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

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

All of the Tulips! Floriade Canberra

It's no secret that I love Spring and all of the flowers!
In April I planted dozens of tulip and daffodil bulbs in the gardens. They were mixed packs of early and late flowering ones.

This gorgeous double pink frilled tulip below was my favourite!
This year the Bear and I planned a trip to Canberra for our year 10 high school 30th reunion. I was one of the organisers so kind of maybe scheduled the reunion event to coincide with Floriade.

Floriade is the largest flower festival in the Southern Hemisphere and is held every year in my home town of Canberra. I hadn't been to Floriade in around 15 years so have really wanted to go back.

So the Bear, Sonofagun No.2 and I jumped in the car super early and drove 7 hours up to Canberra.

We arrived at lunchtime and decided to sample the local beverage. Choc mint milk named after the local football team.

We stopped by our old high school. See that class room inside the yellow dots? 

31 years ago we met in that classroom. Year 9 English class!

We had a few hours to kill before the reunion, so we stopped by Old Parliament House to visit an old friend from school who worked there. We took the opportunity to look around.

So totally NOT my photo. It was raining on the day so I was too wussy to go out and take a pic of the front of the building. Pinched from
Old Parliament House is now used to show a stack of ever changing art exhibitions.  The image above is from Behind the Lines. An exhibition of political cartoons.
This years' theme is Alice in Wonderland inspired 'Curiouser and curiouser'...

Much to my absolute joy there was a Craftivism exhibition!

The piece below was designed by artist Hiromi Tango. She makes large installations of yarn and found fabric scraps as a way to deal with her anxiety. There's so much info these days supporting what we already know: craft is great for our wellbeing and mental health.

I'm super sorry this is blurry!

The two pieces below are by artist Kate Just. She has an series of knitted images called Feminist Fan. These two below are dedicated to Pussy Riot.  Using knitting to create works like these just freaking BLOW ME AWAY!!!!

Love, LOVE LOVE! So inspiring.
This installation called Archiloom was amazing. The artists Chaco Kato and Dylan Martorell invite people to come in and tie stuff on, move stuff around as Archiloom resists a state of completion. It encourages people to take time to produce, assemble and experience creativity.
So Bear and Sonofagun No.2 got their creative on!
We then wandered through the rest of the building until we found the Prime Ministers Suite.

Still looking very authentic 1980s with typewriters, ashtrays and clunky little TVs.

The last guy to sit behind this desk was good old Hawkie... The Honorable Robert J. Hawke....

Our high school reunion was fantastic! So many gorgeous faces, most of whom we hadn't seen in 30 years!
Much drinking, chatting and hugs happened.
The next morning with a teensy bit of a hangover, I dragged the Bear out to the place I had wanted to visit this whole time.....

Floriade takes place every year at Commonwealth Park in Canberra.
Are you ready for some pure, unadulterated FLOWER PORN????    (I use that word desperately hoping Google search bots don't associate my page with the wrong thing leading a whole bunch of horny teenagers here hoping for boob pics....)
Yeah baby, show me them sexy stamens....

Just a small selection of entrants in the Garden Gnome decorating competition.

The Parental Units joined us so the Mothership and I decided to twin out with matching hats.
More flower lurve...
Many years ago when I was as a horticulturist, I worked in a local Canberra garden centre.

And I loved to give my customers the talk about the birds and the bees...
They'd come in and say, "Why is my blah-blah plant looking spindly? It had heaps of flowers, and now it looks yellowy and a bit thinned out!"

"Ah-ha!" said I!
My favourite audience was the little old ladies from a nearby retirement village because they loved it when I said the next bit:

"It's just had lots of SEX!" 

"OOOhhhh! You're funny!" and they'd give a scandalous little giggle...

"Yep, that whole plant has just had lots of glorious colourful flowery SEX!  Now it's lying back slurping the dregs of a glass of wine, sucking back a ciggie and feeling a bit worn out. BUT VERY HAPPY!"

