Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Tulip Top Gardens 2013

Last week was filled with self indulgence as my city (area) celebrates Spring.  I have already posted about Floriade, but the next day we continued the garden glory binge.

Floriade and the Tulip Top Gardens are open for the same period each year.  Floriade is a local government initiative, and Tulip Top Gardens are the brain child and the blood, sweat and no doubt tears of a single family.

While both gardens will be open for another fortnight it was obvious to us when we saw Floriade that the gardens were at their peak.  So the very next day we headed off to Tulip Top Gardens.  It is a little way out of town, 13 kilometres from the showground, and in another state (New South Wales).  A pleasant drive, and always a treat.

Both gardens are a riot of colour, and tulips feature prominently.  Just the same there are a lot of differences.

Floriade is free to enter.  Tulip Top Gardens charges $13 for an adult (with senior concessions).  Included in that fee is unlimited tea and coffee and if you arrive around lunch time a sausage sandwich is thrown in (which usually gives the skinny one a big lunch).  Despite the entry fee Tulip Top is a great deal less commercial.  There is one shop where you can buy food, one garden shop and a couple of other stalls.  Floriade is a marketing bonanza and you can buy everything from bulbs to pearls - not forgetting sun glasses, designer clothing, fudge, soap or curry mixes.  And more.  And rather a lot more.  Including more food stalls than you could shake a stick at, ranging from hot dogs to restaurants.

Tulip Top Gardens was established in 1997 by one couple, and is still owned and run by the same family.  Each year over half a million bulbs and flowers are planted by hand.  Which puts my efforts to shame.  There are over 1000 blossom trees, a waterfall and watercourse.  The sound of frogs is everywhere - and some day I will see one there.  Classical music is wafted from the trees and there are chairs littered around the garden to sit and absorb the splendour - or, as I noticed several people doing, to nod off in the sun.

Less rabitting, more photos.  Clicking will, as always embiggen.














I loved the avenue of forsythia, and thought that the underplanting of gold pansies was brilliant.



 There is a look out - with shade and chairs.  It is a long and steep walk - but worth it.  So very worth it.



Do you see what I mean?












I try and get to both Floriade and the Tulip Top Gardens every year.  They are both wonderful - but Tulip Tops is first in my affections.

The smaller portion is still having significant issues with both his digestion and his mouth.  Which cancelled each other out so that he could enjoy these outings.  His poor sore mouth means that eating is difficult - so his digestion is not being tested at the moment.  Swings and roundabouts.

Two outings in two days both involving significant walking are too much for me.  I paid, and am still paying with increased fatigue and more pain.  And have paid as high a price for things which didn't bring me a fraction of the pleasure that these outings did.  So, in case you hadn't guessed, I am very glad we went.


138 comments:

  1. EC, so glad you visited both and were able to share your delight. Gardening is indeed a passion on whatever scale. I love the colour of those flowers. Take care ~ both of you.

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    1. Carol in Cairns: I can have a life, or I can have an existence. Life costs more - and is worth more.

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  2. I am so uplifted by this, Dear! Your joy is shared:-)
    The golden forsytyhia path well live in my dreams!



    Aloha

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    1. Cloudia: Isn't that avenue of gold a delight?

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  3. I am also very glad you went. The photos are stunning. This has to be the best garden in the whole country! I'd like to see a forsythia in my garden here, I think their underplanting of golden pansies was a stroke of genius.
    Which is the nearest town to Tulip Tops? Is there a place for tourists to stay so I could see Tulip Tops?

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    1. River: Canberra is the nearest town - but there is no public transport to Tulip Tops. Which is sad. And bad. If ever you were up this way at the right time I would love to go to the gardens with you.

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    2. I've been to their website and it seems there is a taxi drop off and pick up service from Queanbeyan. Closer to next year's season, I'll check accommodation there, maybe I can manage something.

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    3. River: Queanbeyan is a fair distance away. I will have a look and see if there is a better option. It would be lovely to meet up with you.

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  4. What beautiful pictures you took....my all time favourite....pansy faces.

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    1. Delores: The underplanting were just gorgeous and there were lots and lots of pansies and violas. I love them too - and there are many, many more photos.

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  5. Indulge away, EC! Your photos are always a delight.
    What a fabulous way to spend a day. And, $13 is so very reasonable.

    I would have ambled and rambled to my heart's content at Tulip Top Gardens - those tulips are just superb!
    A credit to the wonderful family who created it and continue to delight the public every year.

