Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Granite Garden, Harcourt North
November 6, 2018

Yippee! It is the Castlemaine & District Festival of Gardens this year. The festival is running from 3 to 11 November 2018. With twenty two gardens to choose from, there is something for anyone who is even vaguely interested in gardens.

On Sunday, a friend and I visited two gardens which were new to us.

The first garden we visited was Granite Garden situated in North Harcourt on the lower slopes of Mount Alexander.

 

There are views over a vineyard and orchards.

At the rear of the house, the garden slopes upwards.  The garden is packed with trees and shrubs.

The air was heavy with the perfume of flowering citrus.

I admired the healthy and flourishing lemon trees. They must enjoy the granitic soil and the higher slopes.

It is a pity I won’t be around when the figs are ready for eating.

The property is situated near an old granite quarry. Perhaps the stone for the steps and garden edging came from there.

Shady areas have been created under the canopy of trees.

I used to grow Green Goddess in my garden in Ferntree Gully.

The purple spires of the echium are striking. I would love to grow an echium in my garden but the plant needs more space than I can provide.

Two examples of native plantings are these grevilleas and ……..

……..this leptospermum or teatree.

I was very taken by these red leaves and red seed capsules.

This new garden bed is enhanced by a simple decorative element. Bamboo garden stakes of various lengths have been spray painted and grouped together.

I am pondering whether I can use this idea in my garden.

My friend and I were able to fully absorb the peace of the garden as we sat on a garden bench and enjoyed our picnic lunch.

It is a pity my photographs can’t capture the variety of bird calls or the flash of New Holland honey eaters as they darted among the shrubs.

 

 

Advertisements

Wedderburn Gardens 2018
October 30, 2018

As I headed off to Wedderburn for their Garden Expo on Sunday, 21 October, it was a bright, warm day with a clear, blue sky. I could not help but notice that between Maldon and Wedderburn, the dams in the paddocks were mere puddles – a sobering sight indeed. It is going to be a hard summer.

Wedderburn lies north west of Bendigo in an area of low rainfall. This year there was virtually no rain in winter.

It was interesting to see how gardeners have coped with clay and rock and recent severe frosts followed by high temperatures.

The front garden at Wedderburn Community Centre has been developed by students undertaking landscaping courses at the centre.

I have a yellow version of this plant. I thought the colour of the flowers was really striking.

Hardy native shrubs have been planted including…….

…….. Eremophilas and ………..

………grevillias.

Hayden and Jennifer’s garden is still under construction on a site which was previously a retail nursery. Some of their initial plant choices were disastrous but experience is teaching them what will survive in Wedderburn’s conditions. I have a feeling some struggling box plants may disappear in the future.

Like the community centre, Hayden and Jennifer use raised beds for their plantings.

 

I enjoyed these yellow pig faces as did the bees.

A large, climbing white rose is a remnant of the former nursery.

Lorraine’s garden is a series of mounds built from clay and rock decorated with all manner of found objects.

The mounds have mainly been planted with succulents.

These maiden hair ferns are thriving in a micro climate provided by a sheltered verandah.

Winter Sun, Kyneton
September 16, 2018

Winter Sun was the second garden I visited on Saturday, the 8th of September. It stood out like a ray of sunshine amidst light industry and neighbouring residential properties with drab gardens.

In early spring, the garden is dominated by daffodils – big, yellow daffodils. They are in the driveway, ……

…….the front garden and………

 

……the back garden.

 

I was able to admire the blossom of a tree overhanging from a neighbour’s yard.

The gardener has this quirky collection of birds displayed on an outdoor heater……

……..and this impressive display of motoring signs in his garage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hedgerow Cottage, Kyneton
September 8, 2018

Today marked the first of my open garden visits since autumn.

Open gardens are one of the many attractions of the Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival. Last weekend was too cold and miserable to visit any gardens, but today, Saturday, was much fairer.

I visited two gardens in town. The first garden I visited was Hedgerow Cottage.

Apart from some well established trees from a much earlier garden, the current one has been developed over the past six years.

There is a small, front garden and……..

……… a much larger back garden. It is early spring so the deciduous trees, apart from a weeping willow, are not in leaf yet.

It would be lovely and cool sitting under the shade of the ash tree in summer.

White, purple and these pink violets are a feature of the garden at present.

The back garden is fragrant with the perfume of daphne bushes.

A daffodil festival needs daffodils.

I admired this grouping of pots. Box balls are dotted throughout the garden both in pots and planted in the ground.

This pretty collection of potted plants is situated at the back of the house.

Quartz Kiln, North British Mine, Maldon
August 24, 2018

The North British Mine in Maldon was opened in 1858 by Robert Dent Oswald who became extremely wealthy on the proceeds of the gold extracted from the quartz of Parkins Reef. By 1887, the North British Mine was being described as one of the richest mines in the world. The mine produced 242,000 ounces of gold before closing in 1926. It was the largest, most profitable and longest operating mine in Maldon.

Quartz kilns were built in the 1860s. The kilns were used to roast quartz to burn off impurities and to make the quartz more brittle so it was easier to crush to extract any gold.

The remnants of the mine are now Heritage listed and protected by fencing.

I used charcoal to make the drawing of one of the kilns yesterday (Thursday) on a perfect, early spring day.

Gold mining was a gamble. Across the road is Carmen’s Tunnel where guided tours are conducted by volunteers. The company which drove the tunnel into the side of a hill, failed because so little gold was found in the quartz reef there.

 

Fryerstown
August 3, 2018

Deep in the bush south of Chewton is the settlement of Fryerstown.

Fryerstown owes its existence to the discovery of gold in the early 1850s. At its height, Fryerstown had a population of 20,000 and all the services and facilities a thriving town required.

I have published a post about the Fryerstown cemetery in the past. This post focuses on the settlement itself. My photographs were taken over a period of some months.

First of all, a painting by renowned gold fields painter, S.T. Gill, of Fryers Creek as Fryerstown was known in 1852. The painting depicts the very early days when the town was being established.

The town may have had numerous shops, 25 hotels and 5 breweries in the 1850s and 60s, but today, this is Fryerstown central.

 

A sealed road connects Fryerstown with Chewton and Vaughan Springs.

Some of the substantial buildings have survived. The public hall had a library at the rear.

The All Saints Anglican Church and ………

…………old court house are now private homes.

This old house is well preserved.

There is no post office currently operating in Fryerstown. The mail is delivered via roadside delivery.

DSCN4030

Exterminate! Exterminate!

Small scale, local commerce.

dscn5650

It is a while since the sports facilities were used. Katie inspects the cricket ground and the nets.

I couldn’t resist this photograph taken by Lyle Fowler in the late 1930s/early 1940s. There are a lot more trees in Fryerstown now.

Both of the historic items come from the collection of the State Library of Victoria.

Canal View in Charcoal
July 27, 2018

Here is another drawing I made whilst sitting in my cousin’s backyard on the Gold Coast in Southern Queensland.

When you have a home which backs onto a canal, you can have a car in the garage and a boat tied up at the jetty on the water.

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

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.