Botanic Gardens and Garden for the Future, Bendigo
August 4, 2019

Whilst I am familiar with Rosalind Park and Lake Weeroona, I had never visited Bendigo’s Botanic Gardens until recently. I took advantage of another fine day to visit on Monday, 22nd July.

Established in 1857, the gardens are typical of the Victorian and Edwardian eras with expansive green lawns and mature trees. I was tickled to see decorative cabbages being used as a ‘floral’ display.

I took these photos of plantings around a covered walkway.

There is nothing showy about woodbine but the plant is perfect for winter because of its deliciously perfumed, small creamy flowers which attract insects and birds.

The decorative flowering quinces bring welcome winter colour.

We have now crossed into the Garden for the Future. This new garden which is an extension of the Botanic Gardens opened in 2018. The garden is still settling in.

The flowers of these plants are striking in their form and colour.

I look forward to returning to observe the gardens at different times of the year.

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Muckleford Roses
February 5, 2019

I visited Forest Edge during the 2018 Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens with my friend, Jenny.

After picking Jenny up from the Castlemaine station, we drove to Muckleford where we picnicked in the garden of Forest Edge.  As we ate, we were thrilled by the blue wrens (Superb Fairywrens) hopping around on the picnic table and nearby.

After lunch, we got down to the serious business of enjoying the pleasures of my favourite garden. We took heaps of photographs as we moved around the garden at a leisurely pace.

On the day, the roses were particularly fine so this post is devoted to them.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mica Grange Flowers
January 12, 2019

I have made several visits to Mica Grange since I moved to Castlemaine almost 6 years ago.

Mica Grange is a large country garden perched on the slopes of Mt. Alexander overlooking the Sutton Grange Valley.

I have always enjoyed the sculpture exhibitions, the panoramic views, Bede’s productive garden, Mary’s food and the flowers.

Here are some of my favourite photos of the flowers of Mica Grange. Some were taken on my most recent visit in November 2018 and others from earlier visits.

 

It is hard to ignore the proteas when they are in flower. Of the open gardens I have visited, Mica Grange has the most extensive collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As with many other open gardens in this district, roses abound. When they are in flower, what’s not to like?

Roses may need pruning, dead heading and protection from pests and diseases, but they are remarkably hardy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also Australian native flowering shrubs and trees.

There is plenty to delight the eye at Mica Grange.

Lixouri, Barkers Creek
November 29, 2018

 

Lixouri was the third garden I visited during the 2018 Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens. 

Lixouri is very popular with garden festival enthusiasts.

It consists of terraces leading down to a small lake fringed with iris.

There is an adjoining olive grove.

Roses line the fence which divides the garden from the olive grove.

 

The terraces are edged by dry stone walls.

There are many plants typical of Central Victorian gardens to admire.

The vegetable garden had been given over to poppies which I enjoyed.

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.

My Castlemaine Garden
October 17, 2018

I have been working in my garden in Castlemaine for five and a half years.

It is a small garden but it keeps me busy. I call myself a chaotic gardener – things happen when they happen. I rarely keep up with the weeding.

The photographs in this post have been taken over a number of years.

When I first arrived here, there were a number of roses both in the front and back gardens. Whilst I admire roses, I have reduced their numbers over time. My goal is to create a garden which will be easy for me to manage as I get older. Roses are hardy but they are also high maintenance.

I have found new homes for the roses I have removed. This rose found a new home with one of my sisters.

Succulents are a feature of my garden both in the ground and in pots. Provided I keep the frost tender ones under cover, they are easy to care for. I have come to appreciate their many different forms.

Bulbs do well as they can handle frosty, cold ground and tolerate dry conditions.

Iris provide a colourful spring show and can easily be dug up and moved around.

Euphorbias, gazanias and other daisies are bullet proof in Castlemaine’s harsh conditions. The euphorbias and gazanias happily self seed around the garden.

Poppies have made a home in my back garden where they self seed and emerge again each spring together with an abundance of weeds.

 

 

Merson, Castlemaine
October 8, 2018

Sunday was the last day I could visit another garden of the HEDGE. I chose to visit Merson, a small town garden.

Apparently, this is Castlemaine’s first street library. At the Castlemaine railway station there is a similar scheme, Rolling Stock, a book shelf where people can leave books and magazines for travellers to read on their journey. Despite the rise of screen based technology, books and a love of books live on.

 

In the front garden, the quince flowers and the fragrant, yellow blooms of this shrub captured my attention.

 

The borage was filled with the humming of bees.

The back garden has been thoughtfully planned with winding gravel paths……

……. and curving shapes.

Here is one of the three wicking beds which form the productive garden.

This bowl and bird bath are simple ways to provide water features.

Garden art provides added interest and colour.

Blossom and Poppies
October 1, 2018

In the Castlemaine Botanical gardens there is a tree whose appearance for most of the year is nondescript. You would pass it with barely a second glance.

But for a short period in spring, it is a picture of blossom filled magnificence. The north facing branches cascade earthwards creating a bewitching veil of blooms.

 

The tree has no label so I don’t know the species. The buds are a deep pink and the flowers are white tinged with pink.

Bees love it.

I look forward to the flowering of this tree each year.

Near the entrance to the gardens is this flower bed. I like it when it is planted with iceland poppies. I am not a big fan of the summer planting of petunias – urk!

I like the form…….

……..the texture and ……..

………the colours of the flowers.