Bloomin' heck! Springtime is fast approaching in the nation's capital which means flowers and blossoms are about to take over the city. But with the traditional Floriade and Tulip Tops Gardens experiences falling victim to Covid-19 here's a round-up on how to find some fabulous flowers after a long, grey iso-winter.
Tulip Top Gardens Moves into the Cloud:
Tulip Top Gardens has been giving Floriade a real run for its money in the flower stakes in recent times but this year, it is set to take the garden into cyberspace. Following the NSW government decision limiting capacity to 20 people, the owners decided to make the best of it and will be offering a digital subscription including tours of the gardens and time-lapse footage. While this will be quite a change from the amazing and immersive experience of visiting the gardens, hopefully, tech-savvy garden lovers will get behind the digital idea and support this amazing family-run experience so they can come back bigger than ever in 2021. For details on how to visit the garden in the clouds, click here.
While the ACT government killed off the traditional Floriade celebration very early in the COVID crisis, the bulbs and flowers most certainly won't go to waste. The organisers dreamed up a 'tulip trail' and to make it a reality, over one million bulbs have been dispersed across the city to add some much-needed colour and cheer. The displays will be a mix of ground plantings, box plantings and potted displays and they'll be waiting to surprise not only in the major town centres but out in the suburbs as well. The other much loved Floriade activities have done a COVID-pivot and will be offered online including garden workshops, sustainability workshops for kids and even an online shop offering up your favourite Floriade goodies. To find out when workshops are running and check out a map of the plantings, check out the Floriade website here.
The Old Parliament House Rose Garden Wisteria Walk:
While the roses are this garden's namesake and star attraction, for a few weeks in spring the wisteria here takes centre stage and blows every floral fantasy off the charts with a proliferation of purple flowers cascading from a pergola making it the most spectacular walkway in Canberra. The wisteria is planted in both the senate and house of representatives gardens so check both out and see which is your favourite.
Lennox Gardens Blossoms:
There are two blossom 'seasons' at Lennox Gardens - the late winter blooms in the Beijing Garden and the usual spring run in the Nara Peace Park. These gardens are set out as traditional Chinese and Japanese gardens so as well as the blossoms, there are some fantastic sculptural and architectural pieces throughout the gardens. While the gardens are quite small, the waterside location means you can extend your walk along the shores - it isn't too far to continue around to Queen Elizabeth Terrace, another springtime hot-spot. The stand of ornamental pears here is breathtaking when the white blooms are at their best - on a still day the trees are reflected by the lake doubling the pleasure. If you love the idea of viewing cherry blossoms (hanami), you might also like this article on How to Hanami in Canberra.
If you like your spring flowers bright, the canola crops of the Hilltops and Riverina regions are ready to light up your world. There are self-drive trails and the Canola Way which let you plan your trip around other local attractions so you can weave through the golden fields, soak up some local history and, of course, indulge in the region's fantastic food and wine. Spring also means the orchards will be blossoming so you can double up on the flower action. For more information on visiting Canola Country, click here.
And if your health or changing restrictions mean you can't get out amongst things, why not create some spring magic of your own? Canberra has some amazing independent nurseries and garden centers (check out The Garden Botanicus Perfectus, Green Gold Nursery, Heritage Nursery Yarralumla or head to Pialligo)so whether you have room for a pot or a whole flower bed, there are plenty of flowers that will be happy to add a little colour to your life.
While 2020 means Canberra's two biggest flower-power events have been reimagined, they haven't been cancelled and let's be honest, after all, that this year has thrown at us, we all deserve to enjoy the beautiful blooms. Whether it's trekking the tulip trail, getting online, heading to the countryside or even planting a little spring garden of your own, 2020 is the year we need to appreciate the beauty of the little things more than ever so please make some time for yourself to stop and smell the flowers.