Canberra’s spring: a garden, a cockatoo and a nervous gardener..

We’ve had some rain in spring, and the camellia is flowering beautifully.  I put the small elephant watering-can close to the flowers one day, and the Wattlebird began to use it for a perch while eating nectar from the flowers.

However, today a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo flew down onto our deck, which, as the nuns at my high school would have said, is a mixed blessing. They are such characters, curious and smart, but they can do a lot of damage in a garden with their strong beaks, and wilful personalities..

Fortunately this is a young one, and he has spotted some of the almonds that have fallen from the tree.

I have just moved these lovely Blue Dutch Irises into the pot…..fortunately the almond is keeping him happy, and it is a lucky thing that the Dutch iris is not flowering yet.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, Cockatoos sometimes take umbrage with flowering plants, and lop their heads off…

Fortunately the Dutch Irises survived and flowered….how lovely they are!

The pink and yellow tulips are true survivors…I confess this was such a busy year I didn’t lift any of my bulbs, and naturally most of the tulips did not flower this year ….So these pretty ones have taken pride of place in the garden…

The orange Sparaxis came from a cutting in my mother’s garden in Port Macquarie….18 years ago or more! However, this is the first year there are so few flowers, the combination of lack of water, and my neglect of the garden… I’ve apologised to them too.

We have Aquilegias flowering all through the garden, such a delicate flower, but yet tough, and a rewarding plant in the garden in our part of the world..

My favourite flower this year is Ixia, sometimes known as the Corn Lily plant, and I have read that it is an exotic member of the Iris family. A small but gorgeous spring plant, and it is surrounded by Salvias here ..

The succulents are doing well. The bowl on the top right is an old birdbath. Last year I described filling the birdbath with succulents, small smooth stones, and a miniature agapanthus. While I was eating lunch on the deck that day, a curious young Magpie flew down and pulled the agapanthus out! I had to cover the whole birdbath with the newspaper to distract him. Everything has survived. Birds and plants!


After a day of rain we went for a walk along Lake Tuggeranong. The azure sky and soft blue Brindabella Mountains looked lovely…it is beginning to look like summer..

However, the birds around the lake were still very much on parenting duty with young ones…

The Purple Swamphen is on guard by the nest, and the other adults are venturing further afield with the young ones….it was hard to get a photo, but they did look very cute!

I would love to say the water below is an Australian icon…a Billabong, but it is really a very large puddle!

In the water is a Red-rumped Parrot, (male). Usually a quiet unobtrusive member of the parrot family, today he was splashing about and loving having a bath.

It’s been a long time since he’s had the joy of a bath as big as this…..and he doesn’t care who is watching!

The Red-rumped parrots are always found in pairs and small groups in grassy areas..

The male Red-Rumped Parrot


The Female Red-rumped Parrot..

….and back home, we are soon to welcome our daughter and  granddaughter for a visit. This will be our granddaughter’s first visit since she learnt to walk.  The world looks so different when you are up on two feet…. …. and I wonder if she is up to a holding a watering can yet?

I hope you are enjoying your green spaces, whatever part of the world you live in ..and to paraphrase David Attenborough

”The natural world is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living”

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.


24 Replies to “Canberra’s spring: a garden, a cockatoo and a nervous gardener..”

  1. A future gardener in your family – lucky woman. I don’t know if she’ll be able to lift the watering can, but I know she will love it. Hope you have a marvelous visit. 🙂 Once again, your birds are handsome beyond belief, but I didn’t know they helped themselves to flower blooms. Shame on them because your gardens are gorgeous. Of course, I’m thrilled to see them since we are gray, rainy, cold, and windy here.. 🙂 Love the header shot too.

  2. Beautiful post. Lovely to see Spring scenes and all those birds, albeit some of them rather taxing!
    Ptolemy pheasant put in an appearance here this week, along with FIVE lady friends, three of whom were scratching about in the terraces. I give up sometimes!

  3. The flowers in your garden are so colourful, I loved scrolling through this post. My favorite was the Ixia the shape of the blooms as well as the colour.

  4. Wonderful, wonderful post! Oh, those birds! Very exotic to this Mainer. Also marvelous to think of you having spring as we are edging into winter. Enjoy the visit with your granddaughter.

  5. What a beautiful post, Gerrie! Everything looks so fresh and bright and hopeful! The little swamphen chicks are very sweet and I love the colours of the red-rumped parrots. We have had our first really chilly day today with frequent showers and a cold northerly wind. The clocks go back tonight; lots of long dark nights ahead of us.

    1. Thank you Clare. It is nice to be able to cheer up fellow bloggers going into winter, as I do enjoy the spring, autumn and summer gardens in the Northern Hemisphere, when we begin our winter.

  6. Always such a great pleasure seeing your beautiful exotic birds….sighs…how I wish thye’d come here! I was laughing about the magpie ripping out the agapanthus!!! glad it survived!Wonderful seeing all the colour in your garden, the ixia is gorgeous. How lovely to have daughter and granddaughter visiting, goodness, she’s walking?!? Already??? How time flies. xxx

    1. Yes, she is walking, and very proud of herself. Hope you daughter is going well, all very exciting having a first grandchild!

  7. It’s a treat to see your spring garden I hope the cockatoo doesn’t take umbrage to the flower blooms. Those are wonderful views of the lake, everything looks so blue. Sarah x

  8. The parrots are absolutely gorgeous. I would love a pair of those in my backyard. The Aquilegia flower looks very orchid-like. So dainty. You do have a wonderful array of colourful blooms. Well done on your green fingers. 🙂

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