Floral Forest Edge
November 18, 2020

Forest Edge was the second garden I visited during ‘Cup Week’. Forest Edge and Mica Grange are my favourite open gardens to visit and I was very lucky they were open during this year of COVID-19 restrictions.

Forest Edge, in spring, is all about flowers –

 – which is great from my point of view as I love flower gardens.

Forest Edge has special significance for me because I associate the garden with my Auntie Anne who also loved this garden.

I am thrilled when I am able to photograph flowers with their insect admirers.

At Forest Edge good use is made of succulents and……

……there is a large, productive garden.

There are plenty of garden art chooks and ducks as well as the real thing.

Mica Grange during COVID-19
November 8, 2020

In this year when we have not been  able to attend events since March, I was delighted – ecstatic – to learn that five gardens were open during ‘Cup Week’.  Yes, the Melbourne Cup and the other spring carnival races ran but in empty race courses. Without the crowds, I struggle to see the point.

The Festival of Gardens had been cancelled but five property owners put up their hands to share their gardens with regional garden enthusiasts hungry for their fix of garden delights.

I was very happy to visit my two favourite gardens – Mica Grange and Forest Edge.

Mica Grange was pretty as a picture on Sunday, 1 November.

There weren’t as many sculptures as in previous years but there was garden art aplenty.

These would have to be among the last blossom trees to flower this spring.

I was very happy to capture the blossoms whilst they were still at their showy best.

 

Below the blossom trees, a dog watches over its flock.

I particularly admired these magpie sculptures.

This hare also had at least one admirer. I saw it being carried off by its new owner.

In the background, you can see the timber ‘stepping stones’ which are a new feature in the garden.

I watched with amusement as children and adults tested their balancing skills.

These roses are a joy.

Finally, a photograph of a rose being mobbed by bees.

I am very grateful to Bede and Mary for opening their garden again this year. I am also grateful to their team of assistants who attend to the myriad of tasks which makes the opening possible.

The garden is open each weekend until 29 November.

 

 

Elphinstone Cemetery
September 30, 2020

Tim who keeps my aging Apple desktop computer running, lives in Elphinstone, one of the small settlements which dot this region. Unlike Castlemaine with its gold rush history, Elphinstone has been a farming and orcharding district.

Yesterday, Katie and I were returning to Elphinstone via a backroad when we happened upon the local cemetery. We had time to explore and neither Katie or I want a good cemetery to go to waste.

Whilst I wandered about admiring the various features the cemetery has to offer, Katie went off sniffing and poking about in the hope there may be rabbits.

Grave sites have interesting decorative features.

Many combine decorative features with mosses and lichen.

I had heard of the practice, in times past, of parents giving the same name of a child who has died to another of their children.

This was the first time I had seen evidence of the practice. Patrick Lawrence died as a baby and his brother of the same name died as a toddler.

There are Finnings aplenty in the cemetery.

A more modern family tree.

Feline Togetherness
September 22, 2020

Continuing with the theme of finding posts at my doorstep during stage 3 restrictions, I am now inside my bedroom where my aging felines are chilling out on the bed. As you can see the favoured location is up against the pillows.

Arlo, the black and white male, and Belle, the tabby female, usually pursue their individual daily activities in their preferred locations, but there are times when they come together to relax on my bed.

The photos were taken on different days but the state of deep relaxation is the same.

 

Pretty in Pink – Spring 2020
September 3, 2020

Today, I immersed myself in pink blossom bliss.

This row of pink blossom trees line the edge of a playing field near the Botanical Gardens.

I was fortunate to be able to photograph the blossom against a bright blue sky with puffy, white clouds. By early this afternoon, dark clouds rolled in with the approach of a cold front.

I enjoyed the challenge of photographing both blossom and lichen.

The petals of these flowers will soon fall as the new, red leaves emerge.

Spring 2020 – Castlemaine
August 30, 2020

We are within days of the official start of spring. Because of our warmer July weather, spring has started early. Castlemaine is bedecked with blossom and the bush is blooming with early wildflowers.

Because of the corona pandemic, public events and festivals will not be happening this year – 2020, the year fun was cancelled.

