Six on Saturday – W5/2020 – Growth spurts in the garden

The welcome rain that has fallen during the past couple of weeks has brought the countryside and garden back to life! In response, some plants have put on a growth spurt, while others are flowering profusely. Not even a few dry days have slowed things down. With all the rampant growth I’ve had to make a start on taming certain plants, especially the Salvia, which have become leggy, and the butterfly bushes which have almost taken over the garden pathways.

Queensland Fire wheel tree – Stenocarpus sinuatus

This tree lives at the bottom of the garden and tends to get overlooked … until it flowers! It flowered for us last summer, and it certainly wasn’t spectacular. Maybe it was the dry and hot conditions that favour it, or the weather scared it into producing an amazing display of flowers this year. It looks spectacular! This tree is an Australian native of the Proteacea family, and is a rainforest tree. The flowers are umbels arranged in a circle, and this, along with its colour, is reflected in its common name.

Stenocarpus sinuatus


One of my newly acquired Gerberas is now flowering and looking spectacular. What a beautiful colour combination!

Strobilanthes auriculatus var. dyeriana

I bought this plant last year, and it struggled through summer, produced flowers and became lanky in winter. I pruned it back in spring, and it grew slowly until after the recent rain when it grew rapidly. It provides a welcome splash of colour in the shady part of the front border to the garden.

Callistemon and Hymenosporum growth spurt

The most impressive growth spurt (the lighter green leaves) in response to the rain has been that of the bottlebrush. This plant was acquired as a tube stock and planted into one of the newly created garden beds in about 2017. Since the rain it has added another 14 inches (35 cm) to its height in a matter of a couple of weeks.

Similarly, the Hymenosporum flavum (Australian frangipani) has grown by a foot (30 cm).

Rain lily – Zephyranthes robusta

And while most plants are growing and flowering like mad, the rain lily is now dispersing its seeds.

What flower is that?

I had the surprise of my life when I looked at the Acalypha – it was flowering ….. but hang on! Something is not quite right! THAT is not an Acalypha flower! On closer inspection I realised that a hibiscus flower had fallen into the Acalypha bush!

That is my Six for the week. Happy gardening, and if you would like to see what is happening in other gardens around the world, join in via The Propagator .


  1. So very glad you got rain, & apparently, so is your garden. Love the fire wheel tree. How tall is it? That gerbera is an unusual colour, at least in terms of what I’ve seen. So funny about the hibiscus flower.

  2. So many new plants here! It is always so nice to see plants that I will probably never see in real life! My that Fire Tree is special all by itself! Lovely photos and post! Glad you are getting rain!

  3. I’m so pleased the rain came and I am even more pleased that I looked at your blog! The Stenocarpus sinuatus is amazing, and new to me, and the strobilanthes is making me drool rather unattractively. Lovely 🙂

Leave a Reply