The Gardens of Chiconia 40: Bathtime

In the very dry winter/early spring weather we’ve been having in the lead up to summer, it’s not only the garden that has suffered.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 4.56.11 pm

The birds have been going thirsty, and apparently, unwashed!

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 4.55.49 pmWe have got into the habit of providing water for drinking and bathing, and since the dishes went out onto the bird feeder, they are rarely empty of bird life. It can be hard capturing the action out there, but the lorikeets are the boldest, noisiest and by a long way, the splashiest.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 4.56.53 pmScreen Shot 2015-09-20 at 4.56.35 pm








The dwarf mango tree we planted some weeks ago is loving its new position, and has rewarded us by blossoming, at least a year before I would have expected it. I don’t know if the flowers will come to anything, but if they do, I’ll be pleased and impressed. This tree began its life in northern Queensland as a baby, a slender wand about 40cm high. It’s now a good 2m tall, with a sturdy trunk. Given the lack of rain, we are watering it carefully by hand, using the water condensed out by our living room air conditioner.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 4.57.16 pmThe lychee is also signalling that spring has arrived with the most gorgeous display of new foliage in glossy shades of pink and bronze. All the new shoots it has put out have increased the canopy of the little tree by about 30%, and I think it may be time to consider finding it a new home in the ground rather than in the tub it has occupied for a few years. The avocado, which flowered a few weeks ago, has had its new shoots and most of the flowers eaten by the blasted grasshoppers, so I don’t think we’ll be seeing any fruit there, but again, it’s increasing in size and should be transplanted. I have potted on my angel trumpet cuttings and my custard apple seedlings, and they are enjoying life in the sunporch until they’re large enough to go into the garden.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 4.57.54 pm Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 4.58.11 pmThere’s some lovely colour showing itself: orchids, petrea and so on, but mostly things are looking very brown and crispy.

The garden is waiting with bated breath for the start of the Wet. Won’t be long now. And when it starts, you’ll almost be able to see everything growing!

27 thoughts on “The Gardens of Chiconia 40: Bathtime

  1. tialys says:

    It does all look a bit ‘wilty’ at the moment doesn’t it? A bit like me, actually, as I’ve caught a cold from somewhere and it’s rare for me to get one so I’m feeling sorry for myself.

  2. claire93 says:

    it’s going to be fun watching everything grow ^^

  3. EllaDee says:

    It’s lovely to see the birds in the garden. I always enjoy their antics and how wholeheartedly they avail themselves of the facilities.
    Your garden looks great in the relative short time since you’ve been there and despite the dry winter. I wonder if summer will bring Godzilla El Nino as predicted…

    • katechiconi says:

      Whatever we get here is always extreme in any case, so it’s just a case of ‘more of the usual’! I love documenting the progress of my trees and plants, but I’m always conscious that they have to stand on their own… roots… when planted, because of the extreme climate and our inability to irrigate to the furthest reaches of the backyard.

  4. nanacathy2 says:

    Our blackbirds love splashing around in our bird bath too, have even seen them in an orderly queue waiting for a turn.

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh, the lorikeets are nowhere near so mannerly! Lots of loud squabbling, squawking, shoving and splashing. And the honeyeaters aren’t much better. The drongos actually make a rather beautiful aerial ballet out of taking turns in the bath!

  5. dayphoto says:

    Hope the refreshing rains arrive soon. Your place is just lovely! I love the lorikeets, such cheerful acting birds!


  6. Birdybrain says:

    Lovely trees and birds-so colorful. The few fruit trees I can grow in the desert, the birds get to, my pomegranate is their favorite 🙂 oh well. We get a lot of lemons which is my favorite and not so much theirs. Good thing. We also leave water out for the birds and wild animals, it’s so dry & hot here that I want to help them out a bit. Happy planting.🌻

    • katechiconi says:

      My problem with growing things is that they have to be able to withstand getting totally waterlogged in the Wet, and deal with high levels of humidity. We also don’t get cold enough for certain things to set fruit. So far, I seem to be producing most of my fruit for the local bird and insect population!

  7. the birds will love you ! have a great Summer ! tomorrow is the official start of Autumn over here so I am a bit sad

  8. Magpie Sue says:

    I have a clay saucer balanced on the railing of our back porch that I keep water in for the birds. Most of the time it’s just the little birds, sparrows and chickadees who visit, but there’s at least one American Robin who has discovered the dish. He nearly empties it with his splashing!

  9. rutigt says:

    In my garden it´s autumn and the plums are falling to the ground. The rosehips are getting red, the leaves are getting yellow, but the sun is still shining and warming us 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      It sounds lovely – we don’t get a proper autumn; it’s not cold so the leaves don’t change colour and fall, there are no geese flying south to a warmer climate and we get fruit all year round! I do miss the smell of autumn, though…

  10. anne54 says:

    That lychee bush is beautiful! So glossy and bronze. I have never seen one before, just the fruit. You will have quite a productive orchard when they all grow a little more.

  11. Jen Gardener says:

    Lorikeets have such personalities don’t they? That photo is amazing but I bet it doesn’t do it justice! I can only imagine the ruckus!

    • katechiconi says:

      It doesn’t convey the huge crowd of the little buggers sploshing about, or the *indescribable* noise. The rainbow lorikeets are fun, but they drive away the sunbirds, honeyeaters, pale-headed lorikeets, butcher birds, willy wagtails, crested pigeons, spangled drongos and a host of others. Luckily it’s mostly in the early evening, and the others get a look in at other times!

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