Belleville, Dunolly
May 14, 2018

Belleville opened its gates and doors to the public on the weekend of 21 – 22 April 2018 as part of the Open Gardens, Victoria autumn season.

Situated in the small goldfields town of Dunolly, the residence was built in the mid 1860s by up and coming young business man, James Bell, who built a successful career in business, banking and local and state politics.

The current owners restored the house and redeveloped the garden in the early 2000s. The new garden is designed to be in harmony with the house, replicating some of the original layout where possible.

 

The old water cistern has been preserved………

…………and the new shed is built from materials recycled from an earlier shed.

The current owners have established a vegetable garden using wicking beds

………. and these rustic climbing towers for peas.

Fruit trees provide produce and shade on hot days.

Quinces and ………

……….. pomegranates are highly ornamental.

These pots are arranged near the detached building which was formerly the kitchen, bathroom and servants’ quarters. Detached kitchens were common as a safety measure. A fire in the kitchen could be contained and would not endanger the main house.

There are plantings of hardy lavender and perennials around the bird baths.

Unusually, this planter contains thyme another hardy plant.

The pond and covered walkway along this side of the house are cooling in summer.

The long walkway covered in ornamental grape vines is magnificent especially when it is decked with the colours of autumn.

 

James Bell

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Scotsman’s Hill, Kyneton
April 26, 2018

Scotsman’s Hill was the second garden in Kyneton my friend and I visited on Sunday, the 8th of April. Scotsman’s Hill is situated on the crest of the hill so there are extensive views to admire…………..

……….across the town,……

………. to distant Mount Macedon………..

………….and the nearby racecourse.

An old hawthorn hedge marks the boundary of part of the property.

These decorative panels were made by Tait Decorative Iron, a Castlemaine company.

The owners of the property also enjoy garden sculpture.

The little, grinning dog sitting on the deck among the potted plants caught my eye. I must keep an eye out for one of these.

The sloping land adjacent to the house is filled with plants.

I was attracted to this succulent with its striking leaves.

Brocklebank, Kyneton
April 21, 2018

On the 8th of April, a friend and I journeyed to Kyneton to see gardens which were open as part of Open Gardens Victoria.

I took photographs in two of the gardens – Brocklebank and Scotsman’s Hill which are both on a hill giving fine views of the Kyneton race track.

This post features Brocklebank, the first of the gardens we visited.

 

As we puffed up the steep driveway, we stopped to admire the view up the slope. This garden bed is planted with grasses and clipped westringias.

There are clipped westringias throughout the garden

Sculpture enhances the garden or does the garden enhance the sculpture?

I like these distinctive pine cones. I have learnt that, unlike other pine cones, these ones fall apart as they age.

There are many conifers planted in the garden.

These seed heads are interesting and unusual whilst the bright red, winged seed capsules are eye catching.

There is a large vegetable patch. Little cages protect the tender leaves.

The gardener wishing to take a break, can sit in one of these colourful chairs and contemplate the view across the paddock.

Beautiful Mica Grange in Autumn 2018
April 9, 2018

We had glorious weather for Easter and Easter Sunday, when I visited Mica Grange with a friend, was no exception.

People who have read my posts over an extended period know I keep returning to Mica Grange because of their garden art and sculpture exhibitions. The setting for these exhibitions is a beautiful garden with extensive views over the Sutton Grange valley.

Sitting on the deck enjoying a light lunch (and yummy cake) and admiring the view is one of  life’s little pleasures.


Michael Parker’s sculpture was my favourite this time round.

Michael does beautiful work. He is a Daylesford artist and has his own gallery and studio.


This giant eucalypt blossom was attention grabbing.


 

These easy care chooks have great appeal. No need to worry about foxes.


There were plenty of rose blooms to enjoy especially if pink is your colour.


The blossoms of this eucalyptus were a magnet for bees.

I was delighted to see this protea flowering. Usually proteas are in full swing in spring.

 

I took home a snail just like this. No need to worry about it snacking on any tender greens.

 

Old Timer, Dunkeld 2017
December 22, 2017

My holiday accommodation during my visit to the Southern Grampians in September was the Southern Grampians Cottages.

The log cabin style cottages are set in spacious, attractive gardens.