    Thanks for ever sharing :)

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    1. Vicki: I think the cost is more than reasonable. And throwing in unlimited cups of tea and coffee very generous. And the sausage sandwich for those that like them.
      It is an incredible place and the scent was beautiful too. All those blossoms...
      The creators of the gardens are not spring chickens. I am in awe - and hope that they are leaning on their family for a lot of the hard work now. But I doubt it. Gardening obsessions don't die easily.

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  6. I am speechless. Beauty on every hand. I could not walk a mile, even for the glorious sights. Well, two miles if one was back to the car.

    Thanks for going; unbelievable pictures.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: I probably shouldn't have walked as far as I did. As I said, I am paying - and it was worth it.

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  7. I want to live where you live!

    And I am glad you went too.

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    1. Birdie: I wait for this festival every year. And am rewarded.

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  8. Wow! Just...wow. What a wonderful, beautiful place! I can see why you took your ornery self on such an exquisite outing (2 even!), knowing full well that you would pay for your extravagant exercise later. ;) I'm so glad you felt it was worth it, though, and hope you regain your strength quickly!

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    1. River Fairchild: My sulk-pot ben nag nag and grumble bum personas were lulled for the day. Well most of the day...

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  9. Sorry to hear about the sore mouth... that sucks! It's as if there is a never ending load of junk to deal with....

    Now, what is that gorgeous red thing... the 8th picture down I believe? It's an amazing thing!

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    1. Sherri: He has an abscess under a molar which is NOT responding to treatment. He really has had a rough time.
      The glorious red thing is an exotic tulip - I don't remember what it is called - but it just about glows doesn't it?

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    2. Sherri the flower that stunned you is a Parrot Tulip. Please enter that into image search and be even more stunned.
      Thank you El Chi for sharing with us. X X

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    3. Ann ODyne: Thank you - it is a different variety to the parrot tulips I have grown. But, as you say, stunning. And I am glad that you enjoy the gardens too.

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    4. Abscess ....yucko!

      Parrot tulips.... How cool! I am going to do a bit o'research and see if they can live down here in hades...... Thanks for the info!

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    5. Sherri: I hope they can - though the do best if they get some cold weather...

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  10. This garden is absolutely splendid and to my eyes much more beautiful than the floriade theme park and the price for such a glorious day out certainly beats going to the pictures to sit in a dark room and see some third rate movie. I too paid rather heavily driving 320km in one day to see a friend and be drowned in the scent of citrus blossom. Two full days of inaction and rest . . .

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    1. Arija: I like it much more than Floriade. For so many reasons. And think the financial price was neglible and the physical price worthwhile. I hope your two full days of inactivity and rest have you well on the road to recover.

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  11. What a magical place - very restorative. And you are a talented floral photographer; if I'd gone there with my (lack of) snapper skills it would be looking like quite a different place!

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    1. Jackie K: It is magical - and I don't believe that anyone, with any camera could have missed capturing beauty.

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  12. What a fabulous outing. I have never seen so many beautiful flowers in one place. The body may be sore and tired, but your soul must be singing! Thank you for sharing the beauty.

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    1. Karen: It looked beautiful, it smelt beautiful, it sounded beautiful. And yes, it most definitely did make my heart and soul sing.

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  13. The beauty, and the extent of it, is almost unbelievable. You take very good photos - which will keep this beauty alive long after the petals have dropped. What an amazing story behind the gardens. Truly a work of love. Thank you for sharing it!

    I am sorry to hear that you will pay such a price for your outings, and that SP is still having unpleasant issues. I hope you will both rest now and that things will not take too long to return to a better state.

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    1. jenny_o: It is such a beautiful place that I think you would have to work hard not to take a beautiful photo.
      I do pay for my outings, but it is a part of my life. And I have been places and done things which I have resented paying for - this does not fall into that category. The skinny one is better than he was - which is encouraging. Not there yet but we are both hopeful.

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  14. That family owns magnificent gardens. I know you are very tired from all the walking, but it was nice to read that you were very glad you went.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: Tired, sore and yes, very glad I went. Very, very glad.

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  15. Beautiful pictures. I love the violets most! I'm guessing that you know that little poem called Hyacinth to Feed the Soul. I won't post it, but if you haven't read it, just google it. Sometimes we have to force our body to do things that feed the soul. I'm glad you went too!

