Archive for the ‘Garden Art’ Category

Caelum, Macedon
December 9, 2019

Yesterday, Sunday 8 December, I had the pleasure of visiting two Macedon gardens which were open as part of the Open Gardens Victoria program. The two early summer gardens were a delight on a hot, sunny day when the light was so bright it almost hurt the eyes.

This was the first time I had visited gardens on the slopes of Mount Macedon which is famous for its gardens especially in autumn.

It was a challenge taking photographs because of the harsh light but I managed to take quite a few.

The first garden I visited was Caelum (Latin for Heaven).

The garden was so inviting because of its cool, shady areas. I took the photograph of the vegetable garden from the shelter of a spreading oak and found I was sharing the shade with something else whilst resting under another shady tree.

The herb garden is located in a sunny area near the vegetable patch. I enjoyed sitting on the low retaining wall and running my fingers through the rosemary.

A native garden has been established under these huge eucalypts.

Given Macedon’s high rainfall, I was surprised by the abundance of succulents.

They occupied large swathes of garden bed, pots and were tucked into nooks and crannies.

All kinds of elements work together to create interest in the garden: different shapes and textures of foliage……..

………..coloured foliage………

………..pops of bright, floral colour………..

 

……..and characters such as these.

This Mock Orange has it all: varigated foliage, fragrance and beautiful flowers.

 

 

 

Ophir Cottage, Creswick
November 23, 2019

I had been looking forward to Creswick’s Garden Lovers Weekend since 2018 when I missed out on going that year.

I enjoy the trip across to Creswick, seeing gardens in a different climatic zone and the local garden club sells tough plants at very affordable prices.

Creswick is in the Central Highlands close to Ballarat so it shares a gold mining history.

My friend and I visited the town garden, Ophir Cottage. The gardeners have very idiosyncratic tastes and have filled their garden with novelties and quirky garden rooms.

 

A small, oriental garden room is in development. The cumquat tree plays a major role in the setting.

If you like cactus and succulents, the cactus courtyard with its swimming pool could be for you.

My friend and I enjoyed the drama of the setting – there was a definite ‘wow’ factor.

 

The gardeners love concrete filling the garden with fountains, towers, paving and walls.

The teapot wall combines the gardeners’ love of concrete and kitsch.

There is a ledge for all kinds of teapots no matter how pretty or ugly.

Some of the rooms were shady whilst others bathed in light.

Mica Grange Spring Sculpture 2018
December 15, 2018

A friend who lives in Melbourne came to visit for a couple of days towards the end of the Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens.

We visited Mica Grange on Saturday, the 10th of November. My friend is a photographer so we had a very leisurely wander around the property stopping for lunch and afternoon tea.

The sculpture and garden art exhibition provided plenty of photographic opportunities. Here are the works which attracted my attention.

 

The flying lady was one of my favourite works.

There was quite a collection of serene women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Macrame is not dead. Two poles were covered in bright orange, knotted string.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This horse head was my other favourite work. I was particularly impressed by the way the mane was represented by cleverly arranged chains.

Wedderburn Gardens 2018
October 30, 2018

As I headed off to Wedderburn for their Garden Expo on Sunday, 21 October, it was a bright, warm day with a clear, blue sky. I could not help but notice that between Maldon and Wedderburn, the dams in the paddocks were mere puddles – a sobering sight indeed. It is going to be a hard summer.

Wedderburn lies north west of Bendigo in an area of low rainfall. This year there was virtually no rain in winter.

It was interesting to see how gardeners have coped with clay and rock and recent severe frosts followed by high temperatures.

The front garden at Wedderburn Community Centre has been developed by students undertaking landscaping courses at the centre.

I have a yellow version of this plant. I thought the colour of the flowers was really striking.

Hardy native shrubs have been planted including…….

…….. Eremophilas and ………..

………grevillias.

Hayden and Jennifer’s garden is still under construction on a site which was previously a retail nursery. Some of their initial plant choices were disastrous but experience is teaching them what will survive in Wedderburn’s conditions. I have a feeling some struggling box plants may disappear in the future.

Like the community centre, Hayden and Jennifer use raised beds for their plantings.

 

I enjoyed these yellow pig faces as did the bees.

A large, climbing white rose is a remnant of the former nursery.

Lorraine’s garden is a series of mounds built from clay and rock decorated with all manner of found objects.

The mounds have mainly been planted with succulents.

These maiden hair ferns are thriving in a micro climate provided by a sheltered verandah.

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.

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.

 

 

Belleville, Dunolly
May 14, 2018

Belleville opened its gates and doors to the public on the weekend of 21 – 22 April 2018 as part of the Open Gardens, Victoria autumn season.

Situated in the small goldfields town of Dunolly, the residence was built in the mid 1860s by up and coming young business man, James Bell, who built a successful career in business, banking and local and state politics.

The current owners restored the house and redeveloped the garden in the early 2000s. The new garden is designed to be in harmony with the house, replicating some of the original layout where possible.

 

The old water cistern has been preserved………

…………and the new shed is built from materials recycled from an earlier shed.

The current owners have established a vegetable garden using wicking beds

………. and these rustic climbing towers for peas.

Fruit trees provide produce and shade on hot days.

Quinces and ………

……….. pomegranates are highly ornamental.

These pots are arranged near the detached building which was formerly the kitchen, bathroom and servants’ quarters. Detached kitchens were common as a safety measure. A fire in the kitchen could be contained and would not endanger the main house.

There are plantings of hardy lavender and perennials around the bird baths.

Unusually, this planter contains thyme another hardy plant.

The pond and covered walkway along this side of the house are cooling in summer.

The long walkway covered in ornamental grape vines is magnificent especially when it is decked with the colours of autumn.

 

James Bell

Scotsman’s Hill, Kyneton
April 26, 2018

Scotsman’s Hill was the second garden in Kyneton my friend and I visited on Sunday, the 8th of April. Scotsman’s Hill is situated on the crest of the hill so there are extensive views to admire…………..

……….across the town,……

………. to distant Mount Macedon………..

………….and the nearby racecourse.

An old hawthorn hedge marks the boundary of part of the property.

These decorative panels were made by Tait Decorative Iron, a Castlemaine company.

The owners of the property also enjoy garden sculpture.

The little, grinning dog sitting on the deck among the potted plants caught my eye. I must keep an eye out for one of these.

The sloping land adjacent to the house is filled with plants.

I was attracted to this succulent with its striking leaves.

Brocklebank, Kyneton
April 21, 2018

On the 8th of April, a friend and I journeyed to Kyneton to see gardens which were open as part of Open Gardens Victoria.

I took photographs in two of the gardens – Brocklebank and Scotsman’s Hill which are both on a hill giving fine views of the Kyneton race track.

This post features Brocklebank, the first of the gardens we visited.

 

As we puffed up the steep driveway, we stopped to admire the view up the slope. This garden bed is planted with grasses and clipped westringias.

There are clipped westringias throughout the garden

Sculpture enhances the garden or does the garden enhance the sculpture?

I like these distinctive pine cones. I have learnt that, unlike other pine cones, these ones fall apart as they age.

There are many conifers planted in the garden.

These seed heads are interesting and unusual whilst the bright red, winged seed capsules are eye catching.

There is a large vegetable patch. Little cages protect the tender leaves.

The gardener wishing to take a break, can sit in one of these colourful chairs and contemplate the view across the paddock.

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.