Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Sunday Selections #351

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. For the next few weeks I am reverting to the theme I was using this time last year - Home and Away.

Starting with home.  While I haven't forgiven the cockatoos for their garden vandalism, there are still splashes of colour and joy.  And rather a lot of work.  Work done, and work to do.



And then to away.  Travelling is himself's passion.  Physically and emotionally I cannot travel as he does.

Itinerary?  He books his ticket out, his ticket home and accommodation for his first and last night.  After that where he goes and what he does are subject to change at any moment based on what looks interesting.

He started in Beijing.  Looking at the weather forecast I worried.  The warning 'Unhealthy Air Quality for Sensitive Groups' is current.  As a person who has had a lung spontaneously collapse three times now (once while he was overseas) I think he qualifies.  It didn't limit him and he wandered the streets and sent me photos of some very elaborate gardens in public parks.

 Doesn't that air look thick?

Then he headed north to Datong to see the Hanging Monastery.
He loved it.  He said there were a LOT of steps.  He forgot going up, but counted them coming down, but got bored and stopped at 700.  I gather his calves were complaining.

 He is having a truly wonderful time and, for the moment at least, is in Pingyao, to see a city which retains its ancient charm.

Where he goes after that is a mystery (to me at least).  The plan was to explore more of China before heading into the 'stans to travel part at least of the Silk Road.  I think this area will probably have him returning for quite a while.

I am looking forward to following his travels from the comfort of home - and have included links for anyone else who wants to explore further.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Tulip Top Gardens 2017

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.  And their eye for colour. 

I go to both of them each year, but Tulip Top Gardens is first in my heart.  This year it too was celebrating a significant anniversary - its 20th year of opening to the public.

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. 

I think their eye for colour and design is amazing.  I love their companion planting too.

They have a forsythia avenue which I adore.  And this year, I notice that they are planting more.

They have a lookout.  Each year it is a test.  Is this the year I have to give up?  But no, slowly (with lots of rests) I did make it to the top again.  And was rewarded with this view.

It is steep, but worth it.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
Very tiring and well worth it.