People claim Queensland has no real seasonal change, that is, like the southern states, where the leaves change colour, the light diffuses and temperatures slide subtly to the warmth or the cold ahead. Climate know-alls say our state just goes from hot, hot, hot to less hot in mid winter. Beautiful one day, perfect the next? Don’t want to sound smug, but for an outdoors lover, YES!

I disagree with the claim that there is no detectable seasonal shift, ‘though. The minute March hits, I can sense an autumnal change in the air here and something about the cooler, gentler conditions changes me too. I get a surge of energy and start getting into all the heavy duty garden jobs that the heat of summer has me too lethargic for – the big slash and burn, the pullout and replant, the rock shifting, weed ripping,  mega-hour tasks that see me go a whole day without stopping to eat, drink, pee or look around.

At the finish, a delicious physical exhaustion sets in, but my mind has been revitalised with uninterrupted churning. Sometimes it’s on the job at hand. Other times, it’s from a mental freewheeling that the mundane, repetitive action of weeding and clearing allows.In my head I have written books, rehearsed conversations, redesigned my house, my wardrobe,my job,  planned holidays, meals and new careers while my hands have been shifting manure, mulching, weeding and edging. Sometimes the song ” Turn, Turn Turn” runs through my head …”to everything ….. there is a season … a time to build up, a time to break down ..”

Autumn has a different sound, too. In our neighbourhood, it’s the reverberation of chainsaws, whipper snippers, chop chop chopping of shears, clippers snipping, crunching and breaking. After the wet summer and the verdant – actually, rampant – growth, we are all out slashing and hacking at the overload. Don’t want to curse the rain, mindful of only a few years ago when we were catching drips in buckets in the shower, but feel for those poor residents down south forced to evacuate their flooded homes. Enough please.

When I look at how quickly and vigorously the vegetation bursts forth from the heat and damp, it reminds me how rapidly and surely the earth reclaims its own. We have only a perilous hold on our civilised patch of dirt. Turn our backs for

Jean's ginger surprise

a moment and nature marches indiscriminately over our rockeries, manicured gardens, lawns, shorn paddocks and sculptured landscaping.

But I love the surprises the soaking brings. Jean posts a comment about a burnt and apparently ruined ginger plant she had counted out for all money, and which sprang back to life in glorious flower, revived in the damp ground she transplanted it. It even multiplied! (That’s it pictured at right) Don’t say mother nature is not generous .

And I love the longer flowering the summer deluges have brought about. My tibouchina and plumbago are brighter and bluer than I can remember. The bromeliads are all out in splendour, poking their pretty red heads out from under the jacaranda, frangipani, around the pool and across the front fenceline.

Is it a tribute to our PM Julia?

Fantastic how synchronised they all are, regardless of where in the garden they’re planted! Their social networking doesn’t ever need updating.


It hasn’t been all removal this week. I did put in a couple of pink eremophilas in the front bed I look at first thing each day. Good hardy, sun loving, winter-flowering reliables and all the better for a brisk pruning each year, they tend to dislike humidity, but the couple of varieties I bought from my local market supplier ( Pink Passion and Magic Blush) are assuredly more tolerant of our conditions. Let’s see.


And I could not resist sharing this lovely and different flower arrangement by my very artistic friend Colleen. She picked her pink oleanders and put them under the vase’s water.  How stunning is that!

Happy rearranging.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Elizabeth Allen said,

    Julie, your blog is enough to make me want to recover my gardening zeal – or at least finish mowing the lawn, which I started before the recent deluge. I am inspired to resolve to follow your example and plant some winter colour before the month is out. A question for you or your readers, do you think the pile of garden waste at the bottom of my yard could be breeding rats? We have had a nocturnal visitor to our fruit bowl on the kitchen bench.

  2. 2

    Depends on what is in the garden rubbish. Are there food scraps? That will bring rats …. turn it over and cover with a weed mat or old carpet and that will help heat it up and steam any vermin out. Better to have such rubbish in a compost bin or enclosure.
    What say others?

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