Autumnal Beauties: SoS 28 May, 2022

Autumn is slowly coming to an end in these parts. Often the days are very warm, dry and cloudless at this time of the year, but because of our protracted La Niña event there has been a lot of cloud and sunsets have been magnificent. I’ve taken a number of photos of sunsets recently, but they never look as splendid in a photo as they do with the naked eye, so I’m not including any here.

Above, not a sunset but startlingly yellow, is perennial marigold Tagetes lemonii. It certainly is a bright spot in the garden and although it has only recently begun to flower, I suspect its season will be short lived as it will probably succumb to frosts when they arrive, an event which is forecast for next week.

As is the case everywhere it seems, vegetable prices are rising quite shockingly, so I have planted vegetables including broccoli, silver beet, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, lettuces and rocket. Above is the broccoli, growing very energetically. I‘m keeping the cauliflower and broccoli under a net to protect them from the white cabbage butterflies and it’s working very well; the leaves are almost unblemished.

Bottlebrush Callistemon viminalis burst into flower a few weeks ago but is now coming to an end. Fallen flowers show that birds have been enjoying the nectar, but they are not very careful about how they source it. Bottlebrushes are wonderful steadfast garden plants flowering twice a year and providing the neighbourhood avians with food and us with colour.

Salvia Indigo Spires is still flowering profusely, though I do wish it would live up to its name and have spires instead of lying languidly on the ground in such a louche fashion.

In the front garden, the Japanese maple is colouring very nicely. It has been here for nearly eight years and this is the FIRST time the leaves have changed colour. Usually the days are far too hot and the leaves go brown and then fall.

Erica ’Winter Fire’ is also enjoying the season. Appropriately named, for its colour, and also we’ve had our fire going at night for a couple of weeks now.

I recently wrote about our Hakea tree being visited by yellow tailed black cockatoos (yes, they’ve been back a number of times) and here is its smaller sibling, Hakea myrtoides x petiolaris which is a Hakea found locally. Its other name if you don’t want to bother with the long one is Burrendong Beauty, and it is a beauty, filled with bees and flowering reliably at this time every year.

Those are my six for this week. There are many other gardeners who join in with Six on Saturday every week and if you would like to read about their gardens pop over to The Propagators’ blog and join in.

Weather today: Cloudy with some rain. 10 – 17 degrees C.

36 Comments Add yours

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    I am hoping to plant seeds from last years Brussels Sprouts which I let go to seed. It may be a challenge!

    1. Jane says:

      Good luck with the Brussels sprouts, Rosie. I’ll be happy to read about your progress.

  2. I like lying languidly in a louche fashion 🙂

    1. Jane says:

      I had a bit of a rush of blood to the head with alliteration, Derrick!

  3. The Japanese Maple is looking stunning in that light. I almost bought a Callistemon for a pot once. I wish I had now seeing your photo.

    1. Jane says:

      Do try a Callistemon. They are very forgiving plants and I’m sure would be fine in a pot. I was writing my post and a last shaft of sunlight shone which meant I had to run out and take the photo of the maple.

  4. What I love about your posts is that they go from the familiar (salvia, cabbages) to the exotic (hakea, cockatoos). For me anyway. Your acer is looking wonderful!

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, it’s interesting. Exotic for me is what I see on NH posts. Every time I look at them I find something I really need to have! We’re enjoying the colours of the Acer after waiting so many years to see them.

  5. fredgardener says:

    I’m glad you can enjoy the color change of your Japanese maple. Here we see it every year but our autumn are certainly milder. Wonderful colors.
    Well done for the cabbages and the net seems to protect them well

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Fred. Autumns colours are always so special.
      Btw, the lemons are still hanging on the tree and looking deliciously ripe and, I’m sure, juicy.

  6. The soft autumn light really shows off the colours in your garden, Jane. I am impressed with your veggie patch. So strange to still have the salvia and marigolds at this time of year. Your garden must keep you very busy.

    1. Jane says:

      Isn’t Autumn a wonderful time of year, almost as lovely as Spring, except for the thought of winter on its way. I probably do something in the garden most days, even if it’s only for a short time, and I get a lot of pleasure from it. It keeps me busy, which is a Good Thing. I have high hopes for the veggies!

      1. Autumn is better than Spring, Jane. The wind and hayfever in Spring make it my least favourite season!

  7. Your garden certainly has many autumn blooms. I agree with you about photographing sunsets. The eye sees them better. I had a 20 foot high Weeping Bottle Brush and our very hard freeze killed it. The tree was a favorite of all wildlife.

