Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Floral Forest Edge
November 18, 2020

Forest Edge was the second garden I visited during ‘Cup Week’. Forest Edge and Mica Grange are my favourite open gardens to visit and I was very lucky they were open during this year of COVID-19 restrictions.

Forest Edge, in spring, is all about flowers –

 – which is great from my point of view as I love flower gardens.

Forest Edge has special significance for me because I associate the garden with my Auntie Anne who also loved this garden.

I am thrilled when I am able to photograph flowers with their insect admirers.

At Forest Edge good use is made of succulents and……

……there is a large, productive garden.

There are plenty of garden art chooks and ducks as well as the real thing.

Mica Grange during COVID-19
November 8, 2020

In this year when we have not been  able to attend events since March, I was delighted – ecstatic – to learn that five gardens were open during ‘Cup Week’.  Yes, the Melbourne Cup and the other spring carnival races ran but in empty race courses. Without the crowds, I struggle to see the point.

The Festival of Gardens had been cancelled but five property owners put up their hands to share their gardens with regional garden enthusiasts hungry for their fix of garden delights.

I was very happy to visit my two favourite gardens – Mica Grange and Forest Edge.

Mica Grange was pretty as a picture on Sunday, 1 November.

There weren’t as many sculptures as in previous years but there was garden art aplenty.

These would have to be among the last blossom trees to flower this spring.

I was very happy to capture the blossoms whilst they were still at their showy best.


Below the blossom trees, a dog watches over its flock.

I particularly admired these magpie sculptures.

This hare also had at least one admirer. I saw it being carried off by its new owner.

In the background, you can see the timber ‘stepping stones’ which are a new feature in the garden.

I watched with amusement as children and adults tested their balancing skills.

These roses are a joy.

Finally, a photograph of a rose being mobbed by bees.

I am very grateful to Bede and Mary for opening their garden again this year. I am also grateful to their team of assistants who attend to the myriad of tasks which makes the opening possible.

The garden is open each weekend until 29 November.



Elphinstone Cemetery
September 30, 2020

Tim who keeps my aging Apple desktop computer running, lives in Elphinstone, one of the small settlements which dot this region. Unlike Castlemaine with its gold rush history, Elphinstone has been a farming and orcharding district.

Yesterday, Katie and I were returning to Elphinstone via a backroad when we happened upon the local cemetery. We had time to explore and neither Katie or I want a good cemetery to go to waste.

Whilst I wandered about admiring the various features the cemetery has to offer, Katie went off sniffing and poking about in the hope there may be rabbits.

Grave sites have interesting decorative features.

Many combine decorative features with mosses and lichen.

I had heard of the practice, in times past, of parents giving the same name of a child who has died to another of their children.

This was the first time I had seen evidence of the practice. Patrick Lawrence died as a baby and his brother of the same name died as a toddler.

There are Finnings aplenty in the cemetery.

A more modern family tree.

Riverside Sculptures, Kyneton
August 19, 2020

On either side of the road, in parkland as you enter Kyneton from the north, is a collection of sculptures on permanent display.

As you can see, the sculptures are well labelled. I photographed the sculptures I liked best.

Lichen growing on bluestone – a winning combination.


Daffodils in Kyneton usually means the annual Daffodil and Arts Festival is approaching – sadly cancelled this year due to the corona virus (sigh). I don’t think I will be visiting any open gardens this spring.


What would be a bush meeting without ants?

Some of you might spy a green cord hanging from the sculpture – an abandoned dog leash.

This is the sculpture which prompted me to take a closer look at the collection and spend time photographing some of it.

Some people are very creative with items which would normally be discarded as junk.

Garden for the Future, Bendigo
July 7, 2020

I am very happy to be posting again after a month’s break. This post marks the end of a series of medical procedures which occupied my time and energy during June. The removal of a kidney stone required three medical procedures whilst cataract surgery meant another two procedures.

I was in Bendigo today for an appointment with my eye surgeon who was checking on the progress of the healing of my eyes.

It was such a gorgeous winter’s day that afterwards, I visited the Garden for the Future, a new public garden which opened in 2018. It is located near the far older Bendigo Botanical gardens.

This being Victoria, it is perfectly possible to have various plants in winter dormancy, budding, flowering and fruiting in the same garden.

Garden beds with bare deciduous trees still have interest because of evergreen under plantings.

Plants have striking foliage as well as colourful flowers.

Japonicas flower early.

The yellow berries on this tree are striking and a great subject for photographs.

A large section of the garden is devoted to Australian native plants. There are wattles flowering at present.

I was fascinated by the roofs of these garden shelters with the lime green shining through the holes.


Campaspe River Walk, Kyneton
April 27, 2020

Katie and I spent a very pleasant 2 hours strolling along the Campaspe River Walk in Kyneton last Wednesday in glorious autumn sunshine.

The Campaspe River flows along the edge of town. The photo above shows the top of one of a series of weirs built across the river in the past to provide deeper water.

