A big brown dragon fly that I spotted few days in our garden

A big brown dragon fly that I spotted few days ago in our garden

We had the coldest December and January in Melbourne as long as I could remember. These two months of summer, the temperatures were mostly under 25 deg. C.  It was only last night that we could fold the doona away and the warm summer eventually has arrived. The weather forecast today is 35 deg. C, but until now at 11.20 AM it is only 29 deg. C. Hopefully the clouds will linger the rest of the day to make the temperature feel cooler.

Golden Diosma in the shape of pot with lid

Golden Diosma in the shape of pot with lid

The Golden Diosma (Coleonema palchellum/pulchrum Aurea) plants benefit cooler summer as high temperature and humid condition make them suffer from scorching leaves and fungal problems. The last few years some of our Diosmas had these problems, though they fully recovered when the weather was cooler.

  • Not suitable for tropical condition as the heat and the humid condition will make the plant loose foliage due to fungal problems and scorching.
  • Fragrant leaves.
  • Small pinkish blooms from July to October.
  • Suitable for hedges and regular trimming is necessary to prevent it from growing scraggly.
Diosma Flowers

Diosma Flowers

Golden Diosma

Golden Diosma

Hydrangea – The other plant in our garden that benefits cooler summer weather is Hydrangea. This plant with pretty flowers hates heat and strong sun light. This shade loving plant  will grow better in cooler climate. To have blue flowers the soil has to be acid with pH 5 or less and bluing tonic that consists of aluminium and iron can be used. If you fancy pink better, alkaline soil is needed, pH 7 or more and this can be achieved by adding lime. This is how our Hydrangea flowers look like without adding anything to the soil, they are kind of light purple and we are quite happy with it.

Hyderange

Hyderange 3

Hyderangea

Hydrangea

Jasminum sambac/Arabian Jasmine: One year since I have bought it and it is still in the original pot. I put it under the veranda and it did not drop leaves during the winter. Now it is growing taller, so I guess it is semi climbing type of Jasmine. It has quite a few flowers, but they are smaller and I think it is caused by cool temperature, not enough heat to grow larger. I had applied some fertiliser but it did not help with the flower size.

Jasminum sambac - Arabian Jasmine

Jasminum sambac - Arabian Jasmine plant

Jasminum sambac – Arabian Jasmine plant

Blooming Water Lilies:

Pink Water Lilies

Water Lily - Creamy colour

Odd shape Mirror Bush/Coprosma repens. At first I made it look like a bird but the beak sticked stuck out too much towards the driveway. Hubby complained it scratched his car, so now the poor bird is without a beak.

Beakless Bird - Mirror Bush/Coprosma repens

Beakless Bird – Mirror Bush/Coprosma repens

Mirror Bush - Coprosma repens

Mirror Bush – Coprosma repens

The master of the garden is the one who waters it, trims the branches, plants the seeds, and pulls the weeds. If you merely stroll through the garden, you are but an acolyte.”
― Vera Nazarian