Sprinter is coming
our seasons are out of sync should.” The main exception is Tasmania, where the traditional four seasons – what he calls “the Vivaldi option” – is a fairly good fit.
Researching Aboriginal cultures around the country, Entwisle found they commonly have six seasons that reflect local changes in weather, wildlife and flowering. The five-season system he devised is applicable to most of southern Australia. Entwisle’s sprinter, the flowering spring, is August and September; sprummer is “the cantankerous weather time” of October and November; then the long, hot summer runs from December to March. Autumn is April and May; winter June and July.
This year, summer extended well into April for many of us. Entwisle notes the seasons will drift with global warming, and that different regions across Australia have their own seasonal differences, but argues that having the discussion about how we classify seasons is useful. “If we were to track the seasons more closely, we would not only appreciate what a special place Australia is but also be better equipped to notice changes in our world,” he says.
Winter gardening in Australia is a vastly different experience to that in the UK. We do not pack up our gardens for winter, knowing we won’t be out in them for months as severe cold puts plants into dormancy. Gardening continues here throughout the year. Garden author, writer and broadcaster Jennifer Stackhouse, who moved to Tasmania three years ago, loves the cold nights that allow her to grow cherries, apples, lilacs, peonies and clematis, but agrees she still gardens all year. “There are plants in flower and crops to harvest even through winter,” she says.
Many of us thoroughly enjoy the garden in winter. In Sydney, those