Archive for the ‘Castlemaine’ Category

The Nesting Project
March 17, 2019

Festival mania is hitting Castlemaine with the Fringe Festival kicking off Friday, 15 March and the Castlemaine State Festival commencing Friday, 22 March. The town will be abuzz until Sunday, 31 March after which we will need multiple cups of tea/coffee/something stronger and a good long rest.

I entered into the spirit of things by participating in the community art project, ‘Nesting’, at The Mill yesterday, Saturday.

The artist co-ordinating the project had constructed the frame for a giant nest from the wheel rims of bicycles. Local community groups and members of the public were invited to help weave the nest from materials provided or from objects they brought along.

The nest was tipped on its side so it was easier to weave.

 

I am holding a felted scarf and looking up at the nest. I am explaining why I am contributing the scarf to the nest.

 

Here I am weaving the scarf into the nest.

Job done!

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My Castlemaine Garden
October 17, 2018

I have been working in my garden in Castlemaine for five and a half years.

It is a small garden but it keeps me busy. I call myself a chaotic gardener – things happen when they happen. I rarely keep up with the weeding.

The photographs in this post have been taken over a number of years.

When I first arrived here, there were a number of roses both in the front and back gardens. Whilst I admire roses, I have reduced their numbers over time. My goal is to create a garden which will be easy for me to manage as I get older. Roses are hardy but they are also high maintenance.

I have found new homes for the roses I have removed. This rose found a new home with one of my sisters.

Succulents are a feature of my garden both in the ground and in pots. Provided I keep the frost tender ones under cover, they are easy to care for. I have come to appreciate their many different forms.

Bulbs do well as they can handle frosty, cold ground and tolerate dry conditions.

Iris provide a colourful spring show and can easily be dug up and moved around.

Euphorbias, gazanias and other daisies are bullet proof in Castlemaine’s harsh conditions. The euphorbias and gazanias happily self seed around the garden.

Poppies have made a home in my back garden where they self seed and emerge again each spring together with an abundance of weeds.

 

 

Merson, Castlemaine
October 8, 2018

Sunday was the last day I could visit another garden of the HEDGE. I chose to visit Merson, a small town garden.

Apparently, this is Castlemaine’s first street library. At the Castlemaine railway station there is a similar scheme, Rolling Stock, a book shelf where people can leave books and magazines for travellers to read on their journey. Despite the rise of screen based technology, books and a love of books live on.

 

In the front garden, the quince flowers and the fragrant, yellow blooms of this shrub captured my attention.

 

The borage was filled with the humming of bees.

The back garden has been thoughtfully planned with winding gravel paths……

……. and curving shapes.

Here is one of the three wicking beds which form the productive garden.

This bowl and bird bath are simple ways to provide water features.

Garden art provides added interest and colour.

Blossom and Poppies
October 1, 2018

In the Castlemaine Botanical gardens there is a tree whose appearance for most of the year is nondescript. You would pass it with barely a second glance.

But for a short period in spring, it is a picture of blossom filled magnificence. The north facing branches cascade earthwards creating a bewitching veil of blooms.

 

The tree has no label so I don’t know the species. The buds are a deep pink and the flowers are white tinged with pink.

Bees love it.

I look forward to the flowering of this tree each year.

Near the entrance to the gardens is this flower bed. I like it when it is planted with iceland poppies. I am not a big fan of the summer planting of petunias – urk!

I like the form…….

……..the texture and ……..

………the colours of the flowers.

Poverty Gully Garden, Castlemaine
September 24, 2018

Today was perfect for visiting an open garden.

Gardens of the HEDGE (Horticultural Endeavours Demonstrating Gardening Enthusiasm) have six gardens open during the period 22nd September until 7th October.

Poverty Gully Garden is in an attractive bushland setting on the edge of Castlemaine. The gardener has successfully created a garden where the challenges include poor soil, drought, severe frosts and wild life which likes to drop in for a snack. Kangaroos, wallabies, possums and hares are common on the bushland property.

If you look beyond the potted plants to the low embankment, you will see what passes for soil in Castlemaine. Yet undeterred, local gardeners rise to the challenge of creating diverse and interesting gardens.

Here are some of the views from the garden to the adjoining bushland.

The house, fencing and retaining walls are built of stone.

The gardener said there was a lot of trial and error in finding which plants would survive the demanding conditions. Her garden features plants which are bullet proof.

