Buda – Historic House and Garden in Castlemaine

September 14, 2014 - 2 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 - 6 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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Charcoal Drawing: Treacherous Seas

July 19, 2014 - 4 Responses

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After another hostile encounter with my neighbour, I felt all at sea in danger of  crashing onto jagged rocks. I needed guidance to bring me safely through the ordeal.

It has been a very stressful time both physically and emotionally. I have appreciated the wisdom and support of family and friends.

Print Making – The fourth design

July 4, 2014 - Leave a Response

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Unfortunately, I missed one of the sessions of the ‘rough cuts’ print making course and have only recently been able to attend a catch up session.

This gave me the opportunity to print the first proof of the fourth and final design of the set of four.

I look forward to doing some more printing at home when I have acquired all the materials.

Eventually, I would like to have the set of four prints framed.

Newstead Community Garden

June 25, 2014 - 6 Responses

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Newstead Community Garden is situated behind the All Saints Anglican Church which donated the land for the garden.

People began to dig the garden in 2009 and its development has been guided by a garden plan based on a mandala. There are plots for individuals to till as well as communal beds.

Biodynamic and permaculture principles are used in the growing of fruit and vegetables.

The garden is a resource for the local community.

I attended an open air cooking class there last November.

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There are quiet places to sit under the old peppercorn tree.

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Beekeeping, a worm farm and a sheltered, warm space for plant propagation and seedling raising are some of the garden related activities.

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All that love and attention have created a productive and colourful garden.

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Charcoal Drawing: State School No: 1124, Muckleford South

June 16, 2014 - 2 Responses

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I have been wanting to draw this gem of a building for some time.

I decided yesterday, Sunday, was an ideal opportunity to fulfil this ambition.

It was a bitterly cold day so I was glad I could park the car directly in front of the old school and use it as my cosy studio whilst Katie snoozed on the back seat.

The school was built in 1871 of local sandstone rubble and red brick with a corrugated iron roof. The school had a single classroom and was typical of its era. It was built to serve the needs of a more densely populated rural district due to the gold rushes and people taking up small holdings.

The building ceased being used as a school in 1941 when it became a public hall. The school room had a single fireplace to provide heating and the blackboards have been retained.

I wonder when the corrugated iron annex with its own chimney was added (not shown in the drawing). Who on earth decided that was a good idea?

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