Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Friday, 30 September 2016

Tulip Top Gardens 2016

Last week we headed off to Tulip Top Gardens to complete our pilgrimages to celebrate Spring.

Tulip Top Gardens are a little way out of town (and in the next state) and they are open each year at the same time as Floriade.

Both are celebrations of spring.  Both feature tulips by the hundreds.  Both are in spectacular locations.  And they couldn't be more different.

Floriade is free to enter, and is becoming increasingly commercial in nature.
Tulip Top Gardens charges $16 admittance to people over 16 (seniors get a discount).  Included in that fee are unlimited cups of tea and coffee and for those who would like it a sausage sandwich (the skinny one had mine as well).

Floriade is a government initiative.
Tulip Top Gardens are the work of a single family - who put over a million bulbs in the ground each year by hand.  I am so in awe of their backs and their stamina. 

I go to both of them each year, but Tulip Top Gardens is first in my heart.

Many, many, many photos follow.  And there are more which I won't inflict on you.  Yet.

Starting at the entrance to the gardens, wandering down the path.

Looking to the right.

Looking to the left.

Straight ahead.

It really is an explosion of colour, scent and sound.  Frogs croak in the water, classic music drifts down from the trees...

Each year I look forward to their forsythia avenue.  Each year my anticipation is rewarded.

Each year I also wonder whether this is the year that the walk to the lookout defeats me.

Nope.  Not this year.  And this was my reward.

Isn't it glorious?  This is already such a photo heavy post I think I will stop and take a breather at the top.
More next week - unless you are sick of it.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Words for Wednesday

The lovely Delores at Under the Porch Light had been running this meme for a considerable period of time, week after week.   Computer issues led her to bow out for a while and I took over.  When Delores' absence looked like being more permanent I begged and cajoled for other volunteers to share providing the prompts, and Words for Wednesday became a movable feast.  Delores discontinued her blog for a while, but she has returned.  Her new blog can be found here.

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write.  Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image.   What we do with those prompts is up to us:  a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore...  We can use some or all of the prompts.

Some of us put our creation in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog.  I would really like it if as many people as possible joined into this fun meme.  If you are posting on your own blog - let me know so that I, and other participants, can come along and applaud.

This month the prompts have been published here, but are provided by Margaret Adamson and her friend Sue Fulcher.

This weeks prompts are:

  1. Backpack 
  2. Hundred  
  3. Relatives 
  4. Happy 
  5. Tick 
  6. Plant


  1. Illumination
  2. Age
  3. Pastime
  4. Profound
  5. Die
  6. Laugh


Next month the prompts were to be provided by Jacqueline aka The Cranky on her blog.  Sadly Jacqueline has had a stroke, and is unable to participate. I hope all of you will join me in wishing Jacqueline a complete recovery.  It seems so unfair that she was hit with this, just when she was turning her life around

I will publish next month's prompts here. 

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Sunday Selections #295

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.  This week I am returning to Floriade, and focussing on the quirky and/or fun elements.

This small pond was full of tulips - which I assume are illuminated for NightFest (which we don't go to because it is crowded and expensive).

There was no information about this lonely, severely undernourished  and I think beautiful, horse.

I kept expecting this statue to topple over.

The return of the pansy Dalek 'Propagate, progagate...'

The Floriade fashion week - created by the Canberra Institute of Technology's floristry students.

And an oval mystery, enjoyed by a handful of children.

There is always room in my world for fun.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Floriade 2016

Floriade is my city's celebration of Spring.  It runs for thirty days, starting in mid September, and is an explosion of colour and scent.  It is now in its twenty-nineth year.

It is held in the centre of the city, in Commonwealth Park by the lake.  Last year we were told that changes were required and that it might be held in three or four venues.  This year we returned to the usual location, but the display was considerably curtailed.  Not nearly as many flower beds, not nearly as many flowers and much less fun and whimsy too.  Sigh.  We were disappointed.  Just the same it is annual pilgrimage for us.  I expect we will be back next year too.

The festival is free to enter, though there are lots and lots and lots of ways to spend money while you are there.  Restaurants, cafes, stalls selling jewellery, chutneys, nuts, kites, fudge, soap, pearls, silk...  There are even some which sell things for the garden.  There is music, and other entertainment.  There are displays by florists and cooks.  Perhaps not something for everyone, but certainly something for a lot of people.

It is early in the season, and quite a lot of blooms are not out yet.  More coming each day though.

Even the walk to Floriade from our habitual parking spot is pretty.  In my usual restrained fashion rather a lot of photos follow...  (I am saving quirky bits for a Sunday Selections post).

A watch cormorant (watching all those entering).


Most of Floriade is wheel chair accessible.  Wide and level pathways.  In years gone by, there were ramps so that you could view the garden display from elevated positions.  That is gone.  The Ferris Wheel is the only option now (and of course it isn't free).

 We did go up on the Ferris Wheel.  Another disappointment.  The patterns in the gardens were much less innovative and distinct that they have been in other years, and there were less of them.

One more from the Ferris Wheel - not of Floriade, but of the surrounding countryside.  I do live in a pretty city.

Just a few more photos now.

On the way out we had not only a watch cormorant, but a watch pelican.

As is usual, I picked up some Floriade fridge magnets while we were there.  I am happy to post them to anyone who would like one (while stocks last).  If you would like one, let me know in the comments or send me an email.  They are light, so I will happily post them world-wide.
It is true that this year's display didn't match earlier years.  It is also true we were disappointed.  Just the same, there was beauty there.  For which we are grateful.  In the next ten days or so we are going to be busy.  A visit to Tulip Tops (another floral extravaganza), an exhibition at the National Museum (which may or may not allow photos) and an early morning bird watching expedition to the Botanic Gardens.