Trees – Close Up

January 23, 2020 - 5 Responses

When I first thought about creating this post, I had lichens and bark on my mind; but then I thought about shadows and leaves and fruit, berries and flowers. So…..this post became longer with each new addition.

These are some of the lichens.

Here the shadows are mixing it with the lichens.

A tree needs bark.

I restricted the number of photos of leaves with autumn colour to two as I realised things were going to get out of hand. One day I will publish a post focusing on autumn leaves.

Pink peppercorn berries. The peppercorns are currently flowering and the bees are loving it.

Fruit can be very photogenic.

These flowers belong to a tall callistemon which grew in my backyard in Ferntree Gully. The tree was cut down together with all the other trees by the developer who purchased the property.

Spring blossoms are irresistible.

Smoke Haze, Castlemaine 15/01/2020

January 14, 2020 - 7 Responses

This morning, I awoke to the strong smell of smoke in the house.

I took Katie for a walk early at around 6.00am, Castlemaine was shrouded in smoke haze as thick as fog.

This smoke from the fires in east Gippsland and the alpine north east of Victoria has been drifting around here for the last couple of days, but this is the heaviest it has been so far.

The poor air quality is impacting on the health of people. People are being encouraged to stay indoors and to limit physical activity.

These photographs were taken in my street.

The view to Kalimna Point.

The tower of the post office looms out of the haze.

The rising sun shines orange through the smoke.

Trees – Avenues

January 6, 2020 - 11 Responses

In recent weeks it has been too hot to be outside after 9.30 am. When I get up, I take Katie for a walk, water and work in the garden until the temperature becomes too uncomfortable for outside activity, then retreat to the cool of the indoors.

So this has been a good opportunity to review my photos. I have decided to publish a short series of posts featuring trees.

This post features avenues of trees.

The Castlemaine Botanical Gardens has avenues of oaks which provide cool, shady walks in summer.

These photos were taken in autumn.

This avenue provides structure and shade in a garden at Lambley Nursery near Creswick.

This avenue leads walkers and motorists up the winding driveway of the Daylesford Botanical Gardens on Wombat Hill.

The avenue of peppercorns at Plaistow near Newstead leads the eye out beyond the gate to paddocks and Joyces Creek.

River Red Gums enhance a walk along Broken Creek in Numurkah.

Temperatures have been cooler over the past two days with Castlemaine being shrouded in a smoke haze today. Smoke from bushfires is reaching New Zealand.

Tugurium, Macedon

December 19, 2019 - 7 Responses

Tugurium was the second garden I visited in Macedon on Sunday, 8 December.

It is the garden of Stephen Ryan, well known nurseryman, plant collector, author and media personality.

The site of the original garden is a property which had been burnt out by the Ash Wednesday bush fires in 1983. The garden has expanded over the years as adjoining parcels of land have been purchased.

The garden is packed with the rare plants Stephen loves. On a hot summer’s day, it is a cool oasis.

There is a great variety of foliage.

There are dramatic shapes………

………..and coloured foliage.

 

Interesting tree trunks……..

………..spent flower heads………

……..and berries add to the experience of the garden.

Water adds another dimension with its sounds and coolness.

Don’t you love it when you upload your carefully composed image to find there is half a human in the background?

There were flowers to admire as well.

 

 

This one resembled a giant dandelion.

There were some good old bog standard flowers I recognised.

This rose was sweetly perfumed.

 

 

The clematis were stunning.

Finally, a bit of whimsy. Among the many examples of bamboo in the garden is this species which dies down each year. The new growth is coming up among the old stems which have been painted bright red.

Caelum, Macedon

December 9, 2019 - 7 Responses

Yesterday, Sunday 8 December, I had the pleasure of visiting two Macedon gardens which were open as part of the Open Gardens Victoria program. The two early summer gardens were a delight on a hot, sunny day when the light was so bright it almost hurt the eyes.

This was the first time I had visited gardens on the slopes of Mount Macedon which is famous for its gardens especially in autumn.

It was a challenge taking photographs because of the harsh light but I managed to take quite a few.

The first garden I visited was Caelum (Latin for Heaven).