Regional Victoria still has stage 3 restrictions – note: I am soooo grateful I am not in Melbourne with stage 4 restrictions. I am also grateful there are no active cases of corona virus in the Shire of Mount Alexander at present.

There will be no open gardens this spring so I am challenged to step up and observe what is on my doorstep.

This tree is growing outside my neighbour’s property. Right now, the blossoms are at their peak.

Gazanias add a splash of colour.

Blossom Heaven!

Riverside Sculptures, Kyneton
August 19, 2020

On either side of the road, in parkland as you enter Kyneton from the north, is a collection of sculptures on permanent display.

As you can see, the sculptures are well labelled. I photographed the sculptures I liked best.

Lichen growing on bluestone – a winning combination.

 

Daffodils in Kyneton usually means the annual Daffodil and Arts Festival is approaching – sadly cancelled this year due to the corona virus (sigh). I don’t think I will be visiting any open gardens this spring.

 

What would be a bush meeting without ants?

Some of you might spy a green cord hanging from the sculpture – an abandoned dog leash.

This is the sculpture which prompted me to take a closer look at the collection and spend time photographing some of it.

Some people are very creative with items which would normally be discarded as junk.

Banishing the COVID Blues
August 12, 2020

This collage had its origins on Sunday night, 22 March 2020, when Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced the range of restrictions which were coming into force to contain the corona virus. As he reeled off the list of shutdowns, my life was being cancelled and I felt shell shocked. I continued to feel shocked for some weeks before I started being angry.

As I reflected on my state of mind, I realised this was the cumulative effect of 12 months of psychological hits – the diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, deepening drought, eastern Australia’s Black Summer when bush fires raged from Queensland to Victoria, the death of my father in November, the death of an uncle in February and 3 weeks later, in early March, the suicide of his son, my cousin. So what was next? – a pandemic reeking havoc across the globe.

The making of this collage was part of my process for bringing light and hope back during this period of altered, constrained living.

Keeping in contact with friends and socialising within the constraints of various stages of lockdown have helped to keep me sane.

Family who provided transport and in home support for medical procedures during May, June and July has kept me afloat.

Watching Flamenco dancing on Youtube has been great therapy – all that stamping and high emotional drama.

Whilst I have not welcomed the latest Stage 3 lockdown for regional Victoria, I am calmer and more philosophical this time round.

At My Feet
July 16, 2020

A recent post by Londonsenior sent me scurrying for my archives. Susan’s post documented the pavements and service covers in her district. This inspired me to search out photographs I have taken of things at ground level – those things at my feet – and there were plenty to choose from.

 

 

Rocky beaches provide rich pickings.

 

 

 

 

The shallows of a coastal river in Sydney

 

Leaves………..

 

….twigs……..

……….and berries strew the ground.

Lori, The one above is for you.

Ground hugging plants in the wild…….

………and in the garden.

 

These shadows on a footpath are eye catching.

The ground in Central Victoria provides plenty of reasons for looking down.

 

There are reminders of the gold mining era.

 

 

Massive branches lie broken under the Big Tree in Guildford after a violent storm.

A simple headstone in a goldfields cemetery

I came across this unusual pavement in Port Fairy whilst on holiday.

 

Garden for the Future, Bendigo
July 7, 2020

I am very happy to be posting again after a month’s break. This post marks the end of a series of medical procedures which occupied my time and energy during June. The removal of a kidney stone required three medical procedures whilst cataract surgery meant another two procedures.

I was in Bendigo today for an appointment with my eye surgeon who was checking on the progress of the healing of my eyes.

It was such a gorgeous winter’s day that afterwards, I visited the Garden for the Future, a new public garden which opened in 2018. It is located near the far older Bendigo Botanical gardens.

This being Victoria, it is perfectly possible to have various plants in winter dormancy, budding, flowering and fruiting in the same garden.

Garden beds with bare deciduous trees still have interest because of evergreen under plantings.

Plants have striking foliage as well as colourful flowers.

Japonicas flower early.

The yellow berries on this tree are striking and a great subject for photographs.

A large section of the garden is devoted to Australian native plants. There are wattles flowering at present.

I was fascinated by the roofs of these garden shelters with the lime green shining through the holes.