Katie enjoyed paddling in this part of the river.

Over recent decades, volunteers have cleared the river area of rubbish, removed weeds including willows and planted native species. The banks of the river are lined with newly planted trees protected by white guards.

The river walk is quite popular with people walking, jogging and cycling. Dogs enjoy being out with their humans. Kyneton is a small country town so there is no problem with social distancing.

Unlike Castlemaine which is surrounded by bushland,  Kyneton has farmland.

This is the end of our walk near the Kyneton racecourse.

I will return one day to photograph the sculptures along this stretch of the river.

Rock of Ages, Maldon
April 16, 2020

Yesterday (Wednesday), Katie and I walked up the track to Mount Mooral in the Nuggetty Ranges to enjoy the vistas at the rocky outcrop known as the Rock of Ages.

We could look down on the Maldon cemetery.

We could also look across to Mount Tarrengower with its towers.

There is no one rock called the Rock of Ages but lots of rocks which together are the Rock of Ages.

The Nuggetty Ranges and Mount Tarrengower are formed from granite.

The flowering correas were attracting New Holland honeyeaters.

During our time in the Nuggetty Ranges, the only other people we encountered were an artist and another walker.

Sculpture in Motion 2020
February 1, 2020

The Hanging Rock Winery is currently hosting its second sculpture exhibition.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day – low 20s, clear blue sky and a yellow sun – when a friend and I journeyed to Newham in the Macedon Ranges on Friday, 24 January.

The sculptures all incorporate movement in their design. Many are tall or perched on poles.

For some artists creating a kinetic sculpture is a new venture. There are sculptures which are masterful in their execution swinging and swaying in the breeze whilst others could do with some tweeking.

In this post, I have intermingled images of sculptures with views around the winery to give readers’ necks a rest from craning to admire the work of these sculptors.

Bobbing Boat by Jimmy Rix

The boat is attached to the waves by a spring. The boat bobs when viewers gently touch it. My friend and I happily made it bob.

Wing-it by Anthony Vanderzweep

BJF 23 by Ben Fasham

This is Ben’s first attempt at making a kinetic sculpture and he nailed it.

Circles by Rudi Jass is masterful in its execution.

The Lie of the North by Geoffrey Ricardo has shades of Pinocchio.

M-fortythree by James Parrett

Future Seed by Adrian Spurr is one of the few sculptures at ground level.

Threefold by Nicole Allen reflects the passing clouds.

Flirt by Charlie Aquilina is one of my favourites. This work reminds me of a deep sea fish which uses a lure to attract its prey into its cavernous mouth.

Egg and Spoon by Michael Sibel

Bipolar Eccentric by Ralf Driessen is very impressive.

The blue chimes belong to Resounding Blue by Tania George.

The exhibition ends on 23 February 2020.

Trees – Avenues
January 6, 2020

In recent weeks it has been too hot to be outside after 9.30 am. When I get up, I take Katie for a walk, water and work in the garden until the temperature becomes too uncomfortable for outside activity, then retreat to the cool of the indoors.

So this has been a good opportunity to review my photos. I have decided to publish a short series of posts featuring trees.

This post features avenues of trees.

The Castlemaine Botanical Gardens has avenues of oaks which provide cool, shady walks in summer.

These photos were taken in autumn.

This avenue provides structure and shade in a garden at Lambley Nursery near Creswick.

This avenue leads walkers and motorists up the winding driveway of the Daylesford Botanical Gardens on Wombat Hill.

The avenue of peppercorns at Plaistow near Newstead leads the eye out beyond the gate to paddocks and Joyces Creek.

River Red Gums enhance a walk along Broken Creek in Numurkah.

Temperatures have been cooler over the past two days with Castlemaine being shrouded in a smoke haze today. Smoke from bushfires is reaching New Zealand.

Tugurium, Macedon
December 19, 2019

Tugurium was the second garden I visited in Macedon on Sunday, 8 December.

It is the garden of Stephen Ryan, well known nurseryman, plant collector, author and media personality.

The site of the original garden is a property which had been burnt out by the Ash Wednesday bush fires in 1983. The garden has expanded over the years as adjoining parcels of land have been purchased.

The garden is packed with the rare plants Stephen loves. On a hot summer’s day, it is a cool oasis.

There is a great variety of foliage.

There are dramatic shapes………

………..and coloured foliage.


Interesting tree trunks……..

………..spent flower heads………

……..and berries add to the experience of the garden.

Water adds another dimension with its sounds and coolness.

Don’t you love it when you upload your carefully composed image to find there is half a human in the background?

There were flowers to admire as well.



This one resembled a giant dandelion.

There were some good old bog standard flowers I recognised.

This rose was sweetly perfumed.



The clematis were stunning.

Finally, a bit of whimsy. Among the many examples of bamboo in the garden is this species which dies down each year. The new growth is coming up among the old stems which have been painted bright red.