Cork Oak, Castlemaine Botanical Gardens
June 15, 2017

An April day with a wafting warm breeze as I sat under this cork oak, Quercus suber, drawing and just enjoying the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens.

Katie snuffled around nearby, vigorously digging a small scrape in the grass from time to time.

Katie and I weren’t the only ones taking in the delights of the gardens during the school holidays at the end of first term. The gardens were well populated with cyclists, dog walkers and adults strolling with children. There was plenty of activity in the playground and Barbeque area as well.

It was a good day to relax and just be.

The Gold Coast
August 14, 2016

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I am guessing that not many posts about the Gold Coast commence with a photograph of the bronze head of this man, Peter J. Lacey, who was an Australian Surf Life Saving Champion from 1963 to 1984 and also, a Gold Coast business pioneer whose interests included real estate and development. This man encapsulates two main aspects of the Gold Coast – beach culture and a love of high rise apartments.

The Gold Coast which stretches south of Brisbane in Queensland to the New South Wales border is one of Australia’s premier tourist destinations. Early in August, I visited family who now live there having moved from Castlemaine to be closer to their daughter and medical facilities.

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In September 2015, I was holidaying in the historic fishing village of Port Fairy – what a contrast to the bustling, high rise, urban development of the Gold Coast!

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I admired these sculptures in the Broadwater parklands. The seagull kept an eye on me but had no intention of moving from its vantage point.

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I sent a text to my cousin saying I would meet her near the big horse in Victoria Park, Broadbeach.

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My cousin took me to the botanic gardens where my aunt volunteers. I liked the mosaic highlights on this statue.

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I loved this mosaic panel at the centre of the sensory garden.

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My cousin also took me on a day trip to O’Reillys in Lamington National Park. The sculpture commemorates the rescue of the survivors of an aeroplane crash by Bernard O’Reilly in February 1937.

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This photograph gives an idea of the subtropical rainforest which Bernard O’ Reilly and other rescuers had to navigate to reach the site of the plane crash.

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Alpacas are irresistible. My cousin’s children relished the opportunity to feed them.

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The alpacas had this magnificent view whilst they munched.

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I couldn’t ignore this dramatic skyscape dwarfing the high rise.

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Malmsbury Botanic Gardens
May 6, 2016

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Malmsbury Botanic Gardens are often a welcome stop for Katie and I on our travels to and from Melbourne. We like to spend time in the Pinetum at the end of the gardens near the viaduct. Recently, I visited Malmsbury to make this charcoal drawing of the pine trees. I like the textures of the bark and the shapes of the trunks.

Malmsbury Botanic Gardens, established in 1863, are one of Victoria’s earliest regional botanic gardens. Its main features are an ornamental lake and mature trees, mainly exotics.

A Pinetum is a plantation of pine trees or other conifers planted for scientific or ornamental purposes.

Daylesford Botanic Gardens on Wombat Hill
April 20, 2015

 

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It was an absolutely delightful autumn day when I visited Daylesford Botanic Gardens on Friday, the 10th of April.

It was the last day of the term school holidays and the majority of visitors were puffing up the look out tower to take in the views of the town and surrounding countryside.

The shape and steepness of Wombat Hill suggest it is of volcanic origin but neither the brochure about the gardens nor a cursory scan of google gave any information about the hill’s origins.

I spent a lazy day wandering around the garden taking photographs, lunching among the tomatoes of the cafe’s kitchen garden and drawing.

 

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 Katie and I had our feet firmly on the ground as we admired the views.

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 The glowing, dappled light shining through the leaves of the elm drive was bewitching.

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This is a sight I am unlikely to see in Castlemaine – a holly tree full of berries. Hollies grow well in Daylesford with its cold, damp climate.

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