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    1. Debora: My soul is much better for the outing. Much, much better.

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  16. I so enjoy seeing your spring. Everything is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Carol Kilgore: Isn't it a treat? Glad that you are liking it too.

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  17. You are right about the riot of colour - how wonderful and what dedicated planting. I love the spring blossom - so very pretty.
    Sorry to hear the visit left you so tired. You sound so positive - well done !

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    1. BadPenny: Negativity uses more energy than I have to spare, so I try to avoid it. And who could be negative after the feast for the eyes that Tulip Top Gardens provided?

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  18. What a glorious place is Tulip Top Gardens. Simply magnificent and I feel I would enjoy it far more than even the Floriade which my mum told me years ago was beautiful. I am so glad you both managed to visit both places and even though you were left with pain I feel it was worth it. Thank you for some terrific pictures. I loved the forsythia and golden pansies (my favourite colour). We have beautiful gardens here at Araluen in the hills each spring but probably not quite up to the standard of what you have shown. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Mimsie: I am glad that you like it - and, knowing that golden flowers are your favourite I thought of you and of dinahmow when I saw them. It is a truly beautiful place.

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  19. At first I thought you could buy fudge soap ;)

    Why would anyone shop when you have all of these gorgeous gardens?

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    1. Riot Kitty: You can buy soap which smells like fudge - or like chocolate. And the shops at Floriade are always packed - which explains why entry is free. And I much prefer the gardens...

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    2. Soap that smells like chocolate??
      I must have some!

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    3. River: And it really does smell like chocolate. Good, rich chocolate...

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  20. HI EC What a wonderful display of fantastic colour. This post was a real treat and I thanks you for posting so many fantastic photographs. Lovig seeing your spring as we head for autumn.

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    1. Margaret Adamson: Spring is rushing away from us quickly now - but the gardens were/are a treat.

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  21. EC, I must try to get to Tulip Top Garden some time. Your photos are just exquisite, such a delight to look at so being there must have been wonderful. Oh, to be able to garden like that!

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    1. Carol: Oh, to be able to garden like that from me too. Those gardens are incredible - and I love, love, love the trees they have planted too.

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  22. You must have been in heaven, that view was well worth it, loved seeing all the layers of color and the greens, the small conifers mixed with the flowering trees was interesting as well, are the lavender and yellow - violas? or pansies

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    1. Linda Starr: The underplantings were gorgeous. Lots of pansies, violas, bellis perennis, lobellia... And a hill full of rosemary. Bliss..

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  23. Dear EC, as Autumn creeps into the Northern Hemisphere I take great delight in seeing your spring time flowers of the Southern Hemisphere. These images are delightful!

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    1. Mia McPherson: Your images delight me daily, so I am glad to be able to give something back.

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  24. It makes me think of April in Georgia. Lovely! I'm glad you got to go and hope you have recovered a bit. Thank you for sharing this loveliness.

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    1. Lynn: It will take a while - recovery won't happen nearly as fast as the damage - and it is still worth it.

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  25. One shouldn't have to pay such a price to absorb such beauty. These gardens are like Fairy Tales ... beautiful beyond the imagination. And your pictures certainly do them justice. I am sorry for both you and SP ... sorry that you have such a burden to bear ... but glad that you are in a place and time where you can get help. Not perfect, but better than it was in the past. Thank you for sharing these last two wonderful days with us and hopefully now you will go home, rest and dream of the beauty you have absorbed. Like you said ... well worth it:)

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. Andrea: The gardens do have an enchanted air about them. And yes, it is worth every ache and pain.

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  26. I'm glad you went. Selfishly, because I'm glad you're able to share these beautiful photos. Hope you've rested up. Thanks so much.

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    1. Myrna R.: I am very happy to spread the beauty.

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  27. My eyes hurt from all the pretty!! So glad you got to go and are glad you went; wishing you and the SP were feeling a bit better...

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    1. Ms. CrankyPants: There is a LOT of pretty isn't there? Bliss. Joy and bliss without my usual sarcastic tone.

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  28. Where I can get that red and yellow tulip that seems like made of fire? That would be perfect for the dragon cave!! Beautiful!

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    1. Al Diaz: I am told that beauty belongs to the Parrot Tulip family - and I know you also have a weakness for parrots, so it seems the perfect inclusion for the dragon cave.

