Crossing the Floor

Following our pork lunch last week, we decided to take a stroll around the gardens at Old Parliament House. Rather than visiting the very popular Senate rose gardens we visited the House of Representatives Garden, which while austere in its winter aspect of bare roses against large formal trellises was still a very pleasant place to be.

Near the main entrance is the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage Fountain. It’s worth taking your time to admire the fountain proper as the water jets fire in a sequence along the fountain, first individually and then in concert.
The intense colours of the mosaic tiles laid by Mary Stuart (no not that one) – the purple green and white tiles representing the colours of the women’s suffrage movement (purple symbolised dignity, white purity, and green hope) on the bottom of the pool are certainly shown to great effect with the water rippling above them.


Walking towrds the rose trellises I spotted this Magnolia stellata which was underplanted with Pieris japonica (Japanese Pearl Flower) which was going ‘all out’.


The main attraction in the garden in this season are the hellebores which were flowering in profusion.

 I was also taken by some small ‘vignettes’ in the garden such as this old grass roller placed next to the open side gate.


While spring and summer when the hundreds of roses are in full bloom are undoubtedly the most popular times for a visit it’s clearly well worth spending some time in these gardens at any time of the year.

The House of Representatives and the Senate Gardens at old Parliament House are open to the public

  • Summer hours (during daylight savings): 7am to 8pm
  • Winter hours: 7am to 5pm