    1. Jane says:

      I’m sorry about your weeping bottle tree. What a shame, and a surprise too. We can get big frosts here, down to -7 at times, and although the ends of the branches are quite often burnt, the trees themselves don’t suffer. I would be vey sad if I lost one (I have quite eight!).

      1. It was quite a big freeze for here. The electricity went out all over the state and many people had to deal with broken pipes and house repairs.

        1. Jane says:

          Oooh, that’s bad. I don’t realise that you live in a pretty cold area.

          1. No, we don’t and that is the problem. Every once in a while a very cold front comes down from Canada and wipes out many of our plants and trees.

  8. Heyjude says:

    A lovely six Jane. And one of the bonuses of such a weird year’s weather is the beautiful colour of that tree. You are not the only one who has floppy spikes! I just wish I could get any salvia to last more than a couple of years.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Jude. I wonder why salvias don’t last in your garden. Perhaps they suffer from wet feet, although mine have had that situation a few times in the last couple of years, so perhaps not. I have lost a couple of Gauras, but the salvias stand firm and steady so far and some of them are about the first things I planted and so they’ve been here for years.

      1. Heyjude says:

        I think the wet winters kills off a lot of the perennials (if the S&S don’t get them when they begin to shoot again in spring).

  9. Kris P says:

    I’ve had the same issue with Japanese maples here – the one that receives protection from the strong afternoon sun (and the wind) has been the most faithful in showing off it’s autumn colors. I LOVE the Hakea, a plant that’s hard to find here, although of late it seems to be gaining greater interest from the local garden centers. I just missed out on a Hakea laurina at my local botanic garden’s spring plant sale – every single plant was gone when I arrived just an hour after the sale opened.

    1. Jane says:

      I had the maple in a pot for a few years and when we moved here I planted it knowing really, that it would suffer. It usually gets burnt in the summer, so I’m glad it simply survives. It was a poor choice on my part. How amazing that Hakeas are so popular. I don’t think they’re valued as much here. Familiarity, I suppose. I hope you manage to source one some day as they’re really tough and would be suited to your conditions.

  10. I loved seeing your Japanese Maple, something I never see here. I have the same Marigolds just starting to flower in my garden.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you. One of the fun things about SOS is seeing what other gardeners have. And if you’re me, often lusting after them!

  11. What beautiful, autumnal colours. That Bottle brush bush is striking. I may be wrong, but I don’t think it grows much in this country. Good luck with your “greens”. All my broccoli, brussels, cauliflowers and kale was completely wrecked by the caterpillars last year, so I’m not bothering this year.

    1. Jane says:

      Hi Granny, I’m hoping that the net will keep the munching insects off the veggies. I did find it quite a good method when I grew broccoli a few years ago. No good if you’re relying on insects for pollination of course.

  12. Noelle says:

    Nice to read about unusual plants, and your vegetables look in fine fettle.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Noelle.

  13. March Picker says:

    The golden beauty of your perennial marigold draws me in. Perhaps I’m too damp and cold to try Tagetes here? Ha! Enjoy the delicious veg (eventually) and the lovely sunsets, Jane.

    1. Jane says:

      It certainly has been damp here this past year, so I don’t think that would bother Tagetes. Cold does, I believe. I’m waiting to see what happens to mine during winter. Last year I cut it right back to the ground and it survived, but we didn’t have a very cold winter. I have high hopes for the vegetables!

  14. Your Hakea tree is a new one to me and looks beautiful

  15. lisinmayenne says:

    What beautiful colours, that maple is stunning ~ so lovely you can enjoy it in its true splendour at last. I’m seriously envious of your brassicas, mine currently look like lace thanks to flea beetle!

    1. Jane says:

      Oh flea beetle sounds nasty. Yes, it’s nice to enjoy the maple for once. (Nearly over now though).

  16. hb says:

    Those are beauties indeed. How cool that your got autumn color on your Acer. The cloudy sky and the light are so evocative of a precise moment in time–a late autumn afternoon. Here the Acer leaves also mostly turn brown and fall without color. Broccoli looks lovely too–yes, veggies can be beautiful–likely because you protected them so well.

    Gorgeous Hakea! If only that was available here, it would be yet another plant I want but don’t have room for. Ha ha!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you for your comment HB. The brassicas are even bigger now a couple of weeks later, and despite a lot of wind I managed to keep a net on them, so still no caterpillars. Maybe you could find a smaller Hakea? And they can be pruned.😊
      Acer leaves usually turn brown and drop off my tree too.

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