Summer Garden

I love how Google Photos randomly chooses a pic to enhance. Which version do you prefer? 

‘Mum, you’ll love the camera! It even has a beauty tool!’

‘ A beauty tool?’

‘It makes your selfies look great!’

I’ve never taken a selfie, but now that I have a beauty tool at my disposal, you never know … maybe I’ll be able to master the knack … It’s a temptation, isn’t it – a new and improved you for all the world to see!  Maybe when it’s not so hot and sticky and I feel inclined to use a hair dryer … and put some make-up on … and wear something not resembling a tent! To put the phone’s camera to the test however, I decided to experiment on the garden instead. Before it wilts  horribly under the onslaught of the heatwave affecting most of Eastern Australia.

Up till now, the garden has survived the summer really well. It’s rained at just the right time so everything has grown madly as usual. Late spring saw the front yard come alive when the flame tree and white Jacaranda flowered. But these soon gave way to a beautiful leafy canopy, wafting around in the afternoon sea breeze.

What a change!

For the first time, our hydrangeas looked lovely. Even though it rains a lot in Byron Bay, where we live is very sandy. No amount of soil improvement has been enough to sustain hydrangeas in open garden beds, so last autumn,  I transferred all of them to self watering pots, gave them a specialised fertilizer and they have bloomed all summer, in shades of blue, pink and white.

The white one has been my favourite but they’re all pretty, I think.

The creepers and the butterfly bush have flowered all summer too and are still punching out flowers giving us something to admire as we have our morning  tea on the back patio.

Unlike some butterfly bushes, this is a prolific orange variety
Deep red, pink and while mandevilias  just flower and flower

And for the first time, the varieagated ginger flowered. Together with the bromeliads, they have brightened up the under story of the Frangipani tree.

How amazing is that flower! Hope I have the name right… the plant was a gift from a friend so hopefully I’ve remembered correctly

Everywhere I look, plants need pruning but they will have to wait until its cooler. Meanwhile, we just have to duck our heads as we wander around.


The veggie garden is looking a bit sad. The tomatoes are nearly finished, the rhuburb has turned up its toes and died as has the greek basil and our espaliered lemon tree. On a positive note, the passionfruit are ripening nicely and the herbs are hanging on.

The summer garden continues to surprise us. We spotted the pink and red frangipani  just beginning to flower, yesterday. It’s very late but I planted them in a very shady spot when they prefer full sun.

from little cuttings, big things grow

 So I’ve experimented! Still lots to learn including the beauty and panorama features but my phone has given me a snapshot of the summer garden with. the tap of a finger. Ah technology, you’ve got to love it! I hope your garden is surviving as well.

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