Ah, summer. Is there anything better? I mean, sure, that’s a pretty broad question, but you know what I mean – it’s just the best time of year on all counts, by a huge margin. Not only can you get away with wearing thongs on most social occasions and watching 200% more cricket than usual, but you also get to see which flowers are the true stars of the plant world.
The way I see it, plants brave enough to flower in the Australian summer are not only drought hardy renegades that are just plain cooler than their spring-flowering counterparts. That might sound crude, but think about it: spring is gentle and pleasant. Surely it doesn’t take much to flower under those conditions. Summer, on the other hand, is harsh and aggressive, presenting much more a challenge to your average plant. Those that succeed in summer flowering are therefore all the more spectacular.
Of course, this is just my opinion, and many people have opposed me on it. Still, I stand by my stance. Take the bougainvillea, for example. This show-stopping stunner surely could not have developed in a cool climate. I don’t really have an explanation for why that should be so, but it just seems self-evident.
Consider, as well, something like blue ginger. This beauty thrives in the heat and doesn’t really do cold climates – something I can get behind and respect. Again, it just has a certain look to it that screams ‘I love the tropics’, which you’d never find in a cold-climate plant. If you don’t believe me, just go and look at one one – in person, not in a picture – and see if you think differently.
I realise I’m not being very scientific here, or even very persuasive. I guess what it boils down to is feeling like I have something in common with these plants – namely, preferring warm climates to cool ones. It’s really that simple.