Archive for the ‘Great Dividing Range’ Category

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.

 

 

 

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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.

Jenny’s Garden, Glenlyon
September 5, 2015

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The season for open gardens has commenced again – yay!

The owners of five gardens around Glenlyon opened their gardens to the public on the weekend of the 29th and 30th of August.

Glenlyon is a small township near Daylesford on the Great Dividing Range.

I visited two of the gardens, the first being Jenny’s Garden in the heart of the township.

Be prepared for photographs of daffodils in this and a later post about the second garden I visited.

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I was able to admire the structure of the espaliered trees which were still bare of leaves.

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Protecting precious seedlings with soft drink bottles.

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Does anybody know what this vegetable is? It is the most gorgeous shade of purple and is new to me.

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There were swathes of hellebores under the deciduous trees. This is not a sight you would see around Castlemaine where hellebores are planted in small numbers in protected parts of the garden where they receive dappled shade.

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Yesterday’s heroes – These seed heads from last season contrast with the new lush green growth.

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The fresh colours of new growth are every where.

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Bringalbit – Sidonia
September 7, 2014

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It is early spring and the festival season is now upon us. Kyneton is hosting its annual Daffodil and Arts Festival from the 4th to the 14th of September. The big attraction for me is the open gardens.

Taking advantage of the fine weather, I visited two gardens today – Sunday, the 7th.

This post features Bringalbit, a farming property in the rural area of Sidonia.

The 1870s granite house sits in an extensive park with a lake and garden. The conifers and deciduous trees which were planted in the late 1800s are of stately proportions but the park and gardens are in need of renovation and rejuvenation. The fallen timber, the overgrown gully beneath the wall of the lake, the feral blackberries and the unpruned roses give the property a melancholy appearance. However, there are still things to delight the eye especially the surrounding country of rolling granite hills.

 

 

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Around the house. In addition to two peacocks, there were pea hens and other poultry free ranging about the place.

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Looking across the lake and across the paddocks.

 

 

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Sheep doing what sheep normally do – eating.

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Frogmore – An Autumn Garden
April 18, 2014

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I visited this garden on the 6th of April.

Frogmore is a nursery specialising in plants and perennials suited to cool, temperate climates. It is situated in the Great Dividing Range at Newbury between Trentham and Blackwood. Frogmore backs onto the lushness of the Wombat State Forest.

Many of the plants grown at Frogmore would die in the rigours of  Castlemaine’s climate so I wasn’t tempted to do any purchasing.

The show garden is open for 6 weeks in autumn.

The garden which is formally arranged into rooms edged by clipped hedges, is a feast for the eyes.

The photos give a taste only of the pleasures of Frogmore.

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I had the thrill of observing an Eastern Spinebill feasting on the nectar of these flowers.

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The neighbours have been visiting.

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Since I wrote this post, I visited Frogmore again in 2017. You might like to visit the newer post also.