Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Newstead Cemetery
March 31, 2020

I recently visited Newstead cemetery after driving by from time to time over the past 7 years.

One of the advantages of country living is I can go places where social distancing is not a problem during the current pandemic.

The photographs were taken over two days.

All is quiet in the country cemetery which overlooks farmland and across to the Guildford Plateau.

The Catholics had an area across a creek and a privately owned paddock. Whilst I am used to seeing cemeteries where there are designated areas for the different denominations, I had never seen this degree of segregation before. The cemetery plan also showed separate areas for suicides and Chinese.

 

This headstone is a sobering reminder of how common child deaths were on the goldfields in the 1800s.

This ornate, broken headstone relates the history of the Barkla family.

Rosemary for remembrance.

Castlemaine cemetery has roses, Newstead has oleanders.

A back gate leads up a hill ……..

………..where sheep graze.

For the Love of Trees
March 16, 2020

This is the final post of a short series featuring trees.

Trees fill our landscapes and gardens.

They have presence.

They can be character full…..and…..

……majestic.

 

Some are a little weird.

Their blossoms delight the senses.

They are perfectly at home in our public spaces and…….

……..private retreats.

Some of us create miniatures of big trees so they fit where they normally couldn’t.

Sedums
March 7, 2020

The sedums in my back garden are at their best at present.

 

 

The flower heads are alive with bees, flies, butterflies and other small creatures.

I am having fun spotting the different visitors.

Simple pleasures.

Pomegranate Disappointment
February 16, 2020

I like pomegranate trees.

There is lots to recommend them. They are will suited to Castlemaine’s climate with fine specimens in the district. In spring, the leaves have red tips and in autumn, they turn yellow before falling. Pomegranates have wonderful red flowers which turn into the most decorative of fruits.

About four to five years ago, I planted a pomegranate in my back garden and I waited. In 2018, it produced one flower which turned into one fruit. Last spring/early summer the tree produced many flowers and I have been observing, with great pleasure,  the transformation of the flowers into fruit.

My friend, Lana, was waiting with anticipation for the fruit to ripen as she uses pomegranates in her meals. But, we were doomed to disappointment.

Late last week, the gusting winds which accompany thunderstorms broke the fruiting stem away at the base. This morning, I have had the unhappy task of cutting up the damaged part of the tree.

I am hoping the damage will heal and the tree will live.

I will continue to admire the flowers and fruit in jars until they wither.

It is said gardening is character building.

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 – Close Up
January 23, 2020

When I first thought about creating this post, I had lichens and bark on my mind; but then I thought about shadows and leaves and fruit, berries and flowers. So…..this post became longer with each new addition.

These are some of the lichens.

Here the shadows are mixing it with the lichens.

A tree needs bark.

I restricted the number of photos of leaves with autumn colour to two as I realised things were going to get out of hand. One day I will publish a post focusing on autumn leaves.

Pink peppercorn berries. The peppercorns are currently flowering and the bees are loving it.

Fruit can be very photogenic.

These flowers belong to a tall callistemon which grew in my backyard in Ferntree Gully. The tree was cut down together with all the other trees by the developer who purchased the property.

Spring blossoms are irresistible.

Smoke Haze, Castlemaine 15/01/2020
January 14, 2020

This morning, I awoke to the strong smell of smoke in the house.

I took Katie for a walk early at around 6.00am, Castlemaine was shrouded in smoke haze as thick as fog.

This smoke from the fires in east Gippsland and the alpine north east of Victoria has been drifting around here for the last couple of days, but this is the heaviest it has been so far.

The poor air quality is impacting on the health of people. People are being encouraged to stay indoors and to limit physical activity.

These photographs were taken in my street.

The view to Kalimna Point.

The tower of the post office looms out of the haze.

The rising sun shines orange through the smoke.

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.

Caelum, Macedon
December 9, 2019

Yesterday, Sunday 8 December, I had the pleasure of visiting two Macedon gardens which were open as part of the Open Gardens Victoria program. The two early summer gardens were a delight on a hot, sunny day when the light was so bright it almost hurt the eyes.

This was the first time I had visited gardens on the slopes of Mount Macedon which is famous for its gardens especially in autumn.

It was a challenge taking photographs because of the harsh light but I managed to take quite a few.

The first garden I visited was Caelum (Latin for Heaven).

The garden was so inviting because of its cool, shady areas. I took the photograph of the vegetable garden from the shelter of a spreading oak and found I was sharing the shade with something else whilst resting under another shady tree.

The herb garden is located in a sunny area near the vegetable patch. I enjoyed sitting on the low retaining wall and running my fingers through the rosemary.

A native garden has been established under these huge eucalypts.

Given Macedon’s high rainfall, I was surprised by the abundance of succulents.

They occupied large swathes of garden bed, pots and were tucked into nooks and crannies.

All kinds of elements work together to create interest in the garden: different shapes and textures of foliage……..

………..coloured foliage………

………..pops of bright, floral colour………..

 

……..and characters such as these.

This Mock Orange has it all: varigated foliage, fragrance and beautiful flowers.