When we left Canberra in May, the last month of autumn colour was still with us..
After an exciting month in Italy, we arrived back in Canberra at the beginning of June.
After some dreary rainy days (but we always need rain!) I have to remind myself that there is another side to Canberra winters…bright blue skies.
Last July we visited an historic homestead close to where we live in Canberra, the Lanyon homestead..
The homestead is ringed by the Brindabella Mountains and sits at the heart of a natural bowl shaped valley. This scenery takes my breath away, no matter how many times I see it.
This land has layers of rich history from surviving Aboriginal heritage sites, through to unbroken pastoral use since European settlement.
The land was granted to James Wright and John Lanyon in 1834. At that time the journey from Sydney took several weeks by bullock wagon over rough tracks. The farm land was so isolated that the farmers of the time had to be completely self-sufficient.
Andrew and James Cunningham bought Lanyon in 1849 and built the homestead over time. The house remains almost completely unchanged since 1859.
The original out-buildings around the homestead include a kitchen, cellar, laundry, worker’s barracks, a meat house and dairy stables, harness room and a blacksmith’s shop.
Despite the green and blue hues of this land today, in 2003 Lanyon homestead was under real threat as wind and fire raged over these mountains. I have read that there was only one fire engine available for Lanyon as the fires were so widespread. Miraculously the property survived.
Today the house is a museum and there are picnic areas and a café in the grounds.
Weddings, plant fairs, historical events and social activities go on all year in these lovely gardens.
The flower and vegetable gardens are a treat to see in spring and summer, indeed Lanyon homestead deserves to be seen in every season. (I’ll be back!)
The Bunya Pine became fashionable and, as with many homesteads in Australia, there is one planted here, quite close to the house.
And you won’t be surprised to know that when Mr Big Personality has finished stripping the flowers and branches off the Ironbark eucalypts in our street, he’ll be off to Lanyon to strip the Bunya Pine of its Bunya Nuts…..
That is the ying and yang of living in a bush capital city!
Have a happy weekend, whether it be winter or summer in your part of the world.