Mica Grange Blooms in Spring 2017

December 9, 2017 - 4 Responses

Mica Grange is a garden which keeps on giving. There is always something to intrigue and delight when it is open in autumn and spring. I last visited on Tuesday, the 7th of November, Melbourne Cup Day.

 

In Bede’s productive garden, it is amazing what can be grown in old wine barrels.

 

The blooms of the white waratah were fading, but were still very photogenic.

 

 

The proteas were at their peak.

 

 

 

 

The callistemons were putting on a good show.

 

 

And here are a small sample of the roses which were in bloom.

This garden has been developed on the rocky granite slopes of Mount Alexander where the plants are exposed to the full force of the elements……..yet it thrives.

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Noonameena, Creswick

November 29, 2017 - 6 Responses

Noonameena was the second garden I visited on Saturday, 11th of November as part of Creswick’s Garden Lovers Weekend.

Situated on the edge of town, Noonameena  is a much larger garden than Margaret’s Garden.

Around the property is a high pittosporum hedge protecting deep garden beds filled with flowering plants, shrubs, trees and statues.

 

The garden beds were ablaze with colour.

 

 

 

 

 

There is an ornamental pool edged with flowers…………..

 

 

………….and a small lake.

There are cool, green, ………..

…………shady areas.

 

The beehives were competing with the flowers.

 

Here are some other blooms around the house and shed.

 

 

 

I look forward to Creswick’s Garden Lovers Weekend in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret’s Garden, Creswick

November 19, 2017 - 10 Responses

On Saturday, the 11th of  November, I travelled to Creswick near Ballarat to see two gardens participating in the Creswick Garden Lovers Weekend 2017.

I couldn’t resist seeing Margaret’s Garden in a small backyard.

 

Here is the gardener resting by the garden shed. I pressed the button on the pink box to hear the sound of croaking frogs.

 

Margaret has decorated her garden with a variety of frogs. Here is one of them.

 

 

I was intrigued by this collection of small water gardens – a bathtub within a brick wall topped with stones, a shallow dish and a plastic carry basket commonly seen in hardware shops. One of the things I love about visiting other people’s gardens is learning from their ideas.

 

 

These flowers graced Margaret’s backyard ………

 

 

 

 

 

………. whilst these yellow roses were adorning the front deck.

 

And finally, a splash of hot colour in the front garden.

 

 

 

Six Pines, Castlemaine

November 15, 2017 - 8 Responses

Six Pines was the second garden of the HEDGE, I visited on Sunday, the 5th of November. It is a town garden on a smallish block packed with trees, shrubs and spring flowering plants. I don’t know why it is called Six Pines as I didn’t notice any conifers. There aren’t any in the photographs I took.

The front garden was bright with pink. The gardener said she hadn’t planted the Kiss Me Quick. It had just appeared and spread.

 

 

There was plenty to see along the driveway.

 

Around the back, under the verandah, was a cool, shady area.

The gardener favoured red roses.

Mossbank Cottage, Castlemaine

November 9, 2017 - 6 Responses

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The garden of Mossbank Cottage opens as part of the Gardens of the HEDGE (Horticultural Endeavours Demonstrating Gardening Enthusiasm).

I first visited Mossbank on the 4th of September 2016 and this year on the 5th of November. I was interested to see the differences in the garden between early and late spring.

The view above was taken  in September 2016. The light was very different ………….

 

…………… compared with these views on a bright sunny day.

The garden was also much lusher.

 

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The native hibiscus was at its prime in early spring …….

……… with the flowers in their final stages in late spring.

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The blooms of the winter flowering grevillea had finished……..

…………..whilst this Australian native was gaudy in magenta.

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The fruit trees were busy blossoming in early spring ……….

…………whilst the roses are in full swing two months later.

 

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This is the vegetable patch in 2016.

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What a difference longer and warmer days make!

 

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These poppies which were at their best in early spring were shedding their petals when I saw them last Sunday,

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whilst this one was pretty as a picture.

Mossbank has bee hives. The warm air was filled with their humming as they foraged……..

here and………

here and ………….

…………. here!

I enjoyed wandering by the pond …….

…….. through the grove of sheoaks………….

……….. and up the stairs to admire the view over the garden.

This figure continues to dream no matter what the time of year.

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Mucklefest 2017

October 29, 2017 - 4 Responses

Mucklefest is a joint fundraising project of the Victorian Goldfields Railway, Maldon Vintage Machinery Museum, Mount Alexander Vintage Engine Club and Walmer Fire Brigade.

It is held at the Muckleford Station.

Whilst there was four legged horse power on display, it was mechanical horsepower that was the name of the game on the day.

The aim of the festival is to showcase old engines or machinery particularly those used for farming.

I have to admit that it was the lure of Clydesdales which got me there.

 

 

The atmosphere was relaxed and the exhibitors were pretty relaxed.

If you like machinery which rattles, whirs and pants, then Mucklefest is the place for you.

 

There were machines which had been carefully restored………….

 

………and replicas which had been built to scale.

Grey was the height of fashion in tractors at some point in the past.

 

I think the Victorian Goldfields Railway had sent out their biggest engine to impress.

During the festival, I was introduced to the tractor pull which only goes to show you can make a competition out of anything.

One by one tractors would pull the trailer with the tank up a gentle slope to see which could pull the furthest. There were some which only got part of the way before their tyres started spinning in the gravel.

The tractor with the caterpillar treads easily made it to the top of the slope.

I guess at the end of the day, when everyone had gone and everything had been packed up, Muckleford Station returned to its normal sleepy self.

 

 

Charcoal View of the Barkers Creek Viaduct

October 19, 2017 - 14 Responses

 

When I was out admiring the Barkers Creek Viaduct near Harcourt, I enriched the experience by making this charcoal drawing.

I find whilst I am drawing, the saying that the more you look, the more you see is very true.

It was very pleasant sitting in the sun whilst communing with the viaduct.

 

Lambley Nursery, near Creswick

October 9, 2017 - 8 Responses

Lambley Nursery near Creswick is a great destination for garden lovers. It has extensive display gardens which are a joy to wander through.

Lambley specialises in more unusual exotics especially those suited to hot, dry climates.

A friend and I visited Lambley yesterday, Sunday, on a mild October day. The avenue of blossom trees which line the front driveway are at their snowy best.

 

 

Lambley is situated in open farming country where there is rich volcanic soil. Being at a higher altitude to Castlemaine, the temperatures are generally cooler and the climate damper. The display gardens are surrounded by protective high hedges.

These are views inside the drought tolerant garden where little supplementary watering is done.

 

These are some of the inhabitants of the drought tolerant garden.

 

These plants are growing in other display areas.

If you don’t like tulips, scroll down to the final photo now. On the day, the tulips were the real show stoppers. Here are some examples in all their colourful glory.

The tulips were interplanted with wall flowers, so not only were there gorgeous colours but delightful, sweet perfume as well.

 

 

After all that colour, there is this quiet green avenue to give the eyes some rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barkers Creek Viaduct, Harcourt

October 2, 2017 - 2 Responses

One of the local landmarks in Harcourt is this viaduct over Barkers Creek. Like its much grander cousin in Malmsbury, it was built in 1859 to 1860 as part of the construction of the railway between Melbourne and the Murray River – a significant piece of nation building at the time.

The viaduct was built of granite quarried from nearby Mount Alexander. German stonemasons constructed the viaduct which is typical of the Victorian era when there was great pride in public infrastructure. The viaduct shows fine design and craftsmanship. It has a simple beauty.

This is how the viaduct looked when it was first built. I didn’t realise at first that there is a man lying on the grass.

I didn’t realise Katie is in this photograph until I uploaded it.

Like the one at Malmsbury, the Barkers Creek viaduct is in active service with trains travelling across it at regular intervals on their journeys between Melbourne, Bendigo and Echuca.

The early photograph is from the collection at the State Library. The photographer was from Morris, Alfred and Co. 1860.

Grampians View

September 26, 2017 - 4 Responses

After ambling up The Piccaninny in the morning, I drove to a dirt road between the Dunkeld racecourse and the cemetery where I could obtain fine views of Mount Abrupt and Mount Sturgeon. I was treated to local kangaroos hopping between the racecourse and cemetery.

Mount Abrupt was partially obscured by drifting smoke so I turned my attention to Mount Sturgeon. Because there was a stiff breeze, I sheltered in the car whilst I made this crayon drawing.