It’s starting to sound like a different season in the garden…

People claim Queensland has no real seasonal change like the southern states, where foliage changes color, the light diffuses and temperatures slide subtly to the warm or cold upcoming.

Weather know-it-alls say it goes from very, very hot to plain old hot, to less hot in winter. I disagree with this claim that there’s no detectable seasonal shift here. I can sense autumn – and something about the cooler, gentler conditions changes me too.

Power surge

I get a surge of energy and tackle all the heavyduty 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 mental freewheeling allowed by the mundane, repetitive action of weeding and clearing.

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….”

In my head I have written entire books; rehearsed conversations; redesigned my house, my wardrobe and my social calendar; and planned holidays, meals and new projects while my hands have been busy in the dirt, shifting manure, mulching, weeding and edging.

Tuned to prune

Autumn has a different sound, too. In our neighbourhood, it’s the reverberation of chainsaws, whipper snippers, chop-chop-chopping of shears and clippers snipping, crunching and breaking.

After the wet summer and the rampant growth, we are all out slashing and hacking at the overload.

When I look at how quickly and vigorously the vegetation bursts forth from the heat and damp, it strikes me how rapidly and surely the earth reclaims its own.

We have a precarious hold on our civilised patch of dirt. Turn our backs for a moment and nature marches indiscriminately over our rockeries, gardens, lawns, paddocks and sculptured landscaping.

Surprise visitor

I love the surprises the recent soaking has brought.

An apparently ruined ginger plant I had counted out for all money sprang back in glorious flower, revived in the damp ground.

Don’t say Mother Nature isn’t generous. My tibouchina and plumbago are brighter and bluer than I can ever remember and the bromeliads are out in splendour, poking their pretty red heads out from under the jacaranda, frangipani and across our front fenceline.

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