Monday, 13 March 2017

A day at the Ballarat Begonia Festival

 
 
This weekend was a long weekend in the state of Victoria because today was Labour Day. I'm not sure what that is but to whoever Mr or Mrs Labour is that we have a day off work named after them, I thank you.
 
Yesterday afternoon whilst perusing the Instagram, I came across a photo of beautiful flowers labeled #ballaratbegoniafestival.
 
Ballarat is only an hour west-ish from Melbourne. I googled this thing and hurriedly smashed a text message off to the Bear declaring, "How is it there is a huge flower festival near Melbourne this weekend and I didn't go!"  Then followed by at least 5 emoticons of a crying face. And maybe a flower.
 
Bless his furry little heart because just as I had written off the weekend and thought I was going to spend to day doing laundry, he said we should go the next day. Today!
 
I took a million photos. This blog post has approximately half a million. 
 
The Bear drove, I crocheted. A match made in heaven! *yes, this is one of my hands. it does not belong to a man, just a former horticulturist.
We arrived!

The Ballarat Begonia Festival is held in the Ballarat Botancial Gardens on the banks of Lake Wendouree. In the era known affectionately as my 'yoof' (youth), I trained as a horticulturist.

I walked away from working in that industry as the income was little more than that of a supermarket checkout chick and years of sun exposure rendered many of my female work colleagues looking older than their grandmothers. Being the vain little thing I was in my mid twenties, I desired a decent income and a life of skin cancer avoidance.  However I will still completely Geek Out In botanical gardens, floriades, florists, garden festivals and anywhere near large trees. Like this one...

Sequioadendron giganteum. AKA The Sienna Redwood.  Isn't she beautiful?  I have had that Woody Guthrie tune buzzing around in my head all day!
  There was an avenue with bronze busts of all the former Australian prime ministers. Adorned with floral wreaths for the festival!
 
Kevin Rudd aka Kevin 07, aka smiles for the camera and acts super friendly but was known to be a raging cranky Napoleon to his staffers behind closed doors. Also known for dropping loads of F-bombs....
 
Lovely Julia. The abuse she copped has possibly guaranteed no female will want to be prime minister for at least another 200 years.
 
Good Old Bob Menzies. I used to use the Menzies library a lot when I studied at the Australian National University in Canberra. It was haunted. Maybe by Menzies.
 
Dear Harold Holt. He walked into the sea and never walked out. Then they named a swimming pool after him. Because #australiahasasicksenseofhumour
 
Another PM who has a suburb somewhere named after him....
 
And little Johnny Howard...
 
The great Cunning Linguist (he would appreciate that), Paul Keating.
 
The garden beds were filled with the most amazing dahlias. This one is as big as my head!
 
A bed of Fragrant Plum roses.
 
 
 
So if this is a Begonia Festival, where are the begonias????
 
See that big glasshouse past the statue of Wallis?
Let's go inside!
 
 

 
 

 
The Bear and I. This was just after our arrival. After 3 hours of trudging around the gardens, getting hungry, constantly yelling at Sonofagun No.2 to stop trying to walk on the garden beds, telling a hangry (hungry/ angry) SOG No.2 that yes, we were getting food soon, sorry we can't get food soon because the lines at the food trucks were a mile long etc, the smiles were wiped off our faces....
 
 
A lego umbrella!
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
A beautiful mermaid in the very very large sandpit play area.
 
Because in Australia, kangaroos are everywhere.
 
There was exactly 10 lego sculptures hidden around the gardens as a part of a treasure hunt/ competition to win a cruise. It was actually quite fun.
After we left, finally fed ourselves and the hangry Sonofagun No.2 and the Bears cub, we decided it was time to go home.

BUT just on the outskirts of Ballarat we saw the signs to the Ballarat Mill Market. I have already visited the one in Daylesford and Geelong. These markets are huge antique and old wares emporiums...



Be still my beating heart! A copy of Desolation Boulevard by 70s glam rock band Sweet! I would have happily slapped down 35 bucks EXCEPT it was an Australian release which does not include one of my favourite songs Ballroom Blitz. Apparently only US releases of the album have it. Sad face.


This place is so huge and has so much stuff, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Just as well theres a café inside to rest your overwhelmed eyeballs!

Um, excuse me Sir. Have you seen a US version of Desolation Boulevard by Sweet around here anywhere? Or a budgie vase?





All of the anodized bickies tins and ALL of the pyrex.
Phew!  And would you believe I walked out of there and only purchased a small pokemon badge for Sonofagun No.2? True!

What a fun day! Thanks for visiting!

What did you get up to this weekend?

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

8 comments:

  1. Well I didn't have as much fun as you did - must put the Begonia Festival on next year's list.

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  2. BEAR wouldn't happen to have an extra Brother around would he? Anyone between "LEGAL AGE" and "DEATH" would do if they all happen to look like HIM!!
    :-D

    Anyhoo, great flora-photos. Love the design of that "green"-house! And cute Mermaid. My youngest Great-Niece would LOVE having one of those! - I'll have to it to her Grandmother... Knowing my Sister, she'd probably whip one right up!
    ;-D

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  3. The busts with wreaths are so funny :-)
    And so many gorgeous flowers!
    Nice to see and there wasn't a picture too much ;-)
    Have a nice day, Sigrid

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  4. Louise, I lost my blog list a while back so I lost track of you.. I saw you blog when I was googling for a crochet chick pattern! So, I've added your blog back on my list. Loved the flower photos and the antique market. I've missed you! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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    Replies
    1. Teresa! I've missed you too lovely lady! have popped my head into your bloggy world when I see a new post. Your updates on life in your part if the world cheer me up! So wonderful to hear from you! Xoxoxoxox

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  5. very beautiful flower pix and all other pix share more collection like this

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  6. The pictures showing clearly that how much you had fun in this festival. I also like to attend the festivals as they are usually colorful.

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  7. This garden is just amazing. So colorful and creative work done. Kids always love to play in garden but seriously this is attractive for all.

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