Native plants are used extensively throughout the garden.

The wattles are in full bloom at present.

Succulents also take pride of place.

The gardener has used succulents decoratively by inserting pieces into these old bed springs and…..

……..creating this wreath.

Pieces which survive until the 7th of October will be planted out into the garden.

Potted plants add interest to the garden as well as ………

……….the colourful mosaic work.

These pebble mosaics add great texture.

This verandah provides the right conditions ………

………for these plants to thrive.

Finally, a get-away for the grandchildren.

 

 

The First Day of Winter 2018
June 2, 2018

It was the first day of winter, the 1st of June, and a perfect day to visit the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens to take photographs.

The early morning frost had melted by 10.00am and the day was bright and clear. The sky an intense blue, the shadows the right length, the willows, elms and oaks clad in gold and russet and ……. there was a work crew in full throttle, vehicles on the grass, men wearing High Vis, chain saws whirring and whining, ride on mowers manicuring the grass. Ah well, best get on with it.

Firstly, a few views around Lake Joanna which looked gorgeous having recovered from a long bout of algal bloom which had turned the lake pea green.

 

 

Then time to take a walk along my favourite part of the gardens – the walk along Barkers Creek where the path is lined with oaks.

The low slung sun shining through the gold foliage created a magical light.

I passed under the branches of the BIG OAK which was planted in 1863 to celebrate the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

The BIG OAK is the oldest planting in the gardens. It shelters the play ground. My house could easily fit under its canopy.

 

This is an old postcard of the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens in its heyday. Today, the garden happily exists without the cannon.

Dilapidation
May 26, 2018

I have made the former Senior campus of the Castlemaine Secondary College the subject of a photographic project.

The grounds of the campus were increasingly neglected over recent years. Since the Senior campus moved to join the Junior campus, the site has also been subject to vandalism.

I took these photographs as I walked around the grounds of the school over the past few months.

Today, I was reminded how temporary a situation can be. The shattered windows I documented in a previous post are now boarded up. The paint spattered over asphalt is lifting and peeling and being dispersed. There was a work crew removing fallen branches and mowing grass to tidy the grounds.

It was encouraging to see the site has not been abandoned altogether and perhaps, new life will be breathed into the place in the next few months. Who knows?

 

It is not often that a vegetable looms large in the mind of a graffitist.

This window is now completely boarded up.

 

These photos were taken today. I wanted to show the shapes the blue sky made through the broken roofing material.

A new tree has taken root on a stairway.

I guess this is a long forgotten art project.

Katie, my field assistant, generally explores whilst I mess about taking photographs.

Random Art
May 6, 2018

Here is another post inspired by the former senior campus of the Castlemaine Secondary College.

Containers of liquid paint have been dropped and splooshed to create random art on asphalt and concrete.

I liked the way the shadows from a small eucalypt contributed to the artistry of these images.

It was an interesting exercise circling around to capture the artsiest sprays, splodges and blobs.

 

 

This one incorporated natural elements of earth, leaves and bark.

 

In a radical move, a vertical surface was given the random art treatment.

Copper and Silver
April 15, 2018

In my previous post featuring the former senior campus of the Castlemaine Secondary College, I focused on the unexpected beauty of some shattered windows. In my wanderings around the site, my eyes were drawn to the bark of this eucalyptus tree with its shimmering colours of copper and silver.

As clouds drifted across the sky, I waited patiently until the sun came out again so I could capture the brightly shining colours.

Of course, as I examined the trunk and branches, I discovered interesting lumps, bumps, textures and drips of sap.

They make beautiful images.

The Shattered Windows
March 30, 2018

One of my regular walks is in the grounds of the former senior campus of the Castlemaine Secondary College.

In the period leading up to the school’s relocation to another site, the grounds were increasingly unloved as only essential maintenance was being performed.

Whilst the Castlemaine Secondary College continues to use part of the campus, the buildings and grounds are becoming increasingly dilapidated as they continue to be neglected and are the target of vandals.

I have begun taking photographs of the site as a creative project.

I was taking photographs of this window when I noticed a bee sitting motionless in the middle of the cracked glass…….

 

………..so I took a closer look.

When the sun was shining, the cracks and holes in these windows cast the most marvelous shadows on the drawn blinds.

To my eyes, the spidery shadows were like the fine lines of etchings.

I was fascinated.

I think I am being influenced by the work of photographers who can see the magical in the most ordinary of things.