Archive for the ‘gardens’ 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.

Plaistow Homestead – again
November 13, 2019

A friend and I visited Plaistow Homestead on Sunday, 3 November. I had previously visited the garden in early November 2014. With a cooler, wetter spring the garden looked quite different to my first visit when October had been hot and dry. The garden was lusher and flowers still blooming.

These lily pad bird baths are very attractive.

The back garden had a massed display of iris and poppies.

The thorns of this climbing rose were mixing it with the fiercesome thorns of a large cactus.

The property boasts a picturesque outlook down to Joyce’s Creek.

Here is the contrast between 2019 and 2014.

 

White Iris and NBN Woes
November 2, 2019

It is now time for me to add my grizzles to the nation wide discontent about Australia’s National Broadband Service or No Bloody Service as it is sometimes called.

After listening to people’s tales of woe as they connected to the NBN, I have had a trouble free experience until the past month. During upgrading works in my neighbourhood, I was without an internet or telephone service for a few days. However, it took two weeks for my telephone service to be restored. 10 days later, I was without internet or telephone services again for a week. So there was another visit from a technician who discovered I had been disconnected at the node. When technicians are working on the nodes they don’t always reconnect customers when they have finished – grrr!

Originally, it had been my intention to publish this post a week ago, so here goes now.

These photographs were taken in my back garden. The white iris were looking their best so out came the camera.

 

The white lid at ground level is my worm farm. It is simply a partially buried bucket with holes drilled in the bottom and sides so the worms can come and go and juices can drain out. It is placed so it feeds the cumquat  tree.

 

I am looking forward to visiting open gardens in the goldfields area over the next couple of weekends.

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.

Hourigans, Kyneton
September 15, 2019

Today, Sunday, was the final day of the 2019 Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival. Open gardens are one of the attractions of the festival so a garden loving friend and I headed off to visit two of the gardens.

The first garden we visited was Hourigans located on the edge of town next to the busy Calder Freeway.  The property had formerly been part of a farm and the backyard is dominated by two enormous, old conifers.

The back yard also has this tall, beautifully arranged wood pile. Perhaps the old conifers were the source of some of the wood.

I was fascinated by the colours and texture of the logs.

I wondered if the logs provide habitat for insects and other creepy crawlies.

I think old farms provided these decorative elements.

 

What to do with old terracotta pots!

 

Daffodils and tulips provide bright splashes of colour.

 

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.

Botanic Gardens and Garden for the Future, Bendigo
August 4, 2019

Whilst I am familiar with Rosalind Park and Lake Weeroona, I had never visited Bendigo’s Botanic Gardens until recently. I took advantage of another fine day to visit on Monday, 22nd July.

Established in 1857, the gardens are typical of the Victorian and Edwardian eras with expansive green lawns and mature trees. I was tickled to see decorative cabbages being used as a ‘floral’ display.

I took these photos of plantings around a covered walkway.

There is nothing showy about woodbine but the plant is perfect for winter because of its deliciously perfumed, small creamy flowers which attract insects and birds.

The decorative flowering quinces bring welcome winter colour.

We have now crossed into the Garden for the Future. This new garden which is an extension of the Botanic Gardens opened in 2018. The garden is still settling in.

The flowers of these plants are striking in their form and colour.

I look forward to returning to observe the gardens at different times of the year.

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.