Archive for the ‘Castlemaine’ Category

The Mill, Castlemaine
May 27, 2020

The Mill refers to the site of the old Castlemaine Woollen Mill which began operations in 1875. The Castlemaine Woollen Company became a major employer in the town whilst it manufactured woollen products especially blankets. New owners, Victoria Carpets, used the site as part of its carpet manufacturing operations from 1992 until 1996 when all manufacturing ceased after a fire destroyed a major part of the premises.

The site remained abandoned until roughly 10 years ago when a local GP and her farmer husband bought The Mill and began a process of transformation. The Mill is now a place tenanted by makers, small commercial enterprises and retailers. It is a destination for locals and tourists alike.

I took the photographs over a period of months.

 

The iconic chimney was built in 1923.

Beyond the bakery is Oakwood, home of delicious small goods including smoked trout, smoked lamb and pate – no prizes for guessing what I like to buy.

The site has solid brick industrial buildings as well as a collection of sheds like this one.

This is the distinctive face of The Mill.

This mural honours the workers who made the woollen products during The Mill’s manufacturing days.

This was the poster on display at the time of the photograph. The current poster is of a man wearing a horned hat.

This is my favourite piece of wall art. It is located next to Sprout Bakery.

It was a challenge taking the photos without a stand dispensing free doggie poo bags getting in the way.

The former drying shed is now a studio and exhibition space for artists.

There are interesting shapes formed by the metal components of a small gazebo created by an onsite metal fabricator.

These decorate the wall near the cafe.

 

Lastly, photos taken in some of the corners of the site of things which caught my eye.

I visit The Mill to buy fruit and vegetables, bakery products and small goods. I have eaten the icecream made there, dined in the Austrian themed cafe, Das Kaffee Haus, and experienced art exhibitions and events.

Autumn Retrospective
May 20, 2020

It is nearing the end of the autumn months and normally at this time of year I would have published some posts on autumn gardens I had visited. But with the corona virus pandemic, not this year – sigh!

So, I am taking solace in this retrospective.

Whilst I tend to associate autumn with the colours of deciduous trees, other plants also make a splash with colour. These grasses are a feature at Frogmore gardens and nursery near Blackwood.

There is an abundance of fruit and acorns.

Colourful berries are a delight.

Ornamental grapevines strut their stuff.

Belleville in Dunolly has an impressive grapevine tunnel.

These autumn tones adorn Mica Grange – one of my favourite gardens.

Vaughan Springs and……

Castlemaine’s Botanical gardens attract many visitors on fine autumn days.

Last Saturday, the lawns were filled with families (in groups of 10 or less) enjoying the freedom to gather in parks and gardens to soak up the sun. I am sure the children were disappointed the playground is still closed – bad corona virus!

I hope that in spring restrictions will have lifted to the extent that there will be open gardens again.  I am looking forward to exploring new gardens and revisiting favourites.

Signs for our Times
May 5, 2020

Graffiti and signs mark changes to our society and our preoccupations.

Two new signs attracted my attention recently.

This piece of graffiti responds to the panic buying which followed the introduction of restrictions on movement and assembly imposed in response to the spread of the corona virus. Who would have thought toilet paper would become a major preoccupation at this time?

A number of these signs recently appeared on a previously anonymous fenceline in bushland in Chewton. Will I see more ‘No Drone’ signs in the future?

Castlemaine already has two prisons – what is this hilly expanse of bushland reserved for?

Sedums
March 7, 2020

The sedums in my back garden are at their best at present.

 

 

The flower heads are alive with bees, flies, butterflies and other small creatures.

I am having fun spotting the different visitors.

Simple pleasures.

Pomegranate Disappointment
February 16, 2020

I like pomegranate trees.

There is lots to recommend them. They are will suited to Castlemaine’s climate with fine specimens in the district. In spring, the leaves have red tips and in autumn, they turn yellow before falling. Pomegranates have wonderful red flowers which turn into the most decorative of fruits.

About four to five years ago, I planted a pomegranate in my back garden and I waited. In 2018, it produced one flower which turned into one fruit. Last spring/early summer the tree produced many flowers and I have been observing, with great pleasure,  the transformation of the flowers into fruit.

My friend, Lana, was waiting with anticipation for the fruit to ripen as she uses pomegranates in her meals. But, we were doomed to disappointment.

Late last week, the gusting winds which accompany thunderstorms broke the fruiting stem away at the base. This morning, I have had the unhappy task of cutting up the damaged part of the tree.

I am hoping the damage will heal and the tree will live.

I will continue to admire the flowers and fruit in jars until they wither.

It is said gardening is character building.

Smoke Haze, Castlemaine 15/01/2020
January 14, 2020

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

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.

Celebrating The Second Last Day Of Winter
August 30, 2019

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.

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!

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.