crossed the tulip bulbs were planted too deep for him!! I hope the cyclone doesn't come too close and the weather picks up for you very soon, spring is slow arriving here it is still really chilly but at least the snow has gone.......shh don't want to speak too soon!

15 Mar, 2010


Well ... here I am ... finally able to catch up with your comments.

Pansypotter, Clarice, Donnah, BB, Lonegardener and Neellan ... they cyclone didn't go away ... we've been preparing for it all day today. It's expected to hit somewhere close to us at around 3.00 am in the morning and it's a Category 3 ... which is classed as Highly Destructive. So ... fingers crossed, all will be well. I'm also hoping my Dad will be OK .. at the moment he's closer to the eye of the cyclone than we are ... and he's getting very strong gale force winds already.

20 Mar, 2010


Thinking of you all Bernieh..please let us all know you are okay x

20 Mar, 2010


Oh Bernieh I do hope your Dad and you escaped the cyclone's path and all is well by now with you

20 Mar, 2010


Thanks BB and Neellan ... well 'Ului' (that was the cyclone's name) crossed our coast around 230 kilometres away from where I live. We have had very little rain and just a few patches of wind gusts ... so we got off scott-free! It's mostly been very, very still here ... which is what we expect when a cyclone is approaching, but not what we expect when it's close by. It's been a little strange!

Unfortunately Dad lives a little further south and was in the eye of the cyclone ... he lives only 50 kilometres away from where the centre of the cyclone hit .... so my hometown experienced wind gusts around 200 kilometres an hour.

Dad said he could hear the roof lifting in places ... they also lost power as soon as the 'eye' hit and it hasn't come back yet and it's 10 hours later! They got torrential rain and it's still raining ... lots of trees fallen down and powerlines are down, but luckily no deaths or casualties have been reported. They still can't leave their houses yet ... too much debris around.

All in all ... 'Ului' turned out to be a bit of a gentleman ... and behaved quite well - given the fact that he was a Category 3 cyclone when he crossed the coast! He only caused moderate damage ... well moderate damage for our corner of the world anyway! There are reports of homes damaged, boats washed ashore, trees down and 60,000 homes without power, but the Emergency Services and Disaster Relief Authorities credit the locals with being so well prepared and this helped immensely with the positive outcome of this event.

21 Mar, 2010


I do hope they will all be OK........

21 Mar, 2010


So do we.......

21 Mar, 2010


I'm pleased you are ok and hope that by now your Dad will have power back and that his roof survived the onslaught of Ului scary time for you all x

21 Mar, 2010


Thanks Mushy, BB and Neellan ... everything is fine now. The cyclone didn't affect us at all, but we're expecting rain this week as Ului deteriorated into a low and is moving across inland Queensland.
Dad is fine ... the roof will need to be checked, but he now has power. Apparently there's still around 50,000 homes and businesses without power in the Whitsunday area ... luckily Dad only had to do without it for around 20 hours!
My brother who lives a little further south than Dad ... and was a little closer to the 'eye' has checked in. He runs a caravan park and they only had minor damage ... a few windows blown in, a couple of caravans moved and there's some trees down.
All in all ... we've been lucky this time. Hopefully that's the end of the cyclones for this year.

21 Mar, 2010


So glad all is well after Ului's visit and your family are all safe and sound
20 hours is a long time for you Dad to wait for a cuppa......thank heaven for barbies and tinnies eh! x

21 Mar, 2010


Would you believe it Neellan ... Dad did make a trip into town late yesterday afternoon (avoiding debris on the road on the way, of course!) to have a glass or two of the good stuff!! It takes a lot to shut down the pubs over here!!!!!

Anyway he's a lot happier now it's all over ... he's had his coffee and his soup ... what more could you ask?

22 Mar, 2010


Lol good on your Dad :o))

22 Mar, 2010


Read with much interest how the agile wallaby ate your Portulaca . I have been having trouble with tubs of Portulaca , finding the plants broken and dropped all around the pot plus holes dug in the potting mix, This went on for 2 weeks with me blamming bandicoot as I have never had one problem with agile wallaby .Well maybe that was what destroyed my Portulaca .I only have the yellow one left the pink they must have liked more and ate it all.
Your pink curcuma is lovely I have a white one flowering for first time , I don't know the species yet maybe when the flower is fully out I can I.D. IT
You will be very busy bulb planting , a lot of those won't grow here.

31 Mar, 2010


Lol ... Pitta ... I think I might start suspecting wallabies too. They definitely seem to like portulacas down here!

Thanks ... I do like the pink curcuma and it's doing so well in all this rain. As for the bulbs ... at the moment they're in the downstairs fridge until the end of autumn and then I'll pot them up and see how many of them actually grow. It's a first for me ... I've never tried any of them before ... so I'm keen to find out what happens.

3 Apr, 2010

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