Archive for the ‘Great Dividing Range’ 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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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.

 

More Sculptures at Hanging Rock Winery
February 24, 2019

I spent additional time with a couple of the exhibits at Art in the Vines, Hanging Rock Winery.

From the distance, Onyx 1 & 2 looked nondescript but closer up, the more I looked the more I saw as the subtleties of the works and the beauty of the stone revealed themselves.

In places, the onyx had been polished…………

 

………….and incised.

 

 

There were these gorgeous ripples of colour.

 

If you like rocks, there was plenty to like. The exterior surface of the rocks was full of character with different textures.

 

 

This metal sculpture resembled an elegantly folded piece of origami.

I had fun moving around the sculpture to admire different folds and vistas.

Art in the Vines, Hanging Rock Winery
February 14, 2019

Yesterday, Katie and I traveled to Newham to Hanging Rock Winery which overlooks Hanging Rock, in the middle distance and Mount Macedon, in the far distance.

Whilst Katie surveyed the cattle on the property from the comfort of the car, I had the pleasure of viewing and photographing the sculpture exhibition which ends on the 31st of March. There are 25 works by local, national and international sculptors. The works are diverse in their themes, styles and materials.

There are works of stone………..

……….metal and ………

 

………..and timber.

 

Nature has influenced some artists to produce this dragonfly with the scary eyes………..

………..Jewel de la Mer, a pearl encased by waves……….

………….this gorgeous head of a hare and……..

…………these spinning and floating seed cases which are absolutely bewitching.

 

Sculptors used their art to express their concern for the planet and the survival of the natural world.

Here a gannet is protecting its egg. With its head draped over its back, it has a shield like appearance.

Red Running Tiger depicting the Tasmanian Tiger, (Thylacine) reminds Australians how easily extinctions can happen.

 

Political satire is alive and well. Above, the madness of getting housing and below, the madness of Australian politics.

The Australian Coat of Arms continues to inspire satirists – I’ve got this chicken legs!

 

There are sculptures which are interesting shapes.

 

Threads hanging from the branch of an old eucalypt is still a work in progress as leaves become enmeshed in the fine wire.

 

Then there is the quirky – The Yummy – ‘For good luck rub his tummy.’

 

 

 

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.

Frogmore Revisited 2017
April 14, 2017

We have been having gorgeous autumn weather in Castlemaine recently – mild temperatures, warm sunshine and calm days. It was even gorgeous on the Great Dividing Range on Wednesday the 12th of April when a friend and I visited Frogmore Nursery and Gardens near Newbury.

The nursery specialises in rare and unusual bulbs and perennials. The gardens are bliss for flower lovers with an abundance of flowering plants suited to a cool, moist climate and rich volcanic soils. They are only open to the public for a few days in autumn.

I last visited Frogmore in 2014 so I was interested to see how the gardens looked on my second visit.

Zinnias are rarely seen in gardens.

 

Frogmore’s owner was grateful for the fine day as it had been raining since the weekend. He was worried the blooms would begin to rot if they couldn’t dry out.

 

 

 

 

There are lovely views across the garden to the Wombat Forest.

 

 

Some shrubs were in full autumn finery.

 

Shiny, red berries glowed like jewels in the autumn  sunshine.

 

The prairie garden was looking particularly splendid. Only a few days  before in driving rain and winds, the grasses were lying flat. On Wednesday, they were looking their best.

 

 

 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Frogmore again. It is quite different from other open gardens I visit in Central Victoria. The prairie garden is unique for this area.

 

 

 

Sherara, Lauriston
October 26, 2016

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Today’s post features the second garden I visited on Wednesday, the 7th of September, as part of the Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival.

Sherara is a rural property near the township of Lauriston. Its attractions include alpacas grazing and an olive grove which shelters the large formal garden.

The owner invited me to bring Katie into the garden so we both enjoyed its pleasures.

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Hellebore Heaven

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I liked the mix of the purple of the grape hyacinths and the red of the grevillea.

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Daffodil Heaven

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These bark photographs are for you, Jane.

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This spiky plant creates drama with a backdrop of maroon foliage.

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Curious alpacas checking us out.

The Garden of St. Erth, Blackwood
October 7, 2015

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Last Friday, the 2nd of October, I took advantage of the fine holiday weather to visit the Garden of St. Erth, Blackwood in the Great Dividing Range.

The present garden has been established around an old stone cottage built in the 1860s by Matthew Rogers, a Cornish stonemason, who came to the goldfields at Mt. Blackwood in 1854. Matthew Rogers named the cottage ‘St. Erth’ after his birthplace in Cornwall.

The two and a half hectare garden began to be developed in 1967 and is currently owned by the Diggers Garden and Environment Trust.

The garden is surrounded by the Wombat State Forest in a cool, wet climate. Plants flower later than in Castlemaine. The wisteria climbing over the cottage was still in bud whilst the wisterias in Castlemaine are in full, magnificent bloom.

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The garden features areas devoted to exotic trees and plants.

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The garden also features Australian native plants and drought tolerant plants.

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Wombats at work. Wombats like to mark their territory by leaving their droppings on logs and rocks. They also dig in the ground for edible roots.

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This is a fine specimen of a Cherry Ballart (Exocarpus cupressi formis). This Australian native small tree is found in local bushland. The Cherry Ballart is semi parasitic on the roots of other trees especially eucalypts. The maturing tree doesn’t adversely affect its host as it becomes self sufficient.

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The bees were having a field day.

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The blossoms on the fruit trees were brimming with bees which politely flew to one side whilst I took these photographs.

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I hadn’t seen this method of protecting vegetables before. The frames were constructed of garden stakes slotted into metal brackets then draped with netting.

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Gale and Gusto
September 28, 2015

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On Saturday,  I visited the Hepburn Community Wind Farm at Leonards Hill near Daylesford as a member of a tour organised by Mount Alexander Shire Council.

It was a perfect, sunny, warm day with NO WIND so Gale and Gusto were having the day off.

I was keen to join the tour as I had read and heard about the criticisms of wind farms so this was an opportunity to get up close and personal with a wind turbine. Taryn Lane, representing Hepburn Wind, was kept busy explaining the history of the project, how local community support was harnessed, how the community co-operative worked, the benefits of the wind farm for the environment and for the community, and countering the criticisms.

Hepburn Wind Community Energy is the owner and operator of Australia’s first community owned wind farm. The 4.1 MW wind farm produces enough clean energy for over 2,000 homes and delivers a range of benefits to the local area including grants and sponsorships for local projects through the Hepburn Wind Community Fund.

The wind farm project began in September 2004 and began generating power in June 2011.

Another community owned wind farm, Denmark Community Windfarm Ltd. now operates in Denmark, Western Australia.

In recent years, state and federal governments have been anti-wind (anti-renewable energy in general) making it more difficult for other community owned wind farm projects to proceed. With a new Victorian government which is more positive about wind generated electricity, there are hopes there will be active support for new and fledgling community wind farm projects.  Woodend Integrated Sustainable Energy (WISE) has been developing a community wind farm project for 4 years with the aim of creating a wind park hosting 3 turbines in a nearby pine forest in the Shire of Macedon Ranges.

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This is Gale, http://tmblr.co/ZBdCmk1iuUtz- , and…….

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This is Gusto.

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My thanks to my niece, Gemma, for the photographs in which I am featured.