It’s autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere.

In subtropical Australia, there’s no obvious turning of foliage colour, nor is there the leaf drop people in cooler climes associate with my most favourite of seasons. The changes are more subtle. Unless of course you live in the hinterland on higher elevations, like Mount Tamborine where many exotic deciduous trees and plants thrive. But having lived here on the coast for some years now, I’ve learned to recognise ‘the turning’ and look forward to the new season’s onset.

Certain trees herald the arrival of autumn with a celebration of flowers, like the dwarf flowering gum cultivar Corymbia ficifolia pictured above and the magnificent Buckinghamia or Ivory Curl Tree – both are Australian natives.


Buckinghamia celcissima Ivory Curl Tree

When I think of autumn, it’s with the same feeling one might view a well-earned holiday. A time to rest and regroup without the frenzy of summer’s heat filled days. A time to enjoy the gauzy light, the crisper air and balmy evenings. If Summer is a brash tart in vibrant caftans with a champagne cocktail in hand, then Autumn is her gentle sister reclining on a chaise lounge in soft silken pyjamas, sipping green tea.

Soon my deciduous gingers will go to ground for their well-earned rest. I will trim their dead foliage back to the nubby roots in preparation  for their spring awakening. They have produced spectacular flowers this season. I don’t begrudge them some time off. Other plants will slow their growth too, seemingly glad for the change of pace. Even the worms in my worm farm will respond to the change by eating and proliferating less. A lesson I still have to learn.

I ponder how autumn affects me, my moods, my metabolism, my mode of being. I decide this seasonal shift indeed affects me across the whole spectrum of my life. I sense a change in the passage of time mostly, a desire to enjoy the slowing down of nature and follow suit. Autumn  invokes reflection, contemplation. It’s an opportunity to read, to write, to think more, to plan ahead for my spring garden. It’s about better sleeping, longer walks, different foods, especially seasonal fruits.

What does autumn mean for you?


Now please excuse me while I change. My chaise lounge awaits.


Ginger flower


Singapore ginger

Click on above pictures for captions.

32 responses to “Autumn

  1. Loved this post! “If Summer is a brash tart in vibrant caftans with a champagne cocktail in hand, then Autumn is her gentle sister reclining on a chaise lounge in soft silken pyjamas, sipping green tea” Reminds me of Mucha paintings

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been away from life and have just started to pick back up. This post is the start, and what a beauty to have. I love the photos you always choose — none more so than that glorious Ivory Curl Tree. Enjoy the arrival of autumn, though I believe March is likely to be more summer-like than normal.

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  3. What a sweet ginger flower! I really love autumn here in New England. But March heralds spring for us and Charley raked the fall leaves from some of the gardens today so the daffodils and hyacinths could get the benefit of this marvelously warm sunlight. Your lovely personifications of Summer and Autumn created vivid pictures in my mind. Thank you for that and enjoy your cooler days, Robyn.

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  4. Here the fresh beginnings of spring are heralded by the first blooms in tiny bud. Everything is fresh and new, sometimes still cloaked by snow. I love it. But oh the beauty of the bountiful autumn down under you show is spectacular!

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  5. Lovely post. I especially liked this: ” If Summer is a brash tart in vibrant caftans with a champagne cocktail in hand, then Autumn is her gentle sister reclining on a chaise lounge in soft silken pyjamas, sipping green tea.” We’re heading into spring and while I like the season of rebirth if I had to choose a favorite it would be autumn for the fabulous colors and just like you described it’s a time for slowing down.

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  6. Loved your flower pictures and the metaphors for spring and summer. I would love to meet these well – dressed ladies! Here in North Carolina spring is in full-sway after she had a couple of indiscretions with Old Mr. Winter. Edenton was the capital of North Carolina from 1720-1743 and has retained its historic homes. This Saturday there will be an historic preservation fundraiser, Easels in the Gardens, where the gardens of colonial, ante-bellum, and Victorian homes in the historic district will be opened for tours…with artists painting in them and selling their artwork. I sort off imagine Spring wandering through the paths near sparkling fountains wearing a wide brimmed straw hat with a broad ribbon tied in a bow beneath her chin, wearing a floaty chiffon gown and carrying a basket full of flowers. Really enjoy your blog, Robyn!

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    • I love your vision of Spring Jo! It reminds me of all the wonderful movies set in the deep south I have enjoyed over the years. I have learned so much about other people’s lives since I began blogging. Such a delight to get some history of the places they live too. Wish I was there to enjoy the open garden tours and artists’ renditions of the beautiful architecture and gardens you have there. I hope lots of money is raised. Maybe you will post some photos?

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  7. Oh…just curious…we share some of the same flowers…(though no ginger and can’t leave orchids outside that I know of), here I am involved in something called the Master Gardeners Program, so wondering what growing is like there. How hot do you get in summer and how cold in winter?

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    • We are in a subtropical zone here Jo. We are also situated on the coast – the eastern seaboard of Australia – which has its own set of challenges. In summer we can get as high as 40 degrees Celsius (38 + 100 Fahrenheit) but more commonly in the thirties. In winter we hardly ever get into single digits (10 C =50 F) It’s a fine area for growing.

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