Summer taste

Suddenly the maximum temperature is in the high twenties.  My thoughts turn to the need to check out the reticulation system as newly planted shrubs begin to wilt slightly.

The past few months have seen rainfall that is average or even better which after several winters with very low rainfall is a godsend.  It has meant that the ground has had a good soaking and that many tanks and dams are full.  Our tanks are all topped up and have been for months.

The wildlife, too, is recognizing the seasonal changes.  A willy wagtail was chasing off a magpie this morning.  Both birds have been foraging for food quite close to the house which suggests that they have young mouths to feed and are not to bothered by our presence.


Another appearance though not so welcome was sighting of a large dugite, sunning itself at the corner of the Open Shed just metres from our back steps.  We instantly think of the dog and the danger to her.  The snake ducked back under the shed when it saw me, but a few minutes later it was back out. It was a hot morning and I suspect it was seeking water.  A little later it decided to move towards the poultry pens where there is water and in stretching itself out to travel, showed itself to be at least 1.5 metres long.  Quite beautiful with its small head and amazing convoluting body, a dark olively, brown colour.  Possibly just coming out of hibernation, hungry and with its venom at its most concentrated.

Joanna, (left, ouside Montaza Park) who is a Labrador/Golden Retriever cross, is a natural hunting dog and inquisitive.  Not great if there are snakes about, we have already had one emergency visit to the Vet last summer, when we saw Joanna confronting a very large dugite.  Fortunately, she was not bitten.  Ah ... the quiet life of the country.

Spring gallops

Not only are there spring carnivals as the horse racing season progresses with plenty of galloping horses, so, too, do the gardens accelerate with their spring growth.  Flower buds, leaf buds all are springing (sorry!) into action.

Montaza Park jasmine

Montaza jasmine crp sm2

Jasminum polyanthemum is a perfumed twining creeper with pretty perfumed flowers.

The poplar that was bare last week is now covered with fresh, young leaves, the Mediterranean Oak is now fully clothed and casting solid (almost too solid) shade.

Cherry blossom is out as are varieties of apples.  And the roses, especially many of the older style varieties such as the Tea Roses, are full of blooms.

Climbers, such as the pretty jasmine, left, are trailing over fences and, if given a chance will climb into trees.  It is best, for the tree's sake to keep climbers, like jasmine, under control as they can smother the tree. An annual prune in late summer is not a bad idea as it will keep the jasmine from wrecking other plants.

The central part of the South West of Western Australia has a warm temperate climate.  In inland parts, and dependant on altitude, frosts may occur several times a winter, sufficiently cold in some years to adversely affect plants such as Jacarandas and kill geraniums.  

Lilac at Montaza Park 

Montaza lilac sm

The flowers and scent of lilac are a sign of spring.

Plants from colder climes that tolerate frost take the occasional cold morning in their stride and will do well.  Apples and other similar fruits rely on the chill factor to fruit well.  

Lilacs are good examples, that although from a colder climate, they will grow and bloom well in the inland South West especially if they have some protection from the hot afternoon summer sun.

© growing country gardens 2016