Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday 28 September 2014

Sunday Selections #191

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.

Like River I usually run with a theme.   And this week I will be (mostly) focusing on splashes of colour.  When we were at Tulip Tops last week I was admiring the pansy and viola faces that were the underplantings for most of the tulip beds.  And as I took a photo or six I remembered that Delores likes pansy faces too...


And a clump of Spring Star Flowers (Tritelea) which are thriving in our garden.

And for something completely different, Jewel.  She loves boxes and bags, and is very skilled at getting our shopping bags out in the small hours and having a wonderful time playing...

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Tulip Top Gardens 2014

My self indulgence in spring gardens continues.

Last week we went to Floriade and on Monday of this week we continued our spring garden pilgrimage.  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 tears of a single family.

Tulip Top Gardens are a little way out of town, 13 kilometres from the showground, and in another state (New South Wales).  They are just off the highway - and a million light years from it.

Both gardens are a riot of colour but there are a lot of differences.

Floriade is free to enter.  Tulip Top Gardens charges $14 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.  And this year, on our way out we picked up some free pansy tubes.  They have been planted and are flowering their hearts out in a pot on our back deck.   

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.  It is set in 10 acres, and has a water course, a water fall and a stunning look out.

Like Floriade, Tulip Top Gardens are not fully out yet.  There are blossom trees still to come, and more tulips.  Unlike Floriade, we have every intention of going back next week or the week after to revel some more.

Less rabitting, more photos.  And be warned, there are many, many photos.  I have mentioned my lack of restraint haven't I?  Clicking will, as always, embiggen.

This is what greeted us at the top of the (steep) walk down to the gardens.  A walk I take every year despite there being level access for those who want or need it.  And, with luck, next time we go this path will be through an avenue of flowering crab apple.

Looking to the left.

Looking straight ahead.

Looking to the right, which is the direction I took when I reached the bottom.

The waterfall trickles into this pool.

Walking on.


The forsythia avenue is something I look forward to every year.  And the underplanting of pansies and violas sets it off beautifully. 

And then to the look out.  It is a steep walk, and one I find difficult.  Each year I wonder whether I can do it.  And perservere.  Wouldn't you?

Down again - with just a few more of the many, many photos I took.  Ok, I am a stranger to the truth.  Quite a few more photos.

Isn't it beautiful?  I will go to Floriade each and every year but Tulip Top Gardens has first place in my heart.  And is considerably less crowded too.