Showing posts with label garden tours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garden tours. Show all posts

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

Friday, 19 August 2016

Snow and Socks

For the past 3 weeks it's been crazy busy in Amazonaland.

I've been dabbling with yarny projects and taking the Sonofaguns on a couple of adventures.

After making a big project such as my recently finished Staggy The Yarn Bombed Stag, I kind of usually feel a little burnt out so I spent time making things that don't require much brain work.
One such project is a granny square blanket for my boyfriends (AKA The Bear) own Bear cub. 

He requested his own blanket in his 2 favourite colours: lime green and bright yellow. Wowsers! Get me some sunglasses! Its super bright but what the Bear Cub wants, he will get!


It will be made up of 12 large green granny squares with a soft grey edge each, then another row of yellow. Then all 12 squares will be sewn together and edged in a basic edging of maybe moss stitch.

It's been hard working on one colour because #ihavetheattentionspanofagoldfish .

I also love following Winwick Mums blog and if you have heard of her, then you'll know Christine is the Queen of Knitted Socks.

Knitted.

Yes. For my fellow Crochet Queens that involves two things that look like very long crochet hooks without the hook thing on the end.

Now I don't know about you, but when I knit on super rare occasions, I feel like this guy...


But for some bizarre reason I decided I wanted to have some hand knitted stripey socks.
So I went to this gorgeous LYS Morris and sons in the Melbourne CBD and a lovely lass sold me what can loosely be described as small little stabbing things attached to garrot wire. AKA Magic Circle or Loop or something.
Everything has been going really well thanks to Christines wonderful Sockalong tutorials.

Until I reached the heel.  I have had to frog back 4 times.

Do you know what happens after you frog back teeny tiny knit stitches 4 times? You start to cackle hysterically when you discover that 'knit' rhymes with 'shit'.

Really? I beg to differ. <roll eyes>
So I despondently put it aside until I finish posting a tutorial I have been trying to write for my little amigurumi owl. I think I just needed a mental health break!

Down in the city, Melbourne has been giving us beautiful sneaky glimpses of Spring weather. Which made us leap into action to get in some last minute winter action. Last weekend the Bear and I piled the younger kids into the car for a day trip up to the snow.

Now I don't really do snow. It just seems kind of you know, cold and wet which isn't really very appealing on a regular basis. And I kind of never got into skiing because it involves moving very fast in a downward motion from a high place relying on some sticks. I did try it once.
Many years ago an old boyfriend took me for a day trip skiing with some work buddies. They put those long ski sticks on the ends of my legs. I decided to try skiing from the top of this little kids learners hill. 
I first laboriously walked up the hill sideways.
I looked down to the base of the hill.

Look, you know it may have only been an extra 2 metres higher over a 60 metre slope but I looked DOWN and said, "Nope." and then laboriously walked back down sideways, took off my skis, and happily skipped to the Snow Hut where there was a large fire pit and Hot Chocolates with a dash of rum waiting for me.

This time however we were simply going to Lake Mountain where there was a toboggan run and snow play area. Tobogganing I can handle!

The drive down through the Yarra Valley and up into the Victorian High Country is beautiful.

It was the perfect morning for ballooning and there were many about the valley.


Then we climbed into the mountains.  Now I know car driving pics are a bit boring but the scenery in the mountains is so amazing. The trees are taller than tall with lush tree ferns underneath. It's my favourite place to drive through.


Then we arrived!  It was a fun couple of hours of tobogganing and snowness. I even made a Sno-ala...
(Snowman/ koala)

As it's the end of the season, most of the natural snow had already melted from this resort, but resorts higher up in the hills were still very snowy.



Later that afternoon on the way home, we stopped by the Maroondah Dam Reservoir Park just outside of Healesville.  The only way to describe it is a dam with a park at the bottom of the dam wall.
On the right is the water bit and nice bush/ water things to look at...







And on the left is a massive drop down to the parkland...


It was the end of the day, so we decided after walking along the top of the wall to go home, but I first asked Bear to drive me into the park so I could use the loo. Which was a lie.

Because as I skipped down the path that led towards to toilets and out of view of the carpark, I really took lots of pretty photos of flowers!!!

"Oh yes Darling! I really really need to wee! I won't be long!!" <skips joyfully down the path hiding the camera in her pocket as she keeps going past the filthy 1970s dunnys and towards the arboretum!>








And then I came back to my very own little house to find this magnificence!
A tulip fully blown out in August? Crazy.



As I mentioned earlier, I am working on my amigurumi owl tutorial which has just finished being photographed. Hope to have it available for you soon!

xox
Louise


The Red Haired Amazona