Tuesday, 4 April 2017

A Day at the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show


Hello!!
The Mothership, the Fatherdom, Sista Amazona and I visited the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show at the Melbourne Exhibition Hall.

I'm not sure why it can claim the word 'international'.  Perhaps it was because there was one food truck selling italian food and another food truck selling Kathmandu Street food.


There were lovely floral displays and competitions inside Exhibition Hall.


You know whenever I visit these places I take a million photos.
This post has about half a million. But there was so many beautiful things to see!


Sista Amazona joined a workshop where she learnt how to make a little planter box.

Very workshop. Much drill.

Ladies teetered around on stilts.


There were loads of different floral displays.

Don't you just hate frizzy hair days?

It's official. There are no more orchids left in Melbourne.


The last time I went was 4 years ago. Back then there were striking displays of Gloriosa Lilies. I was so happy to see them again!

I think we can all agree: Gloriosas are GLORIOUS!!

One of the competing displays called 'Pink Rain' was by Alice of Love Alice & Co. I had a quick chat with Alice. Each carnation was dedicated to all women, men and families touched by breast cancer. Alice was handing out a little flyer which explained how her mum and later her aunties were diagnosed with breast cancer. For this floral installation, she reached out to people on the streets of Melbourne to write messages of love and support to people they may know who are affected by cancer, which she made into little paper cranes. These are all hanging in with the pink carnations. I wanted to vote for her display, but the voting people told me voting opened the following day :( I voted for you in my heart Alice!



Delbard roses. Be still my beating heart!!


After doing a complete upstairs and downstairs circuit of Exhibition Hall, we went outside and decided it was time for food.

Remember that Kathmandu Street food cart? I had some. Goat Curry. So.bloody.good.

And I fondly remembered all our little Mohair Goats that we used to have on the farm when I was growing up. I particularly remembered a large cantankerous goat girl called Flossy.

Flossy once head butted me in the head. Because I was so offensive as to lie down in HER paddock. I really enjoyed the goat curry thinking about that cranky old nannie.

So.bloody.good. And btw the Ballarat begonia festival flyer is in the background because I saved one to give the Mothership in case she decides to visit in future years.

An Owl House. We don't really keep owls in Kangarooland. Perhaps some Ringtail Possums or Drop Bears might take up residence.

I can tell you from personal experience, that if you drive round a corner too fast in one of these, it tips up and takes the corner on 2 wheels.


Now here's a weird photo. Can you see what's strange about this picture below?


It's autumn and there are tulips and hyacinths. Do you realize how weird it is to smell Spring in Autumn?!?!

Then we looked at the garden design displays.


This was one of my favourites.  See that white frame? Inside the back top strut was some sort of water pipe thingo so water sprinkled down in a light curtain.






I think this one below was the Big Honcho Award Winner.


I was in the middle of taking this photo when someone walked in front. At first I was all like, "Hey lady! Will you just get out of my friggin way and look where you're going?"

Then I realized I had done exactly the same thing to some other person behind me! So sorry!



"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat; it was a hobbit- hole, and that means comfort."



In the gardens near a lake, I found this plaque.


I looked up.  I'm not sure which tree the Dalai Lama planted, but it's nice that he did.


I was extremely tempted to buy some of these flowers and potted plants.






And finally I headed home after a quick selfie with the Mothership.


Thanks for visiting!
xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

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