Sunday, November 11, 2018

Bees Like Peonies

Three bees in a peony flower.

Neither of our bee hives made it through the winter, which was very sad. But these bees are probably ours anyway, as we have two newly-established hives which came from a bee keeper in Geelong.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Lal Lal Estate

This morning I stumbled across the information that the gardens of Lal Lal Estate are open this weekend as part of Garden Designfest.

I drive past this gate regularly, but I've never had the opportunity to drive through it before:

Once inside, we spent 2 hours wandering around the garden, talking to the designer, talking to the gardener, and taking photos. Lots of photos. But I will try to restrain myself here!

The approach to the house:

Deep garden beds surround the lawn area:

That lawn is so huge that it has a redwood as the central specimen tree, flanked by a pair of weeping elms the size of houses:

This enormous oak was planted in 1911, when the house was built:

 This yellow azalea not only looks amazing, it has a beautiful perfume:

Fallen petals under a giant rhododendron:

This side of the house looks out over a huge dam, which is the source of the water that keeps the garden looking so lush:

I am so glad I found out about this open garden this morning, and not next week some time when it was too late.

Friday, November 9, 2018

That Didn't Last

Last month in Aldi in Albury I saw neapolitan flavoured milk for the first time ever. Since then it has appeared in local Aldi stores, with a "Look what's new" label.

Yesterday in Geelong I saw what could be the beginning of the end of neapolitan flavoured milk:

Still "NEW", but already 50% off.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Cuttings is an exhibition of work by Elizabeth Gower at the Geelong Art Gallery until later this month.

Prismatics is a trip around the colour wheel:
Each square panel has a different geometric design:
The works are composed of pieces cut from printed paper such as magazines and packaging, but can't you see them as quilt designs?

Delineations are strips of paper arranged on drafting film, to form beautiful, complex patterns:

Savings is a collection of works assembled from packaging and advertising materials:

The most recent work is Monochrome Compilation, which is 21 metres long, so can't possibly be included in one small photo. As you walk along it, the pattern gradually changes. It is a challenge to see what has actually changed from one section to the next,
but the changes build up so that the patterns at either end are nothing like each other.
I found it quite intriguing.

The whole exhibition was fantastic. Worth a look if you will be in Geelong in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Coral Charm peony flowers opening:

Monday, November 5, 2018


The guest speaker at the horticultural society meeting this evening was an iris fan.

And he had iris fans for sale:
The ones we bought are -

Poster Girl. gorgeous pink-apricot-mauve sort of colour.

Magician's Apprentice - very dark purple, which apparently stain fabrics, so could be worth trying as a dye.

Obsessed - burgundy colour.

Plus a "lucky dip" bunch of 4 un-labelled ones. Could be anything!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Enfield State Park

A larger than usual number of naturalists visited Enfield State Park:

on the hunt for rare plants. Lots of people because there were two clubs meeting up for this excursion.

The area saw a lot of gold mining in the 1800s, and the soil has been dug up and turned over so much that is it surprising anything grows there. This fragment of what appears to have been a bowl is not a normal find in a state forest:

This is what I really wanted to see:
The Enfield grevillea, Grevillea bedggoodiana, which is a rare and vulnerable plant that only grows in this area.

Other plants seen included tiny orchids:
Leopard orchid? Tiger orchid? Some sort of Diuris orchid, anyway.

For those who watch Gardening Australia, do you think this orchid should be called a Costa orchid?
It is a beard orchid, anyway. Calochilus species.

Blue-spotted sun orchid:
Thelymitra species. Not quite fully open because there wasn't enough sun.

There was great excitement about a leek orchid, but I didn't realise how rare they were so didn't photograph it.

As well as orchids, there were many other small wildflowers in bloom:

Another interesting day out in a local spot I haven't visited before!