‘Springter’ Arrives at Vaucluse House

The view through the fountain garden at Vaucluse house in Spring is very colourful

The view from the fountain to the house in spring, with the purples of the lavender in the foreground and Wisteria in the background on the house. Tristan Harman © Sydney Living Museums

Now that our daylight hours are growing longer, the shallow ebb of Sydney’s winter warms into the few weeks before the spring equinox. This transition is very interesting, it’s an exciting and productive time for all of us birds, bees, lizards and Gardener’s alike.

As a new member of the SLM Gardens Team, this is my first time seeing this beautiful transition at Vaucluse House. Due to the combination of plants here, I’ve noticed a juxtaposition of late winter flowering species with early spring flowering species. Seeing the old flowers fading while new flowers develop is very cool. 

In the Kitchen Garden our winter crops are coming on ready for harvest, while we’re planting seeds and preparing for the warmer months to come. It’s at this time we begin to see the results of our winter pruning, particularly the roses, and for the Gardens Team its time to knock over some late winter jobs before we get down to business in the growing season.


The garden team constructs a new arbour from elm branches at Vaucluse House

Here the Garden Team are finishing off construction of a new arbor made from freshly cut Elm branches. This replaces the old arbor which had dropped too low and become a hazard.

Photo Tristan Harman © Sydney Living Museums

So, ‘Springter’ has sprung in Sydney. To me it feels like Winter and Spring are shaking hands and agreeing on a handover period. It’s a brief but inspiring time for a sentimental gardener like myself, especially at Vaucluse House. Soon the temperatures will rise along with the humidity and the Jacaranda will flower, taking us into late Spring and early Summer…. ‘Sprummer’? Maybe?

Note: The terms 'Springter' and 'Sprummer' were taken from the book "Sprinter and Sprummer - Australias Changing Seasons" by Timothy Entwisle

About the author

Tristan Harman

Tristan Harman


Tristan Harman was born in Sydney. He moved to Orange in the Central West of NSW in 1990, here he finished High School and later studied Horticulture. In mid 2000 He moved back to Sydney where he has worked as a Horticulturist ever since. Over the years Tristan has worked at a variety of sites from UNSW to Waverley Park and TAFE. He now works on the SLM Gardens Team based at Vaucluse House.