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Fall? Spring? Which season is it?

It’s a very interesting thing here in Australia. Autumn that is. Instead of plants losing their vegetation and going to sleep for the winter, here in Adelaide, plants turn green and start to grow in the fall. Really! Our neighborhood has become so green recently, that I hardly even recognize it. We’ve had lots of rain, and it just no longer feels like the arid Australia I was used to and expecting.

What happens is that the summer (not the winter) is the stressful time for plants here, since it’s so dry. The winter is really very mild, with hardly any frosts, so plants can actually grow and thrive in the fall and winter months. And, often things seed in the fall so they can use the winter to establish themselves before having to make it through the very dry summer. Definitely very different from North America, and Vermont in particular.

Maybe we’ve just had an especially wet fall so far, but part of me is wondering where all this water goes, and why it’s so hard for plants throughout the summer. It seems to be awfully wet, and is even damp and humid outside, which I definitely was not expecting.

So, even though it feels like spring, it’s actually fall. Some people have planted trees from North America and Europe, and those trees are changing colors, so if you’re just in the right place, like in the Mt. Lofty Botanic Gardens, it feels like fall and almost looks like you’re in Vermont.Yet, the outdoor pool is still open for another month or so, which definitely would not be the case in November or December in Vermont! I have next winter to look forward to in Vermont, so I think I’ll enjoy the mild, green winter this year!

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