Archive for September, 2016

The Potager, Chewton
September 30, 2016

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Last Sunday, the 25th of September, was the final day for the HEDGE open gardens this year. One of the gardens I visited, was The Potager. Just beyond the swimming pool is an enclosed garden of narrow, curving, stone edged beds………

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……..where herbs, vegetables, self seeding annuals and perennials rub shoulders with each other.

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Globe artichokes are a garden favourite in this district as they grow so well. People grow them for their foliage, edible chokes or stunning purple flowers.

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In another area of the garden, it was blossom heaven.

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Euphorbias are another garden favourite in this district. They are tough, come in a variety of forms and have distinctive lime green heads.

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Guildford Banjo Jamboree
September 22, 2016

The Thirteenth Guildford Banjo Jamboree has come and gone. The Jamboree went ahead last weekend as Guildford was not swept away by a flooding Loddon River.

Whilst the banjo is the star of the Jamboree, it shares the stage with other instruments typical of traditional American string bands so there were guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, double basses and fiddles aplenty.

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The midday parade and banjo photo shoot under Guildford’s iconic Big Tree was a very relaxed affair.

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Mmmm, not sure why there was a camel in attendance.

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Some people were dressed to be noticed.

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Anybody could get in on the act.

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Gradually, the casual strumming became playing in unison and voices were raised in song.

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The Jamboree is an opportunity for local organisations to raise much needed funds. The Guildford Primary School was offering tempting treats for afternoon tea on Saturday, whilst the Guildford unit of the Country Fire Authority was busy feeding people all weekend. They need a new fire truck.

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This man was demonstrating his cigar box guitars whilst his friend was playing a more conventional instrument.

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There was music here in the Guildford Public Hall……

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……. and here in the Guildford Music Hall, Australia’s oldest surviving music hall……….

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……..There was plenty of action in the beer garden…….

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……and on the street.

I’ll be back next year.

Flooding Rains
September 14, 2016

‘I love a sunburnt country,

A land of sweeping plains,

Of ragged mountain ranges,

Of droughts and flooding rains.’

Dorothea Mackellar

(1885 – 1968)

Right now, Castlemaine is receiving the flooding rains.

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This is a vine draped shelter in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens in autumn 2015.

This is the same shelter this morning, Wednesday, the 14th of September 2016.dscn5241

Steady rain over the past two days has resulted in Barkers Creek overflowing into Lake Johanna, the ornamental lake in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, which in turn has merged with Barkers Creek.

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Because of drought, Barkers Creek was the occasional water hole until winter rains began to fall this year. Today it is unrecognisable as the happily gurgling creek of recent weeks. The sound of the rushing flood filled the air.

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Curious spectators enjoyed the novelty of paddling in the expanded Lake Johanna.

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Familiar, often walked paths are now waterways.

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It was along this path that I drew a picture earlier this year.

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In October, my tai chi class will return on Monday mornings to this group of trees for our weekly sessions.

Wellanbah, Campbells Creek
September 6, 2016

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It is early spring and the open gardens season is kicking off. Locally, HEDGE (Horticultural Endeavours Demonstrating Gardening Enthusiasm) gardens are opening on Sundays during September.

I visited two gardens on Sunday, the 4th of September.

It was a grey, chill day as well as being Fathers Day and I had Wellanbah to myself. One of the owners expressed reservations about being open so early before the colourful spring flowers bloom.

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But is it interesting seeing gardens at different times of the year. The deciduous trees were still in their winter aspect. I was intrigued by the rows of seed pods on this tree.  However, the euphorbias were showing off their new, lime green flowers.

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The owners had planted pencil pines to create strong vertical shapes. Wellanbah is the only garden I have visited where woodbines are featured with multiple plantings. Woodbines are as tough as boots. Their sweetly perfumed flowers attract bees and honey eaters at a time when nectar can be scarce.

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In my last post, I wrote hellebores were a rarity in local gardens. I was delighted to see this one happily blooming.

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Succulents here ……….

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……….. succulents there.

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This is one way to build a low, stone wall.

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Nearby Campbells Creek has a significant effect on Wellanbah. The garden enjoys deep, good quality soil and temperatures of minus 6 degrees celsius on frosty mornings.

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