Archive for the ‘gardens’ Category

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

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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.

 

The Window Sill
March 16, 2018

This is the inside of my kitchen window sill which has a view of my back garden.

I like collecting bottles with interesting labels especially if there are birds or animals featured.

The jar in the middle is an old preserving jar which has been filled with objects I have scavenged on my wanderings.

 

 

 

My aunts used to buy my grandfather jars of ginger.  The green one is my favourite.

 

This is the outside of my kitchen window sill which gives a view of my kitchen. I established the array of potted succulents so my cat, Belle, couldn’t sit on the sill and make holes in the flywire screen – very annoying.

I was intrigued by the reflections in the window as they blurred the boundaries between inside and outside.

 

An old plastic jug makes an ideal plant container. I used a heated knife to make holes in the bottom for drainage.

A friend used her drill to make drainage holes in this enamel pot.

 

My Evolving Garden
March 6, 2018

In April, I will have lived in Castlemaine for 5 years. During that time, I have been creating a potted garden on my front verandah. My house faces north which means it gets plenty of light especially in winter when the sun is low enough for the light to stream in.

This (above) is how one end of the verandah looked about four years ago and this (below) is how it looks now.

 

The verandah is great for frost tender plants especially frost tender succulents. The burnt leaves belong to a bromeliad which I needed to move from the edge of the verandah to the back where it will be nice and warm in winter.

I have an old, wooden step ladder leaning against the wall. The steps are shelves for smaller pots.

 

 

 

A large, shallow, terracotta bowl contains cones, seed pods, shells and rocks. Overwrought in Blampied made the small crab and large spider.

The garden extends to the window sill where there are cacti, succulents, feathers and rocks.

 

 

 

 

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.

Noonameena, Creswick
November 29, 2017

Noonameena was the second garden I visited on Saturday, 11th of November as part of Creswick’s Garden Lovers Weekend.

Situated on the edge of town, Noonameena  is a much larger garden than Margaret’s Garden.

Around the property is a high pittosporum hedge protecting deep garden beds filled with flowering plants, shrubs, trees and statues.

 

The garden beds were ablaze with colour.

 

 

 

 

 

There is an ornamental pool edged with flowers…………..

 

 

………….and a small lake.

There are cool, green, ………..

…………shady areas.

 

The beehives were competing with the flowers.

 

Here are some other blooms around the house and shed.

 

 

 

I look forward to Creswick’s Garden Lovers Weekend in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret’s Garden, Creswick
November 19, 2017

On Saturday, the 11th of  November, I travelled to Creswick near Ballarat to see two gardens participating in the Creswick Garden Lovers Weekend 2017.

I couldn’t resist seeing Margaret’s Garden in a small backyard.

 

Here is the gardener resting by the garden shed. I pressed the button on the pink box to hear the sound of croaking frogs.

 

Margaret has decorated her garden with a variety of frogs. Here is one of them.

 

 

I was intrigued by this collection of small water gardens – a bathtub within a brick wall topped with stones, a shallow dish and a plastic carry basket commonly seen in hardware shops. One of the things I love about visiting other people’s gardens is learning from their ideas.

 

 

These flowers graced Margaret’s backyard ………

 

 

 

 

 

………. whilst these yellow roses were adorning the front deck.

 

And finally, a splash of hot colour in the front garden.

 

 

 

Six Pines, Castlemaine
November 15, 2017

Six Pines was the second garden of the HEDGE, I visited on Sunday, the 5th of November. It is a town garden on a smallish block packed with trees, shrubs and spring flowering plants. I don’t know why it is called Six Pines as I didn’t notice any conifers. There aren’t any in the photographs I took.

The front garden was bright with pink. The gardener said she hadn’t planted the Kiss Me Quick. It had just appeared and spread.

 

 

There was plenty to see along the driveway.

 

Around the back, under the verandah, was a cool, shady area.

The gardener favoured red roses.