garden

New Zealand Highlights…

Of course the top highlights of the three-week visit to New Zealand was the wedding of my son and his lovely partner and meeting a new extended family of in-laws. Also spending time with my daughter in Tauranga.

Between visiting and socializing I did find time to see some interesting places to explore and, naturally, a garden was top of the list.

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Wrights Water Gardens has been created in a disused quarry covering 7 acres. The gardens are rustic, rambling and wild. tracks meander around the ponds and waterways and through the different levels leading to the 30 foot Mauku waterfall. I fell in love with this garden and spent nearly 3 hours wandering around and, of course, the photo opportunities were endless. The light was perfect and I took almost 200 shots. Hard to pick my favourites.

I hope you enjoy this walk around with me and my camera…

It is mid spring and I was amazed at the colour and diversity of the leaf colours and the way the light shone through them highlighting the veins and making them glow.

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The tracks wind through the abundant drifts of perennials and shrubs opening up to ever more delights.

The flowers are in full bloom, the very best time to be in a garden.

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Wisteria flowers create a carpet of purple. Can you see that strange figure? (no not Jack!!!) This one is sitting down.

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What an imaginative way to use old phones…

I think it is time to take a seat and just enjoy the surroundings. This bench is for you Jude. They had put lots of benches around.

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There were also lots of sculptures, but this was my favourite, she looks so relaxed.

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Around another corner and I find an oriental garden.

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A water wheel trickles water over the bank into  the waterlily ponds below.

 

 

The water lilies are just starting to come out and the lotus flowers, that this garden is famous for, are still waiting to burst into bloom.

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Tracks follow the stream trickling over rocks and swirling into ponds. Everywhere the plants jostle together creating drifts of colour and the weeping willow branches droop daintily down to the streams surface.

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The rocks were covered in fascinating forms of lichen and I thought of Meg who shares all the delightful flora and fauna from her part of Australia on her blog, enjoy it here, “snippets and snaps“.

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After seeing tantalising glimpses of the waterfall as I slowly savoured this magnificent garden I now stood and enjoyed the full force of its beauty.

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Restless Jo takes us on fascinating walks every week and she has a happy band of followers, so I would like to join you again this week Jo with a New Zealand garden walk.

 

Categories: garden, garden, Jo's Monday walks, New Zealand, photos, Wright's water garden | Tags: , , , , | 38 Comments

My Garden, My Muse : Weekly Photo Challenge

Brie Anne asks us this week

So what’s your muse — what subject do you turn to frequently, more inspired each time?”

This is so easy for me to answer. I am surrounded by “my muse”. Every day I walk round the garden noticing the changes, marvelling at the beauty and colour, seeing flowers slowly fade and new ones take their place.

This morning I took my camera for a walk with me, as I often do, and these are just a few of the things I noticed.

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This apricot poinsettia has been flowering for weeks and shows no signs of wilting.

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The sun throws vibrant shadows of this crucifixion orchid on the new fence. Below it a new bud is opening to take the place of the slowly fading flower.

As the flowers come and go the foliage, in many shades and hues, fill the garden beds with colour the whole year.

The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

Gertrude Jekyll

 

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These ants are only about 1 centimetre long and they were covering the flower buds on this jade plant. Do you see that other strange-looking spiky caterpillar? It is so small I only noticed it when I downloaded the photos.

Finally I went round the corner to say hello to our blue tongue lizard as he lay draped over the rock sunbathing.

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He was almost camouflaged among the bromeliads and rocks.

The glory of gardening:

hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.

To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.

Alfred Austin

Categories: Australia, garden, muse, photos, post-a-day, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 38 Comments

A Word a Week : Garden (take 2)

Gardening is one of my passions. It gives me joy and peace at the same time to watch the evolving seasons and the different flowers come and go. The garden has changed over 15 years. We started with an almost blank canvas. This place had been a rental property for years. So it was easy maintenance, surrounded by lawn with a couple of struggling cane palms and one glorious Bauhinia tree in the centre of the lawn. Sadly it died during the drought of 1999 to 2009.

In New Zealand we had a cottage style garden, but many of the plants grown in New Zealand could not tolerate the hot, humid conditions of the Queensland summer. So when we moved to Queensland we enjoyed the years of planting and developing a lush tropical garden to suit the climate.

Here is a gallery of some of the flowers and plants and a couple of birds that regularly visit…

Thank you Sue for picking this word from your dictionary this week. Visit “A word a week” to wander round many more gardens.

Categories: A word a week photo challenge, Australia, garden, photos, Queensland, tropical garden | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

A Word a Week Challenge : Garden, Townsville Botanic Garden

The theme that Sue has chosen from her dictionary this week is GARDEN. I know there will be lots of post’s submitted on this theme. Go to Sue’s blog “A word a week” to see all the different gardens from around the world.

It  would be my all time favourite subject. When we travel I always search out the Botanical Gardens in each area. Today I am going to take you for a stroll around the beautiful, small but exquisite Queens Gardens in Townsville, Australia.

 

Initiated in 1870, Queens Gardens is the oldest Botanic Garden in Townsville and is heritage listed. Now covering 4 hectares, reduced from an original 40Ha, it is considered a fine example of a tropical colonial garden of that era. Originally established as a trial acclimatisation garden for European settlement, in which potential food and economic plants were trialled during the era of colonisation.

 

Today the gardens are a lush green oasis set against the dramatic pink granite cliffs of Castle Hill, and offer a quiet cool retreat from the nearby city centre. The emphasis of the current plant collection is on colonial ornamental plants with colourful, attractive flowers, foliage or fruit.

 

Townsville residents use its luxuriant gardens for leisure and recreation, while the City Council and community groups use its green splendour to stage a variety of special events.

 

 

Categories: A word a week photo challenge, Australia, botanic gardens, garden, Townsville | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments

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