Archive for the ‘Country gardens’ Category

Zen Memorial Garden, Kyneton
September 22, 2019

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.

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Muckleford Roses
February 5, 2019

I visited Forest Edge during the 2018 Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens with my friend, Jenny.

After picking Jenny up from the Castlemaine station, we drove to Muckleford where we picnicked in the garden of Forest Edge.  As we ate, we were thrilled by the blue wrens (Superb Fairywrens) hopping around on the picnic table and nearby.

After lunch, we got down to the serious business of enjoying the pleasures of my favourite garden. We took heaps of photographs as we moved around the garden at a leisurely pace.

On the day, the roses were particularly fine so this post is devoted to them.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mica Grange Flowers
January 12, 2019

I have made several visits to Mica Grange since I moved to Castlemaine almost 6 years ago.

Mica Grange is a large country garden perched on the slopes of Mt. Alexander overlooking the Sutton Grange Valley.

I have always enjoyed the sculpture exhibitions, the panoramic views, Bede’s productive garden, Mary’s food and the flowers.

Here are some of my favourite photos of the flowers of Mica Grange. Some were taken on my most recent visit in November 2018 and others from earlier visits.

 

It is hard to ignore the proteas when they are in flower. Of the open gardens I have visited, Mica Grange has the most extensive collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As with many other open gardens in this district, roses abound. When they are in flower, what’s not to like?

Roses may need pruning, dead heading and protection from pests and diseases, but they are remarkably hardy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also Australian native flowering shrubs and trees.

There is plenty to delight the eye at Mica Grange.

Lixouri, Barkers Creek
November 29, 2018

 

Lixouri was the third garden I visited during the 2018 Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens. 

Lixouri is very popular with garden festival enthusiasts.

It consists of terraces leading down to a small lake fringed with iris.

There is an adjoining olive grove.

Roses line the fence which divides the garden from the olive grove.

 

The terraces are edged by dry stone walls.

There are many plants typical of Central Victorian gardens to admire.

The vegetable garden had been given over to poppies which I enjoyed.

Cherbern Park, Metcalfe
November 19, 2018

Cherbern Park in Metcalfe is a funny, quirky garden which has been developed around the former headmaster’s residence. Metcalfe school itself was transported to Taradale Primary School where it now serves as an art room. The only substantial public building remaining in Metcalfe is the former town hall.

Cherbern Park was the second garden my friend and I visited on Sunday, the 4th of November.

The garden is adorned with a variety of garden implements, ………

…….. bits of farming equipment…….

…….and discarded domestic items.

The garden ornaments belonged to the gardener’s grandmother. Enevea, the black swan tyre planter is for you. There is also a white swan tyre planter – definitely a throw back to yesteryear.

Don’t throw away your old, broken or cracked terracotta pots, use them creatively as planters for succulents.

At the rear of the property is the old, school pine plantation.

The owners have converted the area into a play ground for their grandchildren. It comes with the suspended, old doors, giant pencils and these two tractors fashioned from tyres, old kindergarten chairs and rubbish bin lids for steering wheels. There is also a small trampoline and tree house.

 

 

On the day, there were plenty of pink flowering plants……..

 

 

 

………as well as other flowering delights…….

……….including this Bridal Veil or Weeping broom…………

 

……….iris which are a staple of many Central Victorian gardens………

………and this interesting looking flower.

We really enjoyed our visit to this garden. The gardener who remained stationed in the plant sales area said she could hear us happily chatting and laughing as we drifted around the garden. And we didn’t go away empty handed…there’s nothing like a good plant stall!

 

Granite Garden, Harcourt North
November 6, 2018

Yippee! It is the Castlemaine & District Festival of Gardens this year. The festival is running from 3 to 11 November 2018. With twenty two gardens to choose from, there is something for anyone who is even vaguely interested in gardens.

On Sunday, a friend and I visited two gardens which were new to us.

The first garden we visited was Granite Garden situated in North Harcourt on the lower slopes of Mount Alexander.

 

There are views over a vineyard and orchards.

At the rear of the house, the garden slopes upwards.  The garden is packed with trees and shrubs.

The air was heavy with the perfume of flowering citrus.

I admired the healthy and flourishing lemon trees. They must enjoy the granitic soil and the higher slopes.

It is a pity I won’t be around when the figs are ready for eating.

The property is situated near an old granite quarry. Perhaps the stone for the steps and garden edging came from there.

Shady areas have been created under the canopy of trees.

I used to grow Green Goddess in my garden in Ferntree Gully.

The purple spires of the echium are striking. I would love to grow an echium in my garden but the plant needs more space than I can provide.

