Extremely important to indigenous people, the Nyoongar seasons are related to flora and fauna. These can be long or short as they are not determined by the western calendar. Nyoongar country reaches from Leeman in the northwest to beyond Cape Arid in the southeast, in the southwest of Australia. This indigenous calendar helps Nyoongar people understand and respect the land through the respect of their plants and land in relation to preservation and fertility cycles. The seasons are Birak, Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru, Djilba and Kambarang. From rustic hanging planters to insect hotels, Nature’s Garden Gift explores these seasons and how our products can help you celebrate each one of these beautiful times.
Please note: Like all traditional languages in Australia, Nyoongar is an orally spoken language. The spelling of Nyoongar can vary but we have chosen Nyoongar for consistency in this piece.
Birak (First Summer: December - January)
With baby frogs coming into adulthood and reptiles shedding their skin, the Birak season is mosaic burning time. This beautiful time of year calls for the Nyoongar communities to Burn mosaic patterns into the country for fuel reduction, an increase in grazing pastures, assist seed germination and for across the country. Fire season or season of the young is all about rebirth, add some little frog critters to your garden to celebrate this time of the year.
Bunuru (Second Summer: February - March)
Offering basically no rain, this is the hottest time of year with hot easterly winds.
A great period for fishing and living near the coast or rivers, a popular food source is seafood and freshwater food by default. A stunning time for blooms like white flowers and gums including ghost gums. Grab a windmill for this windy period to honor the season of adolescence.
Djeran (Autumn: April- May)
Presenting a break in the hot weather, Djeran is often referred to as ant season. This is the time of the year where the nights get cooler and damper with a change in the wind's intensity. A dewy morning presence means it's time to repair housing and shelter in preparation for winter.
Banksias display their flowers to provide nectar and food sources for critters, with a flourish in other red flowers. Offer your little critters a new home and pop an insect hotel in your garden.
Makuru (Winter: June- July)
Being the coldest and most rainy part of the year, this period is time for Nyoongar people to move inland. Changes in food sources are required and creations of hunting materials begin. Grazing animals such as kangaroos are eaten and prepared for use as warm cloaks and blankets. Witnessing birds flying in pairs and animals pairing up in preparation of the mating season, showcases of beautiful blue and purple flora also start to blossom. Add a pair of adorable owl critters to your garden to celebrate the beginning of partnerships for this time of year.
Djilba (First spring: August-September)
This transitional time of year sees a boom in flora of cream and yellow flowers. With some cold and some warm days, this period is the beginning of the temperature starting to rise. Food sources remain the same as Makuru and are predominantly still grazing animals such as Yongar (kangaroo), the Waitj (emu) and the Koomal (possum). New parents feed and protect their fresh born babies during this time. Pop a pretty rustic hanging planter in your garden, ideal for housing some beautiful yellow or cream flowers.
Kambarang (Second spring: October-November)
As the most transformational time of year, witness an abundance of flora and fauna about. From delicate orchids to yellow acacias, these brightly coloured orange and yellow flowers signify that heat is on the way. Reptiles begin to wake up from hibernation, looking for warmth and food and we hear baby birds calling for their parents. This beautiful transformative period calls for some new garden art!
December Gardening Tip
Summer means planting veggies and herbs! Opt for new seedlings of carrots, cucumber, eggplants, basil, celery, chives, spring onion, tomatoes, lettuce, silverbeet, squash, sweet corn and zucchini! The options are endless, so check out what your local nursery has on offer!