Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome 2012!

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!


  1. Lovely post, I especialy liked the Hydrangas.

  2. Dear Bernie, Happy New Year! Wow a new avatar, lovely photos. Thank you so much for the ´sight-seeing tour´, great to see all those gorgeous trees.I could almost smell the wonderful eucalyptus leaves. Love those trees. And the blue Hydrangea is a hit!
    Glad you´ve enjoyed your holyday season.
    One year I´ve followed your blog, and I certainly am looking forward, very much indeed, for another, to enjoy all your marvellous and beautyful photos.
    Best wishes for 2012.
    Love Iris, Denmark.

  3. Happy New Year!

    Those plantings look superb. Did you have time to visit the botanic gardens? I'd love to see them.

  4. Cathy, I too just loved the Hydrangeas in the apartment gardens. They were everywhere and looked fabulous! How I wish I could grow them here.

    Iris, thank you so much for your kind comments. I'm so pleased to know that you've enjoyed popping by to visit over the last year, and I do so hope this blog proves to be just as enjoyable this year. The Eucalyptus trees do indeed have a smell, and that's one of the things that we Aussies will recognise wherever we are in the world.

    Snail, I most certainly did visit the Botanic Gardens. I took so many photos there and I'm afraid my poor hubbie got pretty bored pretty quickly. I was saving those shots for my next post, so I'll be showing them on Friday.

  5. The shot of Anzac Parade is spectacular. I must admit I was drawn to the Eucalyptus Trees at first then looking at whole picture It gave me goose bumps thinking about what it represents.
    The Roses and Hydrangeas are gorgeous as well.
    We are in the early stages of planning a big holiday Australia is on the list of destinations. I have an we both have family in Canberra.
    Enjoy the rest of your break from school.

  6. Bernie I have been to Canberra. The city is beautiful with the parks and flowers. Went to the big government building on the hill with the Telstra tower beside it. Gorgeous gorgeous place. That's where I saw all the wattle trees. Welcome home!

  7. I enjoyed the tour very much and seeing it in the way you presented. The images were not like a tourist would take. The first image is so fitting for the new year.

  8. It's so nice to be looking at your lovely sunny pics from a cold, wet and windy Arigna.
    Happy New Year,

  9. The ecalyptus trees are beautiful. My husband likes to frame photos of buildings with trees. I am afraid I am guilty of photographing plants where ever I go, also. Hey, we like plants, what can I say?

  10. Happy New Year Bernie! It was quite a relief seeing such lovely roses in January, almost nothing is blooming here at the moment (although some of our area imported Eucalyptus are in flower, and delighting the bees). Here's hoping 2012 is a magnificent year for all of our gardens!

  11. Wonderful shots Bernie!
    I can't wait to see your photos from the Botanic is winter here in southern Ontario and I need some color to help me through :)

  12. Sueb, yes Anzac Parade and all it signifies really impacted on me when I was standing on the steps of the National War Museum looking towards Parliament House. It's amazing how these two different aspects of our Australian identity are linked in our national capital ... democracy and the sacrifices made by so many to defend it. If you're coming Downunder, make sure you add north Queensland to the itinerary ... but not during Summer!

    Jean, you've seen first hand just how lovely our national capital is. It's wonderful to see just how many green spaces there are in the capital, and it's terrific to see these places planted with lots of natives.

    Thanks Gardenwalk. I'm obviously now drawn to the more natural aspects of any destination and find myself busily snapping away whenever I see magnificent trees and plants. Not your typical tourist!

    Bridget, I'll keep on sharing the sun and heat with you as there's a plentiful supply here at the moment wherever you go! Another warm day again today and not really getting-out-into-the-garden type weather.

    Tufa Girl, yes we're hopeless cases aren't we? My poor husband would just roll his eyes and look skyward whenever I whipped out the camera to point it at some poor unsuspecting tree or flower!

    Curbstone, hear here or is it here hear!!! Roll on 2012 the year of great gardening weather!

    Netty, be prepared for lots of photos on Friday. I took quite a few in the Botanic Gardens! It was quite painful for my husband who had to dawdle along beside me!

  13. Thanks for a peak at Canberra and some of its beautiful trees and flowers! I also enjoyed the background music. I hope 2012 brings you the very best. Happy gardening!

  14. How nice to be able to get away - especially during the hot season when you aren't able to get out and garden. I find myself taking pictures of trees, flowers, and gardens, too, no matter where I am! Happy New Year!

  15. Great shots of a beautiful city! Happy New Year!

  16. Dear Bernie - what a lovely summery start to the New Year. Your narrative conveys how relaxed you felt and appreciate that the virtual gardening tourist has shown us the sights, not least the hydrangeas. First saw blue gums in flower outside the Ladies loo in St James' park -
    Happy 2012
    Laura x
    p.s. meant to say love the new header
    pps - gomele is the word verifyer - is it Melbourne next stop?!

  17. Wonderful series of images! I particularly like the roses. I love the 2011 & 2012 on the waters edge! Happy New Year to you too and thanks for visiting my blog. I am your newest follower.
    I love your header too :)

  18. Thank you for a taste of what's to come, I do enjoy your Blog, so professional as well as beautiful and interesting. Can't wait for our spring to arrive, snowdrops are about an inch high so far. Happy and peaceful new year,to you and yours.


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