Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

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.’

 

 

 

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Cherbern Park, Metcalfe
November 19, 2018

Cherbern Park in Metcalfe is a funny, quirky garden which has been developed around the former headmaster’s residence. Metcalfe school itself was transported to Taradale Primary School where it now serves as an art room. The only substantial public building remaining in Metcalfe is the former town hall.

Cherbern Park was the second garden my friend and I visited on Sunday, the 4th of November.

The garden is adorned with a variety of garden implements, ………

…….. bits of farming equipment…….

…….and discarded domestic items.

The garden ornaments belonged to the gardener’s grandmother. Enevea, the black swan tyre planter is for you. There is also a white swan tyre planter – definitely a throw back to yesteryear.

Don’t throw away your old, broken or cracked terracotta pots, use them creatively as planters for succulents.

At the rear of the property is the old, school pine plantation.

The owners have converted the area into a play ground for their grandchildren. It comes with the suspended, old doors, giant pencils and these two tractors fashioned from tyres, old kindergarten chairs and rubbish bin lids for steering wheels. There is also a small trampoline and tree house.

 

 

On the day, there were plenty of pink flowering plants……..

 

 

 

………as well as other flowering delights…….

……….including this Bridal Veil or Weeping broom…………

 

……….iris which are a staple of many Central Victorian gardens………

………and this interesting looking flower.

We really enjoyed our visit to this garden. The gardener who remained stationed in the plant sales area said she could hear us happily chatting and laughing as we drifted around the garden. And we didn’t go away empty handed…there’s nothing like a good plant stall!

 

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.

 

 

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