Archive for the ‘Muckleford’ Category

Roadside Stalls
May 3, 2019

One of the features of country life I enjoy are the roadside stalls and the variety of produce available.

I have no doubt the stalls provide a valued income to the people who set them up.

I keep an eye out for stalls selling manure as I like to make horse poo tea as a liquid fertiliser for my pot plants.

This one is at Muckleford.

I can’t believe there are people so miserable and mean that they refuse to pay $3.00 for a bag of poo which somebody has collected by hand from a paddock.


This stall at Newlyn is upmarket.

The farmer is doing a good job promoting his potatoes to passing motorists.

Other potato stalls in the district between Newlyn and Ballarat are much simpler affairs.


Honey for sale in a quiet street in Fryerstown.


I like to stop at this seasonal stall in the farming district of Dean on the road between Newlyn and Ballarat.


The jams and preserves make great gifts.


I poke my nose into Trish’s Gate in Guildford quite often to see what is available. There are always plants. Sometimes there are eggs or vegetables.


Roadside stalls appeal to the hunter gatherer in me.

The photographs were taken over months as stalls can be seasonal or out of stock.

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.
















Mucklefest 2017
October 29, 2017

Mucklefest is a joint fundraising project of the Victorian Goldfields Railway, Maldon Vintage Machinery Museum, Mount Alexander Vintage Engine Club and Walmer Fire Brigade.

It is held at the Muckleford Station.

Whilst there was four legged horse power on display, it was mechanical horsepower that was the name of the game on the day.

The aim of the festival is to showcase old engines or machinery particularly those used for farming.

I have to admit that it was the lure of Clydesdales which got me there.



The atmosphere was relaxed and the exhibitors were pretty relaxed.

If you like machinery which rattles, whirs and pants, then Mucklefest is the place for you.


There were machines which had been carefully restored………….


………and replicas which had been built to scale.

Grey was the height of fashion in tractors at some point in the past.


I think the Victorian Goldfields Railway had sent out their biggest engine to impress.

During the festival, I was introduced to the tractor pull which only goes to show you can make a competition out of anything.

One by one tractors would pull the trailer with the tank up a gentle slope to see which could pull the furthest. There were some which only got part of the way before their tyres started spinning in the gravel.

The tractor with the caterpillar treads easily made it to the top of the slope.

I guess at the end of the day, when everyone had gone and everything had been packed up, Muckleford Station returned to its normal sleepy self.



Forest Edge, Muckleford 2016
December 11, 2016


I have happily revisited Forest Edge during Castlemaine and District Garden Festivals over many years. It is easily my favourite garden and it did not disappoint on Monday, the 31st of October.


Forest Edge is a large country garden with rural views.








It has flowers…….









……..lots of flowers……..




…..lots of roses…….









……a multitude of rock roses……..


……….dense with bees……..








…….. many irises………….







………succulents imaginatively displayed……….






…………..lots more flowers………..






………even a moist, shaded corner where Solomon’s Seal can flourish………




………..There are garden ornaments and garden art to intrigue and delight……….




……..and finally, these two photographs give only a hint of the productiveness of the garden.









The Victorian Goldfields Railway
December 30, 2014


 On Sunday, the 28th of December 2014, my niece and I chuffed our way from Castlemaine to Maldon on a steam train.

The Victorian Goldfields Railway is run by a band of volunteers using a former Victorian Railways branch line which closed in 1976.


The action in Castlemaine














Muckleford station – a brief rail stop








 The destination – Maldon Railway Station



Forest Edge – Muckleford
December 8, 2014



I have been visiting ‘Forest Edge’ during Castlemaine Garden Festivals for many years now. It has been strange coming to the garden since my Aunt Anne died in 2012. ‘Forest Edge’ was our favourite garden and we noticed how it had expanded and developed on our visits. We spent many happy times picnicking in the shade or sitting on one of the garden seats admiring the view across the gentle valley. We both loved flowers and there is an abundance of blooms in spring. The property backs onto bushland so many bush birds visit the garden. Blue wrens (Superb Fairy-wren) hop about the lawns and flit among the shrubs. We would stand or sit very still to see how close the blue wrens would come to us. The males are like jewels; tiny with bright blue and contrasting black feathers.

My aunt could not resist the plant stall and we enjoyed chatting to the friendly owners, Jill and Graham Hiscock.

There was nothing about this garden we didn’t like.

This year, I visited ‘Forest Edge’ on Saturday, the 1st of November. It was typical ‘Cup’ weather – short periods of sunshine, great, black clouds sweeping across preceded by gusty winds then followed by brief down pours or scatterings of hail.

The garden has something to offer everyone including a large, organic vegetable and berry garden, fruit trees, ponds and rock features. However, when I reviewed the photographs I had taken on the day, I found the majority were of flowers so this is a very floral post. I hope you enjoy.


Garden art among the flowers.








Groupings of pots add interest to paved and newly gravelled areas.








Creative use of a colander.




These fierce creatures are a new addition to appeal to adults and children alike.



The garden is watered from dams on the property.

Charcoal Drawing: State School No: 1124, Muckleford South
June 16, 2014


I have been wanting to draw this gem of a building for some time.

I decided yesterday, Sunday, was an ideal opportunity to fulfil this ambition.

It was a bitterly cold day so I was glad I could park the car directly in front of the old school and use it as my cosy studio whilst Katie snoozed on the back seat.

The school was built in 1871 of local sandstone rubble and red brick with a corrugated iron roof. The school had a single classroom and was typical of its era. It was built to serve the needs of a more densely populated rural district due to the gold rushes and people taking up small holdings.

The building ceased being used as a school in 1941 when it became a public hall. The school room had a single fireplace to provide heating and the blackboards have been retained.

I wonder when the corrugated iron annex with its own chimney was added (not shown in the drawing). Who on earth decided that was a good idea?


March 14, 2013


The quince tree has outlived

the house which has decayed and disappeared,

It has outlived the people who once lived there,

Surviving years of neglect with no-one to tend or water it.

The diggings are long abandoned

reduced to lumpy ground

The bush regrown.

My aunt, Anne, and I used to come here early mornings

Armed with binoculars and morning tea to bird watch

Honeyeaters, shuffle wings, wood swallows.

One lucky day we observed rainbow bee eaters snatch bees from the air as they made their way to and from their hives,

The birds sat on a barbed wire fence to disarm their prey before swallowing them.

Unlucky bee keeper.


Muckleford, 2nd March 2013

Muckleford is a rural district near Castlemaine