Art comes to Newstead Community Lunch

February 22, 2015 - 12 Responses

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From time to time, the Newstead Community Lunch is graced by artist, Susan Denyer.

Sue loves creating ephemeral art using natural materials from Bacchus Marsh where she lives, and Tasmania. She also uses recycled materials from opportunity shops (charity or thrift shops) and garage sales.

Sue spends the morning creating marvellous centre pieces for each table which she photographs.

The diners can spend time over lunch admiring each piece. Diners may enjoy handling or playing with objects which means some of the pieces will be in a state of disarray by the end of the lunch.

After the diners have departed, Sue packs it all up.

Sue’s art is ephemeral because it does not last – it is short lived. Other examples of ephemeral art are chalk art, sand and ice sculptures and sand mandalas.

If you want to know more about Sue’s art, you can email her: gypsy@iprimus.com.au.

These centre pieces were created a couple of Wednesdays ago. My personal favourite is the one with the blue whale in the centre. Perhaps you have a favourite also.

PS: The photographs in this post were taken by Susan Denyer.

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Some pieces incorporate hand made paper. I am glad Sue likes beach washed glass.

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A fly continues its spiritual journey moving from the heart of the spiral.

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The Keep – Making The Most of Foliage

February 13, 2015 - 7 Responses

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 This is the second post about The Keep near Taradale.

This post features the ornamental garden with its emphasis on the colours, shapes and textures of foliage.

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 Water and the green of foliage is soothing.

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 The Crab Apple garden is green now the blossoms and flowering bulbs have finished.

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There is a wide palette of greens and foliage of different colours.

The owners like clipped rounded shapes.

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 I couldn’t resist the splashes of colour the flowers provided.

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The Keep – Taradale

February 3, 2015 - 9 Responses

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 The Keep is the final in a series featuring gardens I visited during the Castlemaine and District Garden Festival in November 2014.

I visited The Keep near Taradale for the first time on the 4th of November.

Unlike the gardens which feature floral displays, this country garden focuses on shape, foliage and texture. To fully appreciate this garden, I needed to take time to wander slowly, pause a while and observe. The more I looked the more there was to see. Despite my preference for colour, fragrance and flowers, I loved this garden as was evidenced by the number of photographs I took…… so this post is the first about ‘The Keep’.

And to be different, this first post is about the vegetable garden which is the tidiest, most organised productive garden I have ever seen.

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 Inside the green house are vegetables growing in mobile wicking beds.

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Most beds are netted to protect the vegetables from marauding wild life from the surrounding bushland.

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 A place for everything and everything in its place.

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 The berry houses.

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 There is a lot of composting going on.

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Charcoal Drawing – Beach Cricket

January 26, 2015 - 6 Responses

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 I sit battling with the wind whipped page

I can hear the calls of the boys but the wind blows the words away,

A man supervises the action as the boys prance about

I look up to find the game has dissolved,

The boys are now intent on other pursuits.

Other cricket games ebb and flow along the shore exposed by the low tide,

If there are no stumps, an upended boogie board does the job.

The Barwon River, Sunday, the 18th of January 2015

I think this is an appropriate post for Australia Day, 26th January 2015.

Memories of a Garden Long Gone

January 13, 2015 - 8 Responses

 

 

 

 

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I was looking through my photographs recently when I discovered these forgotten images of flowers from my garden in Ferntree Gully, in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

I was a chaotic gardener and my garden reflected this.

The garden gave me much pleasure and joy. It was my sanctuary.

The flowers in the top photograph came from my favourite tree, a Silver Banksia, Banksia marginata . It was planted next to my chook shed. Other favourite trees were also planted near the chook shed – native frangipani and a callistemon.  I would go to this corner of the garden to think.

The banksia grew to be a large, solid tree; its flowers attracting birds, fruit bats and possums.

After I sold my home in Ferntree Gully in September 2012, the trees were cut down and all evidence of the garden’s existence removed – except for a few renegade daffodils.

Two villa units now stand on the site of my former home and garden.

This post is a preview of an occasional series featuring drawings I made of my former garden.

 

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This rose grew from a cutting from my Aunt Anne’s garden in Castlemaine. It was planted near the window of my dining area where I could appreciate its fragrance in the warmer months.

