Fresh As A Daisy
May 22, 2017

When it comes to posting, I have not been very well organised lately…….so I dug deep into my archives to find this crayon drawing of a sprig of daisies.

The drawing was made in August 2008. I remember sitting in the car holding the daisies in one hand whilst I drew them.

I like the freshness of the drawing.

Glorious Mica Grange in Autumn 2017
April 20, 2017

Castlemaine’s glorious autumn weather continued over Easter and Mica Grange looked at its shiniest best when I visited on Easter Saturday. The country from the slopes of Mt. Alexander down the Sutton Grange Valley was bathed in bright sunshine.

The roses were in fine form.

 

 

 

The rose hips glowed.

There were potted delights.

 

 

Deciduous trees were clothed in their autumn glory.

 

The orchard and tubs growing vegetables were full of abundance.

 

 

The sculptures and garden art were delightful.

The autumn sculpture exhibition will feature in my next post about Mica Grange.

Frogmore Revisited 2017
April 14, 2017

We have been having gorgeous autumn weather in Castlemaine recently – mild temperatures, warm sunshine and calm days. It was even gorgeous on the Great Dividing Range on Wednesday the 12th of April when a friend and I visited Frogmore Nursery and Gardens near Newbury.

The nursery specialises in rare and unusual bulbs and perennials. The gardens are bliss for flower lovers with an abundance of flowering plants suited to a cool, moist climate and rich volcanic soils. They are only open to the public for a few days in autumn.

I last visited Frogmore in 2014 so I was interested to see how the gardens looked on my second visit.

Zinnias are rarely seen in gardens.

 

Frogmore’s owner was grateful for the fine day as it had been raining since the weekend. He was worried the blooms would begin to rot if they couldn’t dry out.

 

 

 

 

There are lovely views across the garden to the Wombat Forest.

 

 

Some shrubs were in full autumn finery.

 

Shiny, red berries glowed like jewels in the autumn  sunshine.

 

The prairie garden was looking particularly splendid. Only a few days  before in driving rain and winds, the grasses were lying flat. On Wednesday, they were looking their best.

 

 

 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Frogmore again. It is quite different from other open gardens I visit in Central Victoria. The prairie garden is unique for this area.

 

 

 

Taradale House, Taradale
March 8, 2017

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Taradale House is the setting for weddings and celebrations providing accommodation and a venue for these events. It was open to the general public during the 2016 Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens

The gardens have been designed to complement the purpose of this events business.

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Yellow was the dominant colour in the walled garden.

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This is the detail of the back of a garden seat.

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Two Castlemaine Town Gardens
February 5, 2017

Amners Garden and Serendipity are two Castlemaine town gardens I visited in Spring of 2016.

Amners is a large garden on a slope leading down to Campbell’s Creek whilst Serendipity is small and compact.

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Amners has a large productive and ornamental garden where permaculture principles are implemented.

For special interest groups, Jo Amner conducts tours of the garden and demonstrates how to propagate plants from cuttings.

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With Serendipity, Heather demonstrates how to make maximum use of a small site of 420 square metres.

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Plants are packed in and the illusion of space created by the use of mirrors.

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Vegetables are grown outside the front fence on the nature strip. A wire compost bin sits at the end of the vegetable bed.

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Phillip Island
January 17, 2017

It is high summer so I thought a post about the seaside would be appropriate.

I have been sorting through my photographs and happened upon my 2007 holiday on Phillip Island.

Phillip Island is a major holiday destination in Victoria being an easy drive from Melbourne. It has many attractions for holiday makers and day visitors including international visitors.

Probably the most popular attraction is the Penguin Parade in the warmer months of the year when Little (Fairy) Penguins emerge from the ocean at dusk and scurry across the beach to climb into the sand hills to their underground nests where their hungry chicks are waiting to be fed. It is not easy being a penguin parent, out fishing all day, returning to shore exhausted in the evening, checking for predators, then a dash across the beach in front of excited humans, followed by an arduous climb home. …………then out again before dawn next day.

Whilst this post contains no images of penguins, it does illustrate other island features which appeal to me.

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There are rugged coastlines and surging seas on the ocean side of the island.

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The sheltered,Western Port, side of the island has beaches where you can swim, paddle and fossick to your heart’s content.

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There is coastal vegetation to admire……..

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…. flowering pig faces

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……… grassy tussocks ……….

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……… and enough lichen to keep lichen lovers satisfied.

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In addition to penguins, there is this seagull rookery at the Nobbies, koalas and seals.

Lichen at Llandia, Taradale
December 28, 2016

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Llandia was another garden I visited during the 2016 Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens.

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Australian natives were flowering including grevilleas………

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………and this mint bush.

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The lichen growing on mature deciduous trees was very photogenic.

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It was very pleasant sitting on the verandah enjoying afternoon tea whilst looking out over the garden in the gently falling rain.

 

Forest Edge, Muckleford 2016
December 11, 2016

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I have happily revisited Forest Edge during Castlemaine and District Garden Festivals over many years. It is easily my favourite garden and it did not disappoint on Monday, the 31st of October.

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Forest Edge is a large country garden with rural views.

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It has flowers…….

 

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……..lots of flowers……..

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…..lots of roses…….

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……a multitude of rock roses……..

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……….dense with bees……..

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…….. many irises………….

 

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………succulents imaginatively displayed……….

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…………..lots more flowers………..

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………even a moist, shaded corner where Solomon’s Seal can flourish………

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………..There are garden ornaments and garden art to intrigue and delight……….

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……..and finally, these two photographs give only a hint of the productiveness of the garden.

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Serenity, Newstead
November 27, 2016

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The Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens was a very busy week. During the week, I visited two open gardens in Newstead – Lacey’s which I posted a few weeks ago and Serenity.

Serenity is right in the heart of the township. It presents a modest frontage, but there is more to Serenity than initially meets the eye. The property extends way back behind the house. As we stood in the back yard, one local remarked she had walked past the property many times and had no idea how big it actually is.

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The garden is heavily planted with members of the daisy clan – reliable performers in Newstead’s tough climate.

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I admired the effect of blue, white and green in this planting.

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I don’t often see foxgloves. There was quite a show in this garden.

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The owners clearly like lots of colour in their garden.

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The owners have added decorative elements to add interest.

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They clearly want to sit and enjoy the garden.

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This garden retreat at the rear of the property is still a work in progress. The interior is not quite finished but the verandah is a joy to behold. It is so inviting.

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Lacey’s, Newstead
November 3, 2016

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The Castlemaine and District 14th Biennial Festival of Gardens is being held this week and I’ve been overdosing on flowers. Lacey’s in Newstead which I visited on Sunday, the 30th of October, was a feast of blooms due to the good rains we have enjoyed this year.

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Iris were definitely the stars of the show.

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There is much to amuse and delight in this garden. Jennifer Lacey is a creative spirit and the garden reflects this.

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I was very impressed with the collection of objects used to decorate the water tank.

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Barry Lacey teaches Tai Chi and the garden reflects his interest in the orient including bonsai.

 

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Many roses are still in bud due to cooler temperatures this spring. However, some were happily blooming on Sunday.

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Some people might regard this poultry flock as ideal – no need to feed or protect from predators. The down side is – no eggs.