Happy New Year everyone. I can't believe it's already the middle of the first week of 2012. I've had a little break over the past couple of weeks and really enjoyed the Christmas / New Year holidays.
I welcomed the New Year in way down south in the A.C.T. which is where our nation's capital is located. We were visiting Canberra to attend a friend's wedding and had organised to stay a few days to catch up with old friends who were also going to the wedding.
It became apparent to me that my interest in plants and gardening has now turned into a bit of a passion when I looked at the photos I had taken while jaunting around our naiton's capital city. I found that there were not too many of the usual touristy type photos ... you know the usual shots of streets, buildings and attractions filled with swarms of tourists.
Now don't get me wrong ... there were a couple of shots like this one above. This is Anzac Parade which is a major ceremonial avenue in our nation's capital. It stretches from the National War Museum at one end, to the Houses of Parliament at the other. It's a significant thoroughfare that is the site for many major military memorials and is used for important ceremonial occasions.
It certainly is something to see ... but what did this gardener notice most? Those magnificent Eucalyptus trees flanking each side of this thoroughfare really caught my eye. They were simply stunning.
They are Victorian Blue Gum trees, Eucalyptus bicostata. I'm afraid I didn't take many photos of the numerous military memorials as we walked along Anzac Parade ... but I did take photos of the beautiful foliage of these Gum trees!
During our week in Canberra, we spent a lot of time visiting the various wonderful attractions such as the National War Museum, the National Art Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum. I can recommend them all very highly ... but you're not going to see many shots of these buildings.
One thing I noticed particularly at all these places was the beauty of the natural surrounds. All these buildings were surrounded by wonderful native trees and plants, and my husband and I spent time just wandering around the grounds outside enjoying the almost Australian-bush feel to it all ... and yes, I took some shots of these lovely surrounds.
Here's a view of our High Court of Australia building, through the weeping branches of more fabulous Eucalyptus trees with native grasses planted all around.
This is the view towards the front entrance of our National Art Gallery of Australia ... once again surrounded by tall Gum trees where you can sit and enjoy a lovely cuppa!
This is the view of the front entrance to the National Portrait Gallery of Australia ... where there are garden beds filled with native grasses and trees.
There are magnificent views of Lake Burley Griffin almost everywhere you care to wander in the city, and there are walking tracks all around it. We spent quite a few hours just wandering around the lake and enjoying the sights.
I noticed there seemed to be a lot of Plane Trees planted around the city centre, known as Civic, and we were lucky enough to be staying in this part of Canberra where we could enjoy strolls along the shady city streets.
The apartment building we were staying in had the most gorgeous rose garden filled with what were obviously very old rose bushes ... and the perfume was intoxicating!
There were also lots of lovely Hydrangea shrubs in bloom. What a treat! These do not grow in my corner of Oz, so I just had to get some shots!
I really enjoyed my stay in Canberra and I fell in love with their summer weather! It was just so pleasant compared to the conditions up here in the north. Of course, I'm back home now and back to sitting in the air-con for most of the day. It's almost impossible to get out and do any work in the garden at all, apart from the watering that has to be done early in the morning or in the cool of the evenings.
So, another gardening year has begun ... and I'm hoping that the rest of the summer will pass without any of the extreme weather events we experienced at the beginning of last year. Here's to a great gardening year for us all!