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    2. Are there Parrot Tulips??? Oh mine! That's incredible. Note to self, Get my Parrot Tulip for parrot collection. :D

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    3. Al Diaz: There are indeed Parrot Tulips and like their namesake they are bright, vivid - and enchanting.

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  29. I do indeed see what you mean. Could the place be much more beautiful? I doubt it. Classical music and frogs a singing too. It like taking drugs looking at your photographs sometimes. Good drugs.

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    1. All Consuming: What a lovely thing to say. Drugs of addiction I hope...

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    2. All Consuming: I am glad. And right back at you...

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  30. These flowers are gorgeous ....and I know some of the fatigue is worth it, with memories

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    1. Kim @ Stuff could...: Memories to hug to myself. Well worth it.

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  31. These pictures just simply took my breath away. I especially love the second one, and the next to last one. I gazed for ages at them. And I am glad you went and took all these pictures, but I do wish you weren't suffering so much for all the walking. And I'm keeping you both in my thoughts. Oh, and hugs too. :-)

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    1. DJan: It was worth it. I am still sore, still tired, and still smiling.
      Hugs and thoughts gratefully received.

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  32. What a wonderful place - so much vibrant color! I especially loved the forsythia but all of it is spectacular. So interesting to compare your seasons to ours with winter coming on up here.

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    1. Ron Dudley: The forsythia was incredible wasn't it?

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  33. I love that first shot. Always liked that kind of angle, especially with streams. I enjoyed this post a lot. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. A Cuban in London: Thank you. There is a special magic to water isn't there?

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  34. What a treat for the eyes! And nose! Loved each one.

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    1. Susan Kane: It was an absolute feast of beauty.

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  35. Dear EC, I'm glad that you assured us that you're happy you went to the two gardens, despite the pain and fatigue you are experiencing. Always we have to make choices, sometimes knowing what the consequences will be, as you did, and accept that we'll have to "pay dearly" for what we've chosen.

    When I look at your photographs of Tulip Top Gardens, I find myself wishing I were a watercolorist and could do justice to such loveliness. I, too, favor Tulip Top. Those flowering trees are like clouds settled here on Earth. Peace.

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    1. Dee: I too would like to have some artist ability - to be able to capture and preserve some of the beauty of this world. And consequences is a game that we all have to play...

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  36. I'm running a day late! I should have come in here yesterday because these wonderful photos most certainly would've brightened a most exhausting, hectic day! :)

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  37. That second image from the top really got me - so peaceful and beautiful, a real spring day. Great photos here, I love all the different tulips, but also the beautiful pattern in the image closest to the last one.

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    1. Carola Bartz: Thank you - it is a beautiful spot, and was a glorious day. I also really like the lobelia waves in that photo. Clever, and beautiful...

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  38. You make them sound lovely. A bit far away for me to visit, but pleasant to gander at through your photos.

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    1. John Wiswell: They are lovely, and I am glad that you had a pleasant gander.

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  39. Very colorful! I follow someone who posts gardens around the world but I don't think she's posted about this one yet.

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: This garden is only open to the public for four weeks each year, so possibly not. Would you mind giving me (a garden obsessive) a link to her blog?

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  40. What lovely pictures! (Just what I need - it's autumn here in the UK, so we're wind-blown and the gardens are looking very sorry for themselves!)

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    1. JO: Welcome and thank you. We are windblown too - but the gardens are still a joy.

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  41. Gidday Sue,

    Once again, the splendiferous colours to greet thine eyes, my eyes and all the eyes that have drank in the photos. Yes, that was metaphorical.

    Just don't wear yourself out. A good weekend to you.

    Gary :)

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    1. klahanie: You mean I haven't really made people drunk with beauty? Sigh.
      And a great weekend to you, Penny and Tristan.

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  42. Holy moley, look at that place!! How gorgeous -- and how wonderful to see things in bloom, while Minnesota is slowly going brown...

    Pearl

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    1. Pearl: It blows me away every year. I remember that I like it there, and get there and my jaw drops...

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  43. I am very glad you went, too... so you could share these gorgeous pictures with US! Being surrounded by such beauty does make the heart sing, doesn't it?

    Happy weekend!

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    1. Susan: Oh yes, those gardens are most definitely heart-singing material. Perhaps I have it wrong - it isn't classical music being piped from the trees but recorded happy hearts.

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  44. Beautiful bright color flowers...

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    1. Weekend-Windup: Aren't they? And so many of them.

