Posts

Showing posts with the label Spring

Spring downunder in Australia

Image
If you live in the northern hemisphere, Australia's seasons can be confusing. Here's what you need to know about spring. Spring goes from 1 September to 30 November. Technically. Sometimes it only lasts about a week. It's freezing, you blink, and it's suddenly baking hot. Spring in the north of Australia is less exciting, as of course it's the tropics. In fact, the tropics really have entirely different seasons, the wet and the dry. We don't pay as much attention as we should because only small numbers of people live in the tropics compared to the southern cities. What we don't have  Spring break, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. We don't have spring break because spring is the end of the academic year for us. Halloween just doesn't mean anything on a warm spring evening looking forward into summer. Of course a few people do Trick or Treat, especially my Canadian in-laws, but it isn't a national past-time. Thanksgiving is not part

Spring in Canberra: Nara Peace Park

Image
Nara Peace Park is a Japanese-style garden set in the Lennox Gardens parkland behind the Hotel Hyatt on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Wonderful in autumn and in spring, lots of room to run around or picnic.

Spring in Canberra: author inspiration

Image
Cockington Green Gardens isn't just a great day out, it has inspired me as an author. In my book, The Spy Racket , my heroine, Joanne, in all kinds of trouble, needs to retreat to a quiet place away from the pressures of her extended family. A friend lends her his farm. Here's an excerpt: Lin dropped down a gear, and the car persevered upwards, skirting a massive clump of granite rocks, and then climbing upwards again. The cottage came into view, looking small and insignificant, with mighty trees rising up behind it in a wall of green. ‘Cottage’ to many people would mean a solid stone building, maybe with a tiled or thatched roof and stone floors, but certainly a comfortable refuge. Joanne had no such expectations. This building was exactly what she had expected. A better name for it would be ‘hut’ or ‘shack’. It looked old. It was built from rough-cut timber slabs, running vertically from the wooden plank floor to the rusty corrugated iron roof. An uneven timber veran

Spring in Canberra: The National Arboretum

Image
The National Arboretum is a fantastic project to grow plantations of trees on an area devastated by bushfires a decade ago. The trees are still young, but the overall effect is still spectacular. Added to that, Dairy Farmer Hill has what I think are the best views in Canberra. Warning, the government is serious about paying for parking here. There is a fantastic playground, the Pod Playground, the Canberra Discovery Garden that shows how to use water wisely, and the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia. Pod Playground. Photo from ABC Radio National Find out more about the playground architectural design here . Village Centre Nest III Sculpture on Dairy Farmers Hill Bonsai collection Waterwise garden View east from Dairy Farmers Hill Something endangered from North America, very attractive plant Himalayan Cedars

Spring in Canberra: National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden

Image
Of all Canberra's public gardens, this (and the National Botanic Gardens) are my favourites. At the NGA you can see Australian and international sculpture surrounded by Australian native gardens, fantastic. Wonderful any time of the year, best when it's not too cold and windy of course.

Spring in Canberra: Tulip Top Gardens

Image
Spring at last! Canberra people get pretty excited when spring arrives after the long dark days and the cold mornings. It doesn't last for long, but it's spectacular while it's here. Canberra has a spring flower festival, Floriade , held beside Lake Burley Griffin in the centre of the city. But that isn't all Canberra has to offer for garden lovers. My next few blogs will show you some of the other beautiful gardens Canberra has to offer. Tulip Top isn't in Canberra, it's a few kilometres northeast on the Federal Highway, and is only open during Floriade. Well worth a visit though.