 The view from the front windows of my cottage was dominated by this magnificent, old river red gum.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Southern Grampians Cottages in Dunkeld. I particularly enjoyed the small flock of chooks which free ranged around the front gardens……..and I got to take home some of their eggs.

New Sculpture Exhibition Spring 2017 – Mica Grange
December 15, 2017

In my last post, I shared the delights of the garden at Mica Grange this spring.

This post features some of the sculpture and garden art on display in the 2017 spring exhibition.

 

I enjoy taking photographs of the sculptures from different angles and distances. I like to see how the appearance of the sculptures changes in the different photographs.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, I like the closeups better than the sculpture itself.

 

These ceramic birds would look very well in the right garden setting.

 

 

The blades of this windmill make an array of interesting patterns as they turn in the breeze.

 

These teapots brought back memories of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in the autumn exhibition.

 

 

 

This is the work I would like to have in my garden. The face is beautiful – calm, serene.

Mica Grange Blooms in Spring 2017
December 9, 2017

Mica Grange is a garden which keeps on giving. There is always something to intrigue and delight when it is open in autumn and spring. I last visited on Tuesday, the 7th of November, Melbourne Cup Day.

 

In Bede’s productive garden, it is amazing what can be grown in old wine barrels.

 

The blooms of the white waratah were fading, but were still very photogenic.

 

 

The proteas were at their peak.

 

 

 

 

The callistemons were putting on a good show.

 

 

And here are a small sample of the roses which were in bloom.

This garden has been developed on the rocky granite slopes of Mount Alexander where the plants are exposed to the full force of the elements……..yet it thrives.

Noonameena, Creswick
November 29, 2017

Noonameena was the second garden I visited on Saturday, 11th of November as part of Creswick’s Garden Lovers Weekend.

Situated on the edge of town, Noonameena  is a much larger garden than Margaret’s Garden.

Around the property is a high pittosporum hedge protecting deep garden beds filled with flowering plants, shrubs, trees and statues.

 

The garden beds were ablaze with colour.

 

 

 

 

 

There is an ornamental pool edged with flowers…………..

 

 

………….and a small lake.

There are cool, green, ………..

…………shady areas.

 

The beehives were competing with the flowers.

 

Here are some other blooms around the house and shed.

 

 

 

I look forward to Creswick’s Garden Lovers Weekend in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret’s Garden, Creswick
November 19, 2017

On Saturday, the 11th of  November, I travelled to Creswick near Ballarat to see two gardens participating in the Creswick Garden Lovers Weekend 2017.

I couldn’t resist seeing Margaret’s Garden in a small backyard.

 

Here is the gardener resting by the garden shed. I pressed the button on the pink box to hear the sound of croaking frogs.

 

Margaret has decorated her garden with a variety of frogs. Here is one of them.

 

 

I was intrigued by this collection of small water gardens – a bathtub within a brick wall topped with stones, a shallow dish and a plastic carry basket commonly seen in hardware shops. One of the things I love about visiting other people’s gardens is learning from their ideas.

 

 

These flowers graced Margaret’s backyard ………

 

 

 

 

 

………. whilst these yellow roses were adorning the front deck.

 

And finally, a splash of hot colour in the front garden.

 

 

 

Lambley Nursery, near Creswick
October 9, 2017

Lambley Nursery near Creswick is a great destination for garden lovers. It has extensive display gardens which are a joy to wander through.

Lambley specialises in more unusual exotics especially those suited to hot, dry climates.

A friend and I visited Lambley yesterday, Sunday, on a mild October day. The avenue of blossom trees which line the front driveway are at their snowy best.

 

 

Lambley is situated in open farming country where there is rich volcanic soil. Being at a higher altitude to Castlemaine, the temperatures are generally cooler and the climate damper. The display gardens are surrounded by protective high hedges.

These are views inside the drought tolerant garden where little supplementary watering is done.

 

These are some of the inhabitants of the drought tolerant garden.

 

These plants are growing in other display areas.

If you don’t like tulips, scroll down to the final photo now. On the day, the tulips were the real show stoppers. Here are some examples in all their colourful glory.

The tulips were interplanted with wall flowers, so not only were there gorgeous colours but delightful, sweet perfume as well.

 

 

After all that colour, there is this quiet green avenue to give the eyes some rest.