The garden was so inviting because of its cool, shady areas. I took the photograph of the vegetable garden from the shelter of a spreading oak and found I was sharing the shade with something else whilst resting under another shady tree.

The herb garden is located in a sunny area near the vegetable patch. I enjoyed sitting on the low retaining wall and running my fingers through the rosemary.

A native garden has been established under these huge eucalypts.

Given Macedon’s high rainfall, I was surprised by the abundance of succulents.

They occupied large swathes of garden bed, pots and were tucked into nooks and crannies.

All kinds of elements work together to create interest in the garden: different shapes and textures of foliage……..

………..coloured foliage………

………..pops of bright, floral colour………..

 

……..and characters such as these.

This Mock Orange has it all: varigated foliage, fragrance and beautiful flowers.

 

 

 

Dad’s Bouquet

December 1, 2019 - 8 Responses

My Dad died on 7 November at the age of 95. We held his funeral on 15 November.

When I visited my cousin in Ballarat last Wednesday, she presented me with this bouquet of flowers from her garden in honour of my father.

 

 

 

Among the flowers is this rose, Dainty Bess. My cousin included this rose because my mother was known as Bess. I never heard anyone call her by her registered name, Elizabeth.

Ophir Cottage, Creswick

November 23, 2019 - 10 Responses

I had been looking forward to Creswick’s Garden Lovers Weekend since 2018 when I missed out on going that year.

I enjoy the trip across to Creswick, seeing gardens in a different climatic zone and the local garden club sells tough plants at very affordable prices.

Creswick is in the Central Highlands close to Ballarat so it shares a gold mining history.

My friend and I visited the town garden, Ophir Cottage. The gardeners have very idiosyncratic tastes and have filled their garden with novelties and quirky garden rooms.

 

A small, oriental garden room is in development. The cumquat tree plays a major role in the setting.

If you like cactus and succulents, the cactus courtyard with its swimming pool could be for you.

My friend and I enjoyed the drama of the setting – there was a definite ‘wow’ factor.

 

The gardeners love concrete filling the garden with fountains, towers, paving and walls.

The teapot wall combines the gardeners’ love of concrete and kitsch.

There is a ledge for all kinds of teapots no matter how pretty or ugly.

Some of the rooms were shady whilst others bathed in light.

Plaistow Homestead – again

November 13, 2019 - 6 Responses

A friend and I visited Plaistow Homestead on Sunday, 3 November. I had previously visited the garden in early November 2014. With a cooler, wetter spring the garden looked quite different to my first visit when October had been hot and dry. The garden was lusher and flowers still blooming.

These lily pad bird baths are very attractive.

The back garden had a massed display of iris and poppies.

The thorns of this climbing rose were mixing it with the fiercesome thorns of a large cactus.

The property boasts a picturesque outlook down to Joyce’s Creek.

Here is the contrast between 2019 and 2014.

 

White Iris and NBN Woes

November 2, 2019 - 6 Responses

It is now time for me to add my grizzles to the nation wide discontent about Australia’s National Broadband Service or No Bloody Service as it is sometimes called.

After listening to people’s tales of woe as they connected to the NBN, I have had a trouble free experience until the past month. During upgrading works in my neighbourhood, I was without an internet or telephone service for a few days. However, it took two weeks for my telephone service to be restored. 10 days later, I was without internet or telephone services again for a week. So there was another visit from a technician who discovered I had been disconnected at the node. When technicians are working on the nodes they don’t always reconnect customers when they have finished – grrr!

Originally, it had been my intention to publish this post a week ago, so here goes now.

These photographs were taken in my back garden. The white iris were looking their best so out came the camera.

 

The white lid at ground level is my worm farm. It is simply a partially buried bucket with holes drilled in the bottom and sides so the worms can come and go and juices can drain out. It is placed so it feeds the cumquat  tree.

 

I am looking forward to visiting open gardens in the goldfields area over the next couple of weekends.

Proteas

October 12, 2019 - 7 Responses

I have been searching through my archives again and unearthed these two crayon drawings of proteas.

They are wonderful to draw with their attractive colours and strong shapes.

Sometimes I buy a bunch from the local Wesley Hill market.

As a cut flower, the blooms are long lasting.