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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Maldon Cemetery
June 16, 2019

Recently, I was standing at a lookout known as the Rock of Ages in the Nuggetty Ranges when I saw that Maldon’s cemetery lay at my feet. This provided the inspiration to visit the cemetery this sunny, Sunday afternoon.

Here is the view looking up to the Nuggetty Range.

Whilst I was admiring the view across to Mt. Tarrengower, I noticed a brick tower in the distance so I made my way across.

Just as I thought, it was a Chinese oven or burning tower used in Chinese funeral ceremonies. I was disappointed that all evidence of Chinese burials had disappeared unlike the Castlemaine cemetery.

The oven is listed by the National Trust which helps to ensure its preservation.

Locally, the main evidence of the Chinese presence on the goldfields is in the cemeteries as joss houses or temples were demolished years ago.

 

I like the memorials descendants have erected to their pioneering ancestors.

 

This headstone of an Irish family features a harp which I haven’t seen before.

The old sexton’s cottage stands at the entrance to the cemetery.

Chewton Scarlet
May 14, 2019

Now is the time for the ornamental grape vines which bedeck local verandahs and fences to shine.

I was driving around Chewton when I took the photographs of these scarlet beauties.

 

The verandah of a house situated close to the Fryerstown Road stands out.

 

I admired the yellow leaves contrasting with the red.

 

There is a lot to like in this view – the string of red leaves against the muted colours of the stone wall topped by the rose hips and olives.

The verandah of the Red Hill Hotel in the main street of Chewton looks very festive.

Roadside Stalls
May 3, 2019

One of the features of country life I enjoy are the roadside stalls and the variety of produce available.

I have no doubt the stalls provide a valued income to the people who set them up.

I keep an eye out for stalls selling manure as I like to make horse poo tea as a liquid fertiliser for my pot plants.

This one is at Muckleford.

I can’t believe there are people so miserable and mean that they refuse to pay $3.00 for a bag of poo which somebody has collected by hand from a paddock.

 

This stall at Newlyn is upmarket.

The farmer is doing a good job promoting his potatoes to passing motorists.

Other potato stalls in the district between Newlyn and Ballarat are much simpler affairs.

 

Honey for sale in a quiet street in Fryerstown.

 

I like to stop at this seasonal stall in the farming district of Dean on the road between Newlyn and Ballarat.

 

The jams and preserves make great gifts.

 

I poke my nose into Trish’s Gate in Guildford quite often to see what is available. There are always plants. Sometimes there are eggs or vegetables.

 

Roadside stalls appeal to the hunter gatherer in me.

The photographs were taken over months as stalls can be seasonal or out of stock.

More Sculptures at Hanging Rock Winery
February 24, 2019

I spent additional time with a couple of the exhibits at Art in the Vines, Hanging Rock Winery.

From the distance, Onyx 1 & 2 looked nondescript but closer up, the more I looked the more I saw as the subtleties of the works and the beauty of the stone revealed themselves.

In places, the onyx had been polished…………

 

………….and incised.

 

 

There were these gorgeous ripples of colour.

 

If you like rocks, there was plenty to like. The exterior surface of the rocks was full of character with different textures.

 

 

This metal sculpture resembled an elegantly folded piece of origami.

I had fun moving around the sculpture to admire different folds and vistas.

Art in the Vines, Hanging Rock Winery
February 14, 2019

Yesterday, Katie and I traveled to Newham to Hanging Rock Winery which overlooks Hanging Rock, in the middle distance and Mount Macedon, in the far distance.

Whilst Katie surveyed the cattle on the property from the comfort of the car, I had the pleasure of viewing and photographing the sculpture exhibition which ends on the 31st of March. There are 25 works by local, national and international sculptors. The works are diverse in their themes, styles and materials.

There are works of stone………..

……….metal and ………

 

………..and timber.

 

Nature has influenced some artists to produce this dragonfly with the scary eyes………..

………..Jewel de la Mer, a pearl encased by waves……….

………….this gorgeous head of a hare and……..

…………these spinning and floating seed cases which are absolutely bewitching.

 

Sculptors used their art to express their concern for the planet and the survival of the natural world.

Here a gannet is protecting its egg. With its head draped over its back, it has a shield like appearance.

Red Running Tiger depicting the Tasmanian Tiger, (Thylacine) reminds Australians how easily extinctions can happen.

 

Political satire is alive and well. Above, the madness of getting housing and below, the madness of Australian politics.

The Australian Coat of Arms continues to inspire satirists – I’ve got this chicken legs!

 

There are sculptures which are interesting shapes.

 

Threads hanging from the branch of an old eucalypt is still a work in progress as leaves become enmeshed in the fine wire.

 

Then there is the quirky – The Yummy – ‘For good luck rub his tummy.’

 

 

 

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.

Mica Grange Spring Sculpture 2018
December 15, 2018

A friend who lives in Melbourne came to visit for a couple of days towards the end of the Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens.

We visited Mica Grange on Saturday, the 10th of November. My friend is a photographer so we had a very leisurely wander around the property stopping for lunch and afternoon tea.

The sculpture and garden art exhibition provided plenty of photographic opportunities. Here are the works which attracted my attention.

 

The flying lady was one of my favourite works.

There was quite a collection of serene women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Macrame is not dead. Two poles were covered in bright orange, knotted string.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This horse head was my other favourite work. I was particularly impressed by the way the mane was represented by cleverly arranged chains.

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.