Proteas

October 12, 2019 - 6 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.

 

Advertisements

Goodbye Cancer!

October 7, 2019 - 7 Responses

Goodbye Cancer – at least for now.

I finished a three week course of radiation therapy at the end of August followed by a month of recovery, regaining my energy levels and allowing time for a rash to disappear.

I will be taking anti cancer medication for the next 5 years and there will be monitoring by my medical oncologist and surgeon during that time.

But now I am free to focus on other aspects of life as my weeks are not dominated by medical procedures and treatments.

I can now work in my garden which disappeared under a green veil of scrambling weeds during the autumn and winter. I am surprised by what has managed to survive underneath it all.

I began this mandala collage at the beginning of the radiation treatment and completed it in the last few days.

The inspiration for the collage came during the yoga session before the radiation treatment started:

Red – the healing process

Blue – calm, stillness, keeping centred

Orange/autumn colours – the cycles of the seasons and of life

Yellow – strength, resilience, optimism

Pink – the love and support of family and friends.

The design of the collage was influenced by the small, stained glass windows found in local churches.

 

Zen Memorial Garden, Kyneton

September 22, 2019 - 11 Responses

Zen Memorial Garden was the second garden my friend and I visited on Sunday, 15 September, the last day of the 2019 Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival.

It is a large, rambling, country garden named in honour of the family’s daughter, Zen.

The garden is sheltered from Kyneton’s biting, cold winds by hedges and trees.

Some of the trees which have died have been repurposed.

 

 

 

Insect hotels are popping up in gardens to encourage beneficial insects to take up residence.

You never know what may be lurking in a pond.

 

 

 

Zen Memorial Garden is part of a hobby farm whose residents include alpacas.

When they had satisfied their curiosity, their attention wandered elsewhere.

So my friend, Katie and I moved on to be the centre of attention for this trio.

Katie was exploring the property with us at the invitation of the owner.

The cattle are able to admire the view across the Upper Coliban Reservoir which provides drinking water for Castlemaine and Bendigo.

My friend and I completed our visit with purchases from the plant stall.

Hourigans, Kyneton

September 15, 2019 - 6 Responses

Today, Sunday, was the final day of the 2019 Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival. Open gardens are one of the attractions of the festival so a garden loving friend and I headed off to visit two of the gardens.

The first garden we visited was Hourigans located on the edge of town next to the busy Calder Freeway.  The property had formerly been part of a farm and the backyard is dominated by two enormous, old conifers.

The back yard also has this tall, beautifully arranged wood pile. Perhaps the old conifers were the source of some of the wood.

I was fascinated by the colours and texture of the logs.

I wondered if the logs provide habitat for insects and other creepy crawlies.

I think old farms provided these decorative elements.

 

What to do with old terracotta pots!

 

Daffodils and tulips provide bright splashes of colour.

 

Celebrating The Second Last Day Of Winter

August 30, 2019 - 7 Responses

I woke up this morning to a frost and a clear blue sky. The warming sun soon melted the ice and it was clear this second last day of winter was going to be glorious.

The Castlemaine Botanical Gardens was the place to revel in the delights of the day.

The gardens were dog city as people walked their canine friends, strolled with their human friends and families, cycled, jogged and lounged whilst soaking up the rays.

Katie and I shared lunch and afterwards, I took these photographs as Katie sniffed about.

The willows are resplendent in their new, lacy, green leaves.

 

There is a scattering of daffodils and drifts of limey yellow euphorbias.

Blossom trees are hard to resist.

 

This is the time of year for bright, yellow, wattle flowers.

It will be a while yet before the wisteria is ready to bloom.

Today was perfect to be in the botanical gardens.

Watery Village, Collage

August 18, 2019 - 7 Responses

I completed this collage in the last couple of days.

It was also inspired by the work of Betsy Forster.

I used painted paper and a mono print to make the collage.

The colours of the background paper remind me of water.

 

Botanic Gardens and Garden for the Future, Bendigo

August 4, 2019 - 7 Responses

Whilst I am familiar with Rosalind Park and Lake Weeroona, I had never visited Bendigo’s Botanic Gardens until recently. I took advantage of another fine day to visit on Monday, 22nd July.

Established in 1857, the gardens are typical of the Victorian and Edwardian eras with expansive green lawns and mature trees. I was tickled to see decorative cabbages being used as a ‘floral’ display.

I took these photos of plantings around a covered walkway.

There is nothing showy about woodbine but the plant is perfect for winter because of its deliciously perfumed, small creamy flowers which attract insects and birds.

The decorative flowering quinces bring welcome winter colour.

We have now crossed into the Garden for the Future. This new garden which is an extension of the Botanic Gardens opened in 2018. The garden is still settling in.

The flowers of these plants are striking in their form and colour.

I look forward to returning to observe the gardens at different times of the year.

Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show 2019

July 21, 2019 - 8 Responses

The annual Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show is being held this weekend – 19 to 21 July.

Some friends and I took advantage of Saturday’s unusually fine July weather to enjoy the Show.

My friends wandered off to explore the woolcraft displays of fleeces, yarns and woollen clothing whilst I made a beeline for the sheep pavilions.

I don’t know how cattle fit into the theme of sheep and wool but there was plenty to admire about these fine beasts.

I was particularly taken by the curls on the forehead of this bull.

 

The Angora goats modelling mohair in its raw state were nearer the mark.

 

Now for some sheep. This ewe was busy tending to her lambs.

 

Elsewhere, there was plenty of judging action.

It is important that your sheep has a good stance.

Now, hold your head up so you look your best for the judge. You’re next.’

This judge was impressed with this ewe in the coloured class.

He examined her from top to bottom.

In awarding the sheep first prize, he declared that she had a good carcass, an even wool cover and was heavily pregnant – everything a ewe should be at this time of year.

A New Collage

July 19, 2019 - 9 Responses

The work of Betsy Forster, a local Maldon artist, was the inspiration for this collage.

I have admired her semi abstract paintings of urban landscapes with their tightly packed buildings.

I used a Japanese paper with a floral design as the background. The buildings are a monoprint I cut up whilst the arch and dome shapes are made of hand painted paper.

I would like to see our towns and cities dominated by an abundance of flowers and trees.

Still Standing, Chewton

July 2, 2019 - 9 Responses

This old building has intrigued me for quite a while. I am sure that when it was in active use it served a variety of purposes over time.

There is a large opening at one end which has been roughly filled with granite stones. Below the opening there is old stone work, the remnants of a demolished structure.

I needed to reimagine the window and doors as new security hoarding was covering these features when I arrived to make this crayon drawing.

The land use around the building has altered dramatically since its construction. It is wedged between the clubrooms of the Chewton recreation reserve, the public toilets and new water tanks.

The fact the building is still standing demonstrates it holds some significance for the Chewton community.