Posted by: Debra Kolkka | January 4, 2013

Sub-tropical summer

Summer is in full swing here in Brisbane and it is hot! I don’t really like being hot, but I do love the flowering trees and shrubs that are looking beautiful right now.

Poincianas are stunning trees…they are covered in red flowers in summer.



The trees are a wonderful umbrella shape…the perfect shade tree.


The individual flowers are not spectacular, but they put on a good show together.


Illawarra Flame trees also look wonderful when they are in flower.



The flowers are almost finished now…time for the trees to produce huge seed pods.


Coral trees are covered in spikes and gorgeous red flowers that look like exotic birds.



The emerging flowers remind me of toucan’s beaks.


Strelizia, or Bird of Paradise flowers really look like exotic birds.





Thank goodness for nature, who could dream these up?

Glorious Frangipanis come in several colours…yellow/orange.







…and my favourite, white/yellow.


Mangoes are ripening on trees in our street.


Hibiscus are everywhere.


I don’t know the name of the next one, but it looks beautiful and smells divine.


Southbank is looking wonderful. It is always busy, but particularly now with the hot, sunny days. It is great to have this interesting space so close to the city.



The bougainvillea arbour provides a shady path for the length of the park.





The magenta colour of the bougainvillea is not the flower. The flowers are white and there are 3 tiny flowers surrounded by 3 or 6 colourful bracts.



I love the giant fig trees with the aerial roots. The roots grow down from the branches and take up moisture and nutrients from the air before eventually growing into the ground.



The trees provide an excellent playground for children.


Some of the ponds are covered with water lillies.




Lizards are enjoying the warm days.


I think this might be a type of Acacia.


The beach is full of families enjoying school holidays.



This must feel good on a hot day…the water park is a great place to play.


On my balcony the anthuriums are growing.



The spathiphyllum is thriving.


The lipstick plant is doing its thing.


…and my pineapple is ripening.


There are lots of things to love about summer…if only it wasn’t quite so hot.


  1. You have captured our beautiful city wearing it best summer looks.

    • Brisbane is looking good.

  2. Very beautiful post and flowers!

    • Our city is looking wonderful right now.

  3. Summer is a beautiful time as you so rightly say – flowers & all the beautiful summer fruits – mangoes being at the top of the list – for me, I love hot – & so many good things are around when it’s hot – and we are lucky to have air conditioning – great photos Deb

    • If you love hot why do you have air-conditioning?

  4. Deb, looks like we’re in for a scorcher these next few days! Lovely photos, but maybe it’s time to crank up the air con and stay indoors!

    • We only have air conditioning in the bedroom and my workroom. Home is fine, but as soon as I leave the house I am dripping wet with sweat…yuk!

  5. Lovely images they are especially nice to look at as it’s winter here and I can hear the wind howling outside. I love the bougainvillea arbour.

    • It took a while for the plants to cover the arbor, but it is doing well now.

  6. i was at southbank for new years eve and it looked great!!! the first flower you couldn’t identify is a buckinghamia or ivory curl tree the second is a laburnum. the seeds from this are toxic. trying to get my pergola to look like the southbank arbour chris

    • Thanks for the plant knowledge. Laburnum in Italy hangs down like wisteria, but it is the same gorgeous colour.

  7. lovely pictures. =)

    • Thank you, Brisbane is looking particularly lovely this summer.

  8. Those flowers and trees are just stunning!

    • The colours are wonderful. The poincianas are almost finished flowering, which is a pity.

  9. great post Deb – it has made me forget about the humidity and heat and enjoy the beauty!!

    • It ia a bit difficult to ignore the heat, but what can you do?

  10. There’s no doubt about it, our capital city is beautiful!

    Ciao da the Atherton Tablelands.

    • Brisbane is a beautiful city, but your neck of the woods is pretty good too.

  11. I was reading this in an office with 2 people oohing and aahing over my shoulder!!! So from the 3 of us, mille grazie!

    • We are lucky to have so many beautiful trees in the city.

  12. So good to record the positive side of a very hot summer. Roz

    • It has been hot, with no relief in sight…time to go to Italy.

  13. Such lovely photos – I especially like the one of the pensive little boy standing in the fountain – how delightful. It’s such a shame that when we become adults we can’t do what children do – like singing in the supermarket or skipping up the street – maybe I can get away with that when I’m a little old lady:)

    • I would love to get into that watermark. I need a grandchild, perhaps I could borrow one occasionally.

  14. I remember when they first planted the ‘zipper’ at southbank, it’s grown since then x ciao lisa

    • It took some time to get going, and I think there were a couple of replantings, but it is thriving now.

  15. Beautiful photos! I also like the colours and smells of summer, but not the heat. Thankfully, this week has been slightly cooler here.

    • I do love some aspects of summer, but I am not good in the heat.

  16. A real reminder how truly tropical Brisbane is….The colours are amazing. Melbourne never looks this healthy! x

    • I love Melbourne’s botanical gardens, and those beautiful tree lined streets are gorgeous.

      • That’s true. I guess it’s all relative. Brisbane looks stunning right now. I love Melbourne in Autumn best.

  17. Wonderful shots Debra, you’ve done Brisbane proud! You’ve also reminded me how slack I am not getting out and enjoying my own hometown. That anthurium looks like it belongs in your post on willies 🙂 Lovely to see you again today, safe flight back to Italy, I look forward to reading what you get up to!

    • I thought much the same thing about the anthurium. They are most unusual plants.

  18. Gosh, Brisbane looks stunning Deb. I must make more time to visit that part of Australia during this time of the year. It looks sososososo tropical!

    • High summer does have its benefits.

  19. Stunning color … and the tree with the hanging roots is quite intriguing.

    • Those giant fig trees can grow to cover huge areas of land.

  20. Brisbane looks beautiful! Happy New Year, by the way 🙂
    (I think your mystery pale yellow plant is a Grevillea of one sort or another)

    • The flowers certainly look like grevillias.

  21. Amazing pictures and colors! Thanks to share with us all these wonderful places!

    • I love to wander about with my camera and take photos os things that take my fancy.

  22. Beautiful. We are still some months away from such beautiful weather in NYC.

    • I will be in New York in late Feb/early March. I am hoping the very coldest days are over by then.

      • Hope so too, but it could be a little sketchy. Bring a warm coat.

      • I will definitely have a coat with me, the weather is too unpredictable.

  23. Stunning photos. Yes so very much Brisbane Lyn

    • We live in a gorgeous city.

  24. Such a colorful post, Debra, enlivening a dreary winter day here in the states! Thank you for sharing the vibrant color of your part of the world.

  25. I will be leaving it all behind soon to return to winter in Italy.

  26. So that’s what those red trees are called, poincianas. I’ve seen quite a few recently and they really are quite beautiful.

    • Poincianas are lovely trees, and this year they are looking particularly good.

  27. I am always in awe of your MANY stunning photos! They are absolutely beautiful!

    • Thank you. It helps to have a good subject.

  28. Gorgeous all! the bougainvillia arbour is my particular favourite 🙂

    • The arbour runs the length of Southbank, which is the old Expo site.

  29. Attention to detail on another level! Brava, Debra.
    Those arches, WOW! I have yet to capture something like that.
    The fig trees are always scary for me. When I was a kid, we have a movie where a scary creature lives there. 😀
    BEAUTIFUL, impressive floral gallery!!!

  30. Very excited about my pineapple too Debbio!

  31. Southbank is looking good. I love Brissy.

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