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  45. Oh my goodness, what a feast of gorgeous colors! Looks like a wonderful time. I hope you are able to recover soon.

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    1. Raquel Somatra: It is a wonderful place - and I have a wonderful time there each year.

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  46. Perfect spring and perfect spring pictures.
    I am very glad that the effort was worth it. The thought of walking a difficult path for no gain would put anyone off.

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    1. Friko: So very worth it. And if I thought that the pain/gain equation would have come out the wrong way I couldn't have even attempted that hill.

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  47. An absolute riot of colour! No wonder you had such a wonderful time, albeit the pain - of which I am very sorry to hear.

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  48. p.s. I think "string cheese" is mozzarella, manufactured such that there are, like, rods of it, that you can pull apart in strands...

    :-)

    Mmmm. String cheese.

    Pearl

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    1. Pearl: Thank you. Not sold that way here - or not that I have come across.

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    2. Hah! I just came over to tell you that I left a description of string cheese in the comments at Pearl's blog :) I wondered if Pearl would beat me to it!

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    3. jenny_o: Thank you. I had seen your response on Pearl's blog and am very chuffed that both of you came over here to be certain I knew. I do love the warmth and wonder in the blogosphere.

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    4. Isn't it amazing? You do supply your share of it and then some, EC :)

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    5. jenny_o: It is a bit like my voluntary work - I get soooo much more than I give.

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  49. What the colorful set of the colorful flowers! great find the place to take the photographs and share with us...
    Amazing post...thanks for sharing..

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    1. Ercotravels: Thank you - it is a beautiful place.

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  50. Burned 3 gigantic piles of tree limbs and yard clippings that we had spent all summer cutting and gathering. I thought of you. Not because of the burning, but because the world has tipped in your direction and you're getting most of the light now. How wonderful to see, you're taking full advantage of it. Take care of yourself my friend.

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    1. barbfroman: How nice to see you. I hope you are pleased with all that work. And yes, I am taking advantage of the season. I am.

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  51. I have been looking over your blog. I love all the flower pictures. My part of the world is slipping towards winter, so these pictures are refreshing.

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    1. Practical Parsimony: Thank you. In case you hadn't noticed, gardening is one of my obsessions. A big one.

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  52. Your delight my eyes and senses with the beauty of nature. I could almost smell spring in the air.

    I hope you and SP are well n happy :)

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    1. Pam;): Thank you. We are getting there - how are you and yours?

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  53. I lived in & around Canberra for almost 12 years and I never once managed to get to Tulip Tops. Seeing these photos, I wish I'd made the effort! It looks beautiful. Thank you for sharing :-)

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    1. thesleepydwarf: Tulip Tops doesn't recieve a fraction of the publicity that Floriade gets. It is worth while though. And very beautiful. Could you visit next year perhaps?

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  54. This is sheer joy! I love that it is the passion and devotion of a family that made this happen! In my first home, there was a weeping cherry tree - and i've missed that tree for 30 years. i might need to find a place to put one in my new home...

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    1. daisyfae: Exactly. Passion, commitment and bloody hard work - with stunning results. And yes, it sounds like it is time to plant another weeping cherry...

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  55. What was the tree in the 4th picture from the top? These are inspiring even if I don't have the means to have them in my yard. If I ever come to AU, this place is going to be on my list of places to visit.

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    1. Practical Parsimony: I think that was a crab apple. Gorgeous isn't it? There were many, many blossom trees and the air was deliciously scented. And no, I don't have the means, or the room either - but can dream. But do dream.

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  56. The beauty of Gods creation!!! Beautiful!!!

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    1. Betty Alark: They are beautiful. And obviously involve a huge amount of work and commitment.

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  57. How beautiful! If I could afford it, and if Peggy were willing, I don't know but what I would have a home in each hemisphere and avoid winter altogether. If I didn't, it wouldn't be because I didn't like the idea, but because living in two places would bring with it a certain amount of inconvenience, I should think, even if one were very rich.

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    1. Snowbrush: Tulip Top Gardens are an annual treat for me. It would be summer I avoided. With a great deal of pleasure.

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    2. As they would be for me. Tulips are grown commercially here, so it's quite a kick to pass a large field full of them, but I don't think Oregon has a garden to equal the one you photographed.

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    3. Snowbrush: I would love to go past a field of commercially grown tulips. Tulip Top Gardens are only open to the public for a month, and I would love to see it at other times - but am grateful for that month.

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