Just outside the southern border of Canberra is a historic homestead, built in the 1850s and now run as a house and farm museum. I've been a few times, and it's rather lovely - in a classic Australian farm style with wide verandas and high ceilings. The gardens are lovely, with some massive old trees. Every year they have a plant fair with lots of stalls and events, so we wandered down yesterday afternoon.
It was an absolutely perfect early autumn day of sun and clear skies but with just a hint of crisp in the air. Hot enough to make the shady verandas very pleasant, and to realise what a good idea they must have been back in the days before airconditioning. But not the hideous baking heat that must have smothered the place every February for 150 years.
We had a good poke around all the plant stalls - new plants and different plants and all looking so promising! Before they turn up their toes and die. Before they are left for six weeks by the back door waiting to be planted. Before they go brown and sad.
That won't happen this time, my husband said. Son was up a tree, waiting for it to be over.
So we went around the back and overlooked the mighty Murrimbidgee (that's a river, it's not mighty at all, but trust me, it is in the landscape somewhere) and had a cold drink and a chocolate muffin. I will keep you updated on the progress of the planting ... the landscape guys reckon only another few days, and then we will be able to plant things! And try and remediate the grass, which has taken a terrible beating thanks to the concrete cutter and general dustiness.