Canberra’s Australian National Botanic Gardens in winter

The end of June and the beginning of July is mid-winter in Canberra… wonder the pelican looks dejected.

However, there is one place where you are sure to find colour and interest in Canberra ‘s winter months, and that is at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

I love this combination of colour and texture. The Golden Everlasting Daisy in the front, the Red Kangaroo Paw at the back, and a pretty grey shrub (no name attached) in the centre.

Kangaroo Paws come in a variety of colours including red, yellow, orange, purple and green. These plants protect themselves during extremely hot summers by letting their strap-like leaves die down, and underground rhizomes wait until autumn to send leaves up again. After a bush fire the growth of foliage on the plant become more prolific.

Golden Everlasting Daisy grow wild in every state of Australia, from the mountains to the sea. They attract many butterflies, and this one is a Painted Lady Butterfly.

Eremophila warnesii..Scrophulariaceae

This is a cream-coloured winter flowering plant. It has velvety leaves and always has a few bright purple bugle-shaped flowers.

Sturt Desert Pea

The Sturt Desert Pea  is a beautiful South Australian floral emblem, and grows well in various parts of the Botanic gardens here, especially in the desert garden. Aboriginal names for this flower include ”malu” (kangaroo eyes) and ”meekyluka” (flowers of the blood).

The Dwarf Banksia is a lovely soft green bush, with almost luminous yellow flowers….they are like welcoming beacons in the winter.

Banksia flowers attract the nectar loving big birds and the smaller insect eating birds, and are an important source of food for birds in the gardens.

The tiny New Holland Honey Eater is frequently seen at the Botanic Gardens, and is very elusive, but I was lucky enough to get this photo early one morning in the gardens.

The Crimson Rosella is another frequent visitor here, amongst the soft green winter foliage.

The gardens are full of tranquil paths and green spaces, it is hard to believe there is a University and a city just a few streets away.

Of course where there are Eucalyptus trees there are almost always Sulphur Crested  Cockatoos  as well…and here are a few of the noisiest Cockatoos in the gardens during my visit.

Don’t be fooled by that closed beak, ‘‘butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth’‘ look from this cockatoo. He has just finished screeching to his noisy friend.

Who me?

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today, and I hope, despite the vagaries of the weather, you are able to take some time and enjoy your garden, and your part of the world, as I enjoy writing and photographing mine.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.


22 Replies to “Canberra’s Australian National Botanic Gardens in winter”

  1. It is a pleasure, as always, to walk with you through beautiful places. Thank you for showing us these colourful gardens.

  2. I love being transported to the serenity of your area. Beautiful soft hues in the gardens. Great flower shots.

    1. Thank Theresa, it was lovely to see all the winter colour in the Gardens, I’ll go there more in the winter.

  3. Lovely post, Gerrie. We visited the ANBG about a month ago, and found it to be just as beautiful as you say. And I took exactly the same photo of the ‘rock with banksia hair’ as you did! Was planning to put it in a post of my own. Love the crimson rosella. We rarely see them here.

    1. Thanks Jane, the ANBG is a best kept secret in winter I think. ”The rock with banksia hair” is exactly how I described it to Paul! do go ahead with the same photo, I think banksias are little known and the flowers are so unusual.

  4. What a beautiful spot! And so fascinating to see what winter looks like in Canberra. A far cry from Maine’s snowy winters. As always, I enjoyed seeing the birds, even those noisy cockatoos.

    1. I think of you and Judy every time I complain about our winter….your winters are really tough going, I have learnt a lot about every day living in a cold climate from your blog, and others. Glad you are enjoying the cockatoos, they sure are characters.

  5. My day is made because you included your beautiful birds. And, let me say quite loud, there is no place in my part of the country in the ‘winter’ that ever remotely looks as beautiful as your botanical gardens. WOW – gorgeous. You have white expressive birds, and I have white landscape. I like your white better. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you like the cockatoos, although they are a pest for farmers and gardeners, they are just such characters, they almost speak! Yes, I think your Northern Hemisphere winters are so harsh, I feel like a wimp complaining about ours!

    1. It was a surprise to me to see so much colour there is at the Botanic Gardens this time of year…..but your mid-summer colour is hard to beat, I’ve seen some wonderful summery English gardens (on blogs) this month.

  6. How lucky you are to get to see such colour and such an array of plants in the winter. I would love wandering around there. We still have our rosella in the rescue, how I wish it was where it belongs. Wonderful to see the pelican and honey eater and of course those cheeky cockatoos! I’m always fascinated by plants that depend on fire, nature is so amazing. Lovely post as

  7. That last picture of the Cockatoos made me laugh. Looks like a fascinating garden, I appreciate the Sturt Desert Pea especially.

        1. Yes, they would look good growing together, I’d like to try the Golden everlasting daisy with the Kangaroo paws.

  8. Thank you for such a pleasurable tour of this colourful winter garden, Gerrie. How wonderful to be able to see butterflies in mid-winter!

  9. Oh, how lovely your winter is, Gerrie. We almost emigrated to Canberra in 1970, but hubby didn’t want to be near his spoilt brat of a cousin whose dad owned the Chrysler dealership, so we ended up in South Africa instead. I’ve regretted that decision many times.

    1. That is interesting, we came to Australia in 1970 (from Zambia) at my Dad’s insistence….my mother wanted to go back to South Africa where she was brought up. My Dad wanted us all to be in the same country, and my brothers were already in Australia. Those were the days when you could casually choose where to go!

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