Two examples of native plantings are these grevilleas and ……..

……..this leptospermum or teatree.

I was very taken by these red leaves and red seed capsules.

This new garden bed is enhanced by a simple decorative element. Bamboo garden stakes of various lengths have been spray painted and grouped together.

I am pondering whether I can use this idea in my garden.

My friend and I were able to fully absorb the peace of the garden as we sat on a garden bench and enjoyed our picnic lunch.

It is a pity my photographs can’t capture the variety of bird calls or the flash of New Holland honey eaters as they darted among the shrubs.

 

 

Beautiful Mica Grange in Autumn 2018
April 9, 2018

We had glorious weather for Easter and Easter Sunday, when I visited Mica Grange with a friend, was no exception.

People who have read my posts over an extended period know I keep returning to Mica Grange because of their garden art and sculpture exhibitions. The setting for these exhibitions is a beautiful garden with extensive views over the Sutton Grange valley.

Sitting on the deck enjoying a light lunch (and yummy cake) and admiring the view is one of  life’s little pleasures.


Michael Parker’s sculpture was my favourite this time round.

Michael does beautiful work. He is a Daylesford artist and has his own gallery and studio.


This giant eucalypt blossom was attention grabbing.


 

These easy care chooks have great appeal. No need to worry about foxes.


There were plenty of rose blooms to enjoy especially if pink is your colour.


The blossoms of this eucalyptus were a magnet for bees.

I was delighted to see this protea flowering. Usually proteas are in full swing in spring.

 

I took home a snail just like this. No need to worry about it snacking on any tender greens.

 

Mica Grange Blooms in Spring 2017
December 9, 2017

Mica Grange is a garden which keeps on giving. There is always something to intrigue and delight when it is open in autumn and spring. I last visited on Tuesday, the 7th of November, Melbourne Cup Day.

 

In Bede’s productive garden, it is amazing what can be grown in old wine barrels.

 

The blooms of the white waratah were fading, but were still very photogenic.

 

 

The proteas were at their peak.

 

 

 

 

The callistemons were putting on a good show.

 

 

And here are a small sample of the roses which were in bloom.

This garden has been developed on the rocky granite slopes of Mount Alexander where the plants are exposed to the full force of the elements……..yet it thrives.

Mossbank Cottage, Castlemaine
November 9, 2017

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The garden of Mossbank Cottage opens as part of the Gardens of the HEDGE (Horticultural Endeavours Demonstrating Gardening Enthusiasm).

I first visited Mossbank on the 4th of September 2016 and this year on the 5th of November. I was interested to see the differences in the garden between early and late spring.

The view above was taken  in September 2016. The light was very different ………….

 

…………… compared with these views on a bright sunny day.

The garden was also much lusher.

 

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The native hibiscus was at its prime in early spring …….

……… with the flowers in their final stages in late spring.

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The blooms of the winter flowering grevillea had finished……..

…………..whilst this Australian native was gaudy in magenta.

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The fruit trees were busy blossoming in early spring ……….

…………whilst the roses are in full swing two months later.

 

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This is the vegetable patch in 2016.

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What a difference longer and warmer days make!

 

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These poppies which were at their best in early spring were shedding their petals when I saw them last Sunday,

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whilst this one was pretty as a picture.

Mossbank has bee hives. The warm air was filled with their humming as they foraged……..

here and………

here and ………….

…………. here!

I enjoyed wandering by the pond …….

…….. through the grove of sheoaks………….

……….. and up the stairs to admire the view over the garden.

This figure continues to dream no matter what the time of year.

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Lambley Nursery, near Creswick
October 9, 2017

Lambley Nursery near Creswick is a great destination for garden lovers. It has extensive display gardens which are a joy to wander through.

Lambley specialises in more unusual exotics especially those suited to hot, dry climates.

A friend and I visited Lambley yesterday, Sunday, on a mild October day. The avenue of blossom trees which line the front driveway are at their snowy best.

 

 

Lambley is situated in open farming country where there is rich volcanic soil. Being at a higher altitude to Castlemaine, the temperatures are generally cooler and the climate damper. The display gardens are surrounded by protective high hedges.

These are views inside the drought tolerant garden where little supplementary watering is done.

 

These are some of the inhabitants of the drought tolerant garden.

 

These plants are growing in other display areas.

If you don’t like tulips, scroll down to the final photo now. On the day, the tulips were the real show stoppers. Here are some examples in all their colourful glory.

The tulips were interplanted with wall flowers, so not only were there gorgeous colours but delightful, sweet perfume as well.

 

 

After all that colour, there is this quiet green avenue to give the eyes some rest.