An island of calm in the big house

I am so lucky that my office in Parliament House is very near my favourite garden, one of the loveliest gardens and

Lycoris aurea in Parliament House

Lycoris aurea in Parliament House

courtyards in the whole building. Parliament House in Canberra boasts some magnificent gardens and the gardeners are amazingly diligent in spite of the fact that very few MPs or Senators stop to notice what a great job they do. Occasionally I ask them for advice, most recently in relation to rather shabby leaves on clivias…just cut them off.

These gardens have lots of different themes and plantings but my favourite is best in the spring. It is dominated by a flowering Japanese cherry tree and many camellias and azaleas and rhododendrons. It is also enhanced by sculptures and has tables and chairs

Ipheion sessile growing in the courtyard

Ipheion sessile growing in the courtyard

where members and staff can enjoy the beauty of it all. It was in this courtyard that I hosted Brett Dean, some staff and many students from the Australian National

Australian National Academy of Music at Parliament House

Australian National Academy of Music at Parliament House

Academy of Music in Melbourne for a beautiful musical recitalafter a day’s lobbying in November 2008. The students had spent all day playing beautiful music in the corridors. It was the gentlest and one of the most effective protests in recent years and resulted in the Academy being saved. It was a joyous occasion which coincided with the Greens Christmas Party… friends, great young people, music, refreshments and a beautiful garden on an early summer’s evening.

2 thoughts on “An island of calm in the big house

  1. Hi Christine,

    I am so impressed that you still manage to garden even though you’re away so much. After all the recent rain, Tim and I are living in a jungle and we have neither the time nor the inspiration to do anything about. Can you please send us your green thumb and some of your dedication?

    Thanks!
    Lorana

  2. Hi Christine,

    Fantastic to see your great love of gardening giving you such joy when you give so much of your brilliant energy and intellect to the survival of the planet – you are a natural gardener!

    The Waterworks Valley community had a very successful, educational and fun filled afternoon at our Harvest Fair which is all about developing the valley towards a transition town future. With peak oil setting in around 2014 we really don’t have much time to start properly growing our own food and working as cohesive and resilient communities together!

    We have some spare vege seedlings from the fair if you would like some?

    Hugs

    Amanda

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