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The yellow iris also came from my Aunt Anne’s garden.

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The kangaroo apples, Solanum lanciniatum Aiton, self seeded around the garden.

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I loved the native frangipani, Hymenosporum flavum. Its sweet perfume filled the night air.

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This creamy callistemon was a small tree with papery bark. The flowers smelled of honey. It attracted bees and other insects.

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Mica Grange in Bloom

January 6, 2015 - 6 Responses

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This is the second post featuring my visit to Mica Grange on the 9th of November 2014.

As I mentioned in my first post, the experience of visiting this garden in spring was different to the autumn visit as there were many more flowers.

Hardy proteas are a feature of the garden and they were in all their flowering glory.

 

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In addition to the proteas, callistemons, an Australian native, were putting on a show.

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And there were plenty of roses to admire as well.

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The Victorian Goldfields Railway

December 30, 2014 - 7 Responses

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 On Sunday, the 28th of December 2014, my niece and I chuffed our way from Castlemaine to Maldon on a steam train.

The Victorian Goldfields Railway is run by a band of volunteers using a former Victorian Railways branch line which closed in 1976.

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The action in Castlemaine

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Muckleford station – a brief rail stop

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 The destination – Maldon Railway Station

 

 

Mica Grange In Spring

December 23, 2014 - 11 Responses

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 This was my second visit to Mica Grange in Sutton Grange this year. I visited in autumn and now in spring on the 9th of November.

The spring experience was quite different to the first visit – there was a new sculpture exhibition and the spring flowers were blooming.

If you look at the photographs in autumn, you will see how dry the country was whilst in spring, the ground was carpeted with green.

I have decided to publish two posts on the spring visit – this one featuring the new sculpture exhibition and the second, the flowers.

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 Wire wrens hop about in Bede’s vegetable patch.

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I tried to be creative with some of my photographs.

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Mica Grange provides a grand setting for the sculptures.

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 These ceramic poles with their whimsical figures attracted my admiration.

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I think this group would need to be purchased as a set as they represent the scattering of dandelion fluff.

Forest Edge – Muckleford

December 8, 2014 - 8 Responses

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I have been visiting ‘Forest Edge’ during Castlemaine Garden Festivals for many years now. It has been strange coming to the garden since my Aunt Anne died in 2012. ‘Forest Edge’ was our favourite garden and we noticed how it had expanded and developed on our visits. We spent many happy times picnicking in the shade or sitting on one of the garden seats admiring the view across the gentle valley. We both loved flowers and there is an abundance of blooms in spring. The property backs onto bushland so many bush birds visit the garden. Blue wrens (Superb Fairy-wren) hop about the lawns and flit among the shrubs. We would stand or sit very still to see how close the blue wrens would come to us. The males are like jewels; tiny with bright blue and contrasting black feathers.

My aunt could not resist the plant stall and we enjoyed chatting to the friendly owners, Jill and Graham Hiscock.

There was nothing about this garden we didn’t like.

This year, I visited ‘Forest Edge’ on Saturday, the 1st of November. It was typical ‘Cup’ weather – short periods of sunshine, great, black clouds sweeping across preceded by gusty winds then followed by brief down pours or scatterings of hail.

The garden has something to offer everyone including a large, organic vegetable and berry garden, fruit trees, ponds and rock features. However, when I reviewed the photographs I had taken on the day, I found the majority were of flowers so this is a very floral post. I hope you enjoy.

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Garden art among the flowers.

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Groupings of pots add interest to paved and newly gravelled areas.

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Creative use of a colander.

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These fierce creatures are a new addition to appeal to adults and children alike.

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The garden is watered from dams on the property.

Crimson Glow

November 30, 2014 - 6 Responses

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Beautiful crimson callistemons decorated the tables at Newstead Community Lunch recently.

Callistemons which are native to Australia, are popular in gardens, parks and street plantings. They range in size from shrubs to small trees. Some callistemons have a weeping habit. The distinctive bottlebrush flowers are usually variations of red, scarlet or crimson but other colours including cream, pink and green are available. These hardy plants will tolerate a variety of conditions from the banks of creeks to the parched streets of Central Victoria.

With the added bonus of attracting honey eaters and bees when in flower, callistemons are winners.

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