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.

 

 

 

Plaistow Homestead – again
November 13, 2019

A friend and I visited Plaistow Homestead on Sunday, 3 November. I had previously visited the garden in early November 2014. With a cooler, wetter spring the garden looked quite different to my first visit when October had been hot and dry. The garden was lusher and flowers still blooming.

These lily pad bird baths are very attractive.

The back garden had a massed display of iris and poppies.

The thorns of this climbing rose were mixing it with the fiercesome thorns of a large cactus.

The property boasts a picturesque outlook down to Joyce’s Creek.

Here is the contrast between 2019 and 2014.

 

White Iris and NBN Woes
November 2, 2019

It is now time for me to add my grizzles to the nation wide discontent about Australia’s National Broadband Service or No Bloody Service as it is sometimes called.

After listening to people’s tales of woe as they connected to the NBN, I have had a trouble free experience until the past month. During upgrading works in my neighbourhood, I was without an internet or telephone service for a few days. However, it took two weeks for my telephone service to be restored. 10 days later, I was without internet or telephone services again for a week. So there was another visit from a technician who discovered I had been disconnected at the node. When technicians are working on the nodes they don’t always reconnect customers when they have finished – grrr!

Originally, it had been my intention to publish this post a week ago, so here goes now.

These photographs were taken in my back garden. The white iris were looking their best so out came the camera.

 

The white lid at ground level is my worm farm. It is simply a partially buried bucket with holes drilled in the bottom and sides so the worms can come and go and juices can drain out. It is placed so it feeds the cumquat  tree.

 

I am looking forward to visiting open gardens in the goldfields area over the next couple of weekends.

Zen Memorial Garden, Kyneton
September 22, 2019

Zen Memorial Garden was the second garden my friend and I visited on Sunday, 15 September, the last day of the 2019 Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival.

It is a large, rambling, country garden named in honour of the family’s daughter, Zen.

The garden is sheltered from Kyneton’s biting, cold winds by hedges and trees.

Some of the trees which have died have been repurposed.

 

 

 

Insect hotels are popping up in gardens to encourage beneficial insects to take up residence.

You never know what may be lurking in a pond.

 

 

 

Zen Memorial Garden is part of a hobby farm whose residents include alpacas.

When they had satisfied their curiosity, their attention wandered elsewhere.

So my friend, Katie and I moved on to be the centre of attention for this trio.

Katie was exploring the property with us at the invitation of the owner.

The cattle are able to admire the view across the Upper Coliban Reservoir which provides drinking water for Castlemaine and Bendigo.

My friend and I completed our visit with purchases from the plant stall.

Hourigans, Kyneton
September 15, 2019

Today, Sunday, was the final day of the 2019 Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival. Open gardens are one of the attractions of the festival so a garden loving friend and I headed off to visit two of the gardens.

The first garden we visited was Hourigans located on the edge of town next to the busy Calder Freeway.  The property had formerly been part of a farm and the backyard is dominated by two enormous, old conifers.

The back yard also has this tall, beautifully arranged wood pile. Perhaps the old conifers were the source of some of the wood.

I was fascinated by the colours and texture of the logs.

I wondered if the logs provide habitat for insects and other creepy crawlies.

I think old farms provided these decorative elements.

 

What to do with old terracotta pots!

 

Daffodils and tulips provide bright splashes of colour.

 

Celebrating The Second Last Day Of Winter
August 30, 2019

I woke up this morning to a frost and a clear blue sky. The warming sun soon melted the ice and it was clear this second last day of winter was going to be glorious.

The Castlemaine Botanical Gardens was the place to revel in the delights of the day.

The gardens were dog city as people walked their canine friends, strolled with their human friends and families, cycled, jogged and lounged whilst soaking up the rays.

Katie and I shared lunch and afterwards, I took these photographs as Katie sniffed about.

The willows are resplendent in their new, lacy, green leaves.

 

There is a scattering of daffodils and drifts of limey yellow euphorbias.

Blossom trees are hard to resist.

 

This is the time of year for bright, yellow, wattle flowers.

It will be a while yet before the wisteria is ready to bloom.

Today was perfect to be in the botanical gardens.