Buda, Castlemaine – Touring the Historic House

October 16, 2014 - 4 Responses

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 This is my second post about my visit to the historic house and garden of Buda in Castlemaine on Sunday, the 14th of September.

The first post featured the garden whilst this post features the house.

From 1864 until 1981,  Buda was the home of  the Leviny family; Ernest Leviny, a Hungarian silversmith and jeweller, his wife, Bertha, and their 10 children.

Buda remained home to five unmarried daughters for most of their lives. As adults, they returned to Buda when not pursuing careers, study or travel.

Like their father, the daughters were creative being keen followers of the arts and crafts movement.

Each daughter pursued a particular discipline:

Mary – embroidery and smocking

Gertrude – wood working

Kate – photography

Dorothy – metal work and enamelling

Hilda – embroidery.

All the objects on display, except for a grand piano, once belonged to the Leviny family. Many objects are the work of Ernest Leviny and the Leviny daughters.

The house was extensively renovated from 1890 to 1900. I imagine quite a lot of repairs had to be done after a huge storm when Hilda recalled sheltering under the dining room table whilst the chimneys crashed down through the roof.

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 These two photographs, the mounted emu egg and the decorative lead light window, were taken by my friend, Jennie.

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 The laundry or wash house, kitchen and maids’ bedroom are somewhat plainer than the main rooms of the house.

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The Big Tree, Guildford

October 8, 2014 - 6 Responses

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We slowly circle the giant,

This locally revered landmark.

A cockatoo and corella are facing off

Screeching louder and LOUDER,

Adding weight to its claim for dominance,

The corella snips off small leafy twigs

Which flutter to the ground.

There is the quiet sound of buzzing,

A hive of bees is resident in a hollow.

Unseen, a pardalote ripples its call.

We gaze up into the vast canopy

In awe.

5th of October 2014, Guildford

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 This photograph shows two branches which have fused together.

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The Big Tree is a River Red Gum, Eucalyptus camaldulensis.

For those of  you interested in statistics, the tree is 30 metres high and its trunk has a circumference of 9.35 metres. The canopy has a spread of 34 metres.

The tree is more than 500 years old.

In the 1990s, two roads were realigned and power lines relocated to help preserve the tree.

The cockatoo is the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, the corella, the Little Corella and the pardalote, the Striated Pardalote.

Birthday Villa Winery

September 25, 2014 - Leave a Response

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Birthday Villa Winery was one of the open gardens I visited on Sunday, the 7th of September during the Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival.

The garden circles the 1870s verandahed, brick house.

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 It is a daffodil festival so daffodils you will have -

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- and blossom flowering in the orchard.

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The vineyard at the front of the property overlooks the old Calder Highway leading into the township of Malmsbury.

 

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 The vineyards at the rear of the property give impressive views of the Malmsbury viaduct and old blue stone buildings at the Malmsbury station.

The viaduct was built in the early 1860s as part of  the construction of the first railway from Melbourne to the Murray River.

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The produce of the vines.

Volcano Chasing

September 20, 2014 - 6 Responses

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 This collage was inspired by the excursion to view some of the local extinct volcanoes. It is a work of the imagination and was fun to make.

As  part of the Newstead ‘Words in Winter Celebration’ held during August, I joined an eager band of explorers to learn more about the volcanic history of our region.

With the guidance of seismologist, Gary Gibson, we learnt about the Muckleford Fault which accounts for the earthquakes in the region, the interplate volcanoes which dot the area between Campbell Town and Smeaton and the local deep lead mines.

The volcanoes which were the objects of our attention were active millions of years before the existence of modern human beings. Mt. Franklin, near Daylesford, is a mere pup at around 10,000 years old. It erupted within the memory of modern human beings with local indigenous people having an oral history of sisters hurling rocks at each other.

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The open air learning centre

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Gazing across the paddocks

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There ‘s one -

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And there’s another. These green, cloud patterned hills are the volcanoes of ages past.

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This being central Victoria, there had to be gold mines somewhere. Those pesky volcanoes spewed out lava which flowed across the gold bearing valleys which meant deep shafts had to be dug through the layer of basalt to reach the riches below. Great hills of spoil dot the landscape marking the sites of the now abandoned mines.

Buda – Historic House and Garden in Castlemaine

September 14, 2014 - 4 Responses

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Today, Sunday the 14th of September, my friend, Jennie and I visited Buda, Castlemaine’s  grand property featuring a large house and extensive garden.

Buda was purchased by Ernest Leviny, a Hungarian silversmith and jeweller in 1863. He moved into the house with his second wife, Bertha, in 1864. The couple had 10 children and Buda remained the family’s home until 1981 when Hilda, the last surviving daughter, died at 98 years of age. The house was extensively renovated between 1890 and 1900 during which time it was given the name of  Buda. The property is now in community ownership being part of the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum.

I am going to feature Buda in two posts, this first post features the garden.

The garden of 1.2 hectares was developed to reflect the tastes and interests of the family. Earnest Leviny was a member of the Mount Alexander (Castlemaine) Horticulture and Agricultural Society and was eager to acquire the plants of interest to collectors in the Victorian era. Whilst the family employed a team of gardeners, they were also hands on gardeners themselves. Hilda was still working in the garden in her 90s.

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As adults, the Leviny daughters were keen followers of the arts and crafts movement. This sun dial and fountain were made by Dorothy who specialised in metal and enamel work.

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The garden was altered to meet the changing needs of the family. The fountain and pond are part of a garden built to replace the tennis court. The old tennis pavilion now sits in a garden setting.

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Yes, that’s me.

Bringalbit – Sidonia

September 7, 2014 - 2 Responses

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It is early spring and the festival season is now upon us. Kyneton is hosting its annual Daffodil and Arts Festival from the 4th to the 14th of September. The big attraction for me is the open gardens.

Taking advantage of the fine weather, I visited two gardens today – Sunday, the 7th.

This post features Bringalbit, a farming property in the rural area of Sidonia.

The 1870s granite house sits in an extensive park with a lake and garden. The conifers and deciduous trees which were planted in the late 1800s are of stately proportions but the park and gardens are in need of renovation and rejuvenation. The fallen timber, the overgrown gully beneath the wall of the lake, the feral blackberries and the unpruned roses give the property a melancholy appearance. However, there are still things to delight the eye especially the surrounding country of rolling granite hills.

 

 

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Around the house. In addition to two peacocks, there were pea hens and other poultry free ranging about the place.

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Looking across the lake and across the paddocks.

 

 

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Sheep doing what sheep normally do – eating.

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Collage: These are a Few of My Favourite Things

August 22, 2014 - 4 Responses

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“When the dog bites,

When the bee stings,

When I’m feeling sad,

I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel so bad.”

As sung by Julie Andrews in ‘Sound of Music’

I made this collage about some of my favourite things about my home:

The strips of toilet paper wrapper – my house is light and bright, full of colour and texture,

The red tea bag wrappers – the pleasure of drinking good quality green tea. I’ve run out. I need to get some more.

The art work made by my nieces – their greeting cards give me a lot of pleasure. Gemma wrote 61 all over the turtle’s shell to mark my 61st birthday.

The pieces of knitting – knitting is calming. Balls of yarn settle on various surfaces in the living area. Most days I am extracting yarn from Katie’s mouth. Katie loves anything soft and chewy. She prefers my yarn to her yarn which lives in her own special yarn bag.

The keys – keys to my heart, keys to happiness, the keys I can never find when I need them.

The beads – the joy of my own creations which adorn my home.

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Katie who just wants to have fun.

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Arlo, The Magnificent, who doesn’t have much time for Katie.

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Belle, The Huntress, who is sitting on the kitchen bench which is forbidden. That reflective collar isn’t there for decoration. Belle is Katie’s favourite playmate.

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Community Kitchen Garden, Castlemaine

August 12, 2014 - 9 Responses

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The Castlemaine Community Kitchen Garden was launched in December 2013. This new community garden is situated right in the centre of town in a carpark behind the Continuing Education building. The development of the kitchen garden project was supported by local organisations including Continuing Education Inc., the Castlemaine Community House through its Growing Abundance project and health organisations such as The Castlemaine District Community Health Centre.

The purpose of the garden is to encourage people to learn about growing fresh fruit and vegetables. It is the venue for gardening programs and workshops and provides produce for cooking programs.

 

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 Most of the garden consists of raised wicking beds placed directly onto the asphalt surface of the carpark.

If you want to know what a wicking bed is, check this out:

The ABC program ‘Gardening Australia’ also has a segment on wicking beds with Rosie from South Australia.

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 There are conventional beds where vegetables have been planted into soil at ground level.

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 I like the way the rounded corners of these beds have been formed.

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 The garden beds are green with winter vegetables – kale, broad beans, globe artichokes, celery, ruby silver beet and other leafy greens I didn’t recognise.

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 This tiny bed at the base of a tree is one of the few devoted to ornamental plants.

There are young fruit trees which are bare sticks at this time of year, a worm farm and a large water tank busy collecting winter rain.

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Sun flowers

August 6, 2014 - 6 Responses

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Whoo, Hoo! My first picture for 2010 in my visual art diary.

I have been itching to draw these beautiful sun flowers ever since we arrived in this house in Barwon Heads – a most unexpected pleasure and surprise.

Beverley and the kids are attempting to drown themselves – they call it surfing – at nearby Thirteenth Beach so I have been left in peace to indulge in the pleasure of capturing these golden beauties.

19th January 2010.

As you can see I have dug into my archives for this post. I made this entry during a family holiday in Barwon Heads.

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Winter Beauty

July 27, 2014 - 6 Responses

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Sprays of wattle and eucalyptus were used to decorate the tables at the Newstead  community lunch recently.

The lunch which is prepared by volunteers, is open to all members of the community.

Once a week people from Newstead and the surrounding district come together to eat a two course vegetarian meal, socialise and exchange news.

As a volunteer, I find it very satisfying to stand in the kitchen and look across the contented diners out through the large windows of the community centre to the elm trees in the street.

If you are in Newstead on a Wednesday at 12.30pm and you can smell the aromas of cooking wafting out of the community centre, come on in!

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