Garden inspiration: Rain!

Another long dry spell in Illawarra has finally been broken with some decent rain. What more inspiration could you want to get out in the garden, or perhaps take a wander in a local nature reserve, and see how the plants are doing? You might prefer to wait until it's fine again, but the rain is making many plants look just beautiful at the moment. 
If you go down to the woods today...Image by Emma Rooksby. 
Some plants' leaves really catch and hold the water droplets. 
Coffee Bush (Breynia oblongifolia) leaves hold the raindrops beautifully. Image by Emma Rooksby. 

Sheoaks (Casuarina and Allocasuarina species) also hold onto the raindrops. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
Orange Thorn (Pittosporum multiflorum) does't show many individual droplets, but it glistens in the rain. Image by Emma Rooksby.

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum aethiopicum) is another 'glistener.' This patch of ferns is quite sparse at the
 moment but will look lush and green in a few weeks. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
And random late entry the Small-leaved Bleeding Heart, which has raindrops aplenty on some leaves, and none on others! Image by Emma Rooksby. 
An interesting rain-related phenomenon is that of the foaming tree. Here's a blog post on the reasons why this may happen. 
A Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis) producing soapy foam during rain. This could just be a completely
 natural process, or the result of the rain interacting with chemical pollutants that have built up on the
 tree's trunk during a dry spell. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
And of course, rain really gets things happening in the plant world. Rain, particularly with a thunderstorm or two attached, helps some seeds to germinate. New seedlings, and indeed many plants, tend to grow better with natural rainfall than with town or tank water. 
Seeds of Giant Pepper Vine (Piper hederaceum) starting to germinate after a bit of a rainy period. Image by Emma Rooksby. 

Seedlings enjoying the rain. (You can't actually see them singing, but I'm sure they are!) Image by Emma Rooksby. 
Of course it's also a great time to put in new plants if you have them. Hope you find a few ways to enjoy the rains!

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