Life in our garden

The rain that fell on us at the end of another long and hot Queensland summer did wonders for our little garden and the park outside. Everything was lush and green, funny little funghi moved in and we had numerous creatures living among the plants, thriving on the fresh green shoots of our gardenias. My thumb isn’t that green, however I have managed to keep a few plants alive and I love it when I see creatures in the garden even if they’re actually destroying it leaf by leaf.

Bundy seemed pleased that I was not turning the lens on him for a change, instead I got as close as I could to the frogs, bees, spiders and mushrooms and started shooting away. I think I could have used a faster shutter speed on some of the shots, they’re not as sharp as I would like however it is good that these things are becoming a little clearer to me. I am learning. For some of you it is Spring time which means lots of beautiful blooms and bright colours, looking forward to seeing what lives and grows in your garden ūüôā

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Spring break

With 2017 being such a strain on my head space for a number of reasons, it was a joy to recently have a week off and indulge in some extended me-time. The objective being to organise my pastels into new storage boxes, spend at least two days drawing, and last but not least I wanted visit Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens and photograph the Spring blossoms.

The weather was mixed during my break, much needed rain fell and sunshine was intermittent. At one point I didn’t think I would get to the Botanic Gardens but luck was on my side and as I was wandering through the rainforest garden the clouds disappeared and the rest of my time in the garden was perfect. Spring is such a beautiful time of year, lots of birds, bees and after a shower of