And they'd giggle again. Then I'd tell them to buy a bag of fertiliser to replenish the poor bush after all of the plant sex, so it can get ready for the next season of plant sex.
My manager hated me telling that story. He was a bit of a prude. 
But it turns out sex sells fertiliser. 
So he let me keep telling it.
Close your petals Poppy! We can see your anthers...

These creamy double tulips look like vanilla ice cream!
What really makes the colours in these tulips pop are the underplantings of pansies, violas, english daisies and polyanthus. Really beautiful and clever landscaping...
 Whoever designs the beds each year does amazing things with colour.

I had never seen this gorgeous yellow and red double tulip before.

The black violas make the double pink tulips burst out.

The sign in the photo above showed the garden bed (below to represent Nordic knitting designs. Not all the tulips were out yet but hopefully you can see some of the blue and white from the design.
If you can't make to Floriade this year (it finishes on the 13th of October),mark it on your calendar for next year. It runs for a month and is completely free!
The next day we drove back to Melbourne where I got to enjoy my own very, very mini-Floriade.

Red Haired Amazona

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Soaking Up Summer

I've been very lucky to have enjoyed the past few weeks away from work to spend time at home with the Sonofaguns, the weather and the garden.

Our tomatoes are producing quite well. The Diggers Heritage breeds do much better than the standard ones. 
Tomato 'Black Cherry' (and a few blackberries)
And this Lebanese zucchini (also from Diggers Seeds co) is pumping out heaps of produce.

The strawberries are growing in a large patch but despite bird netting, the cheeky buggers are still finding their way in the devour most of our delicious strawberries! Any leftover strawberry carcasses go straight to the guinea pigs!
I absolutely love my blackberry plant. The real fight here has been with the weather.We have had an occasional horrid hot day where the temperature flies up over 40c and a hot wind blasts through turning almost ripe fruit into desiccated lumps.
At some point the Bear threw some seed potatoes in. I kind of ignored them. They didn't seem to do much apart from a bit of green above ground. But the other day he did a bit of prodding around in the soil and filled a bowl with these wonderous treasures!
The Mariposa Plum tree put on a lovely show of flowers in Spring followed by a profusion of baby plums. But most of them dropped off leaving just 3 to keep growing. Every couple of days I would check to see if they were still there. I watched them grow.

And grew they did! A few days ago I finally thought, "YES! It's plum picking time!" Which would last only a few seconds because there was only 3 but it would be 3 GLORIOUS SECONDS of PLUM PICKING!

Some little bastard bird had already destroyed one plum leaving the mashed remains on the ground. The other 2 looked ok. 
I picked them and discovered to my horror that little bastard bird had a go at both remaining plums on the other side!
Now I know it sounds a bit gross but I cut them up anyway, threw away the picked at bits and we sampled the 'good' leftover bits. They were delicious and sweet! 
Our pergola outside is now mostly finished. It's lovely out there now. The Bear found a 2nd hand projector and screen as well as a proper pool table. I been reliving a youth well spent in pubs playing games of pool, and curling up on cushion filled chairs watching movies on the big screen.
I have been making Amazona Parrots, Stevie Birds and Pearly Hummingbirds using the Scheepjes Catona which I was gifted for Christmas. They are much larger than the originals but look gorgeous in the bright variety of colours!
This morning I took a little drive with a very dear friend and her daughter to The Garden at St Erth in Blackwood, just 55 mins out of Melbourne. 

 Would you like to come for a little walk with us?

 This beautiful Clematis was near the cafe where we had coffee, Elderflower Sodas and scones.
 I love this gate made out of garden tools.

 Lots of New Holland Honeyeaters and this pretty Eastern Spinebill drank nectar from the flowers.
I loved this beautiful Copper Beech tree. It wasn't as 'coppery' as you expect.
A magnificent Copper Beech
 Check out the bark!

Tromboncino squash
Too. Much. Pollen. Can't. FLY!
Hellebores growing under apple, pear and quince trees.
Lichen on the apple and pear trees
Apparently these are a type of sunflower!

If you know what these are, let me know. They didn't have a label...

 So that's what I've been up to lately. What's been happening in your part of the world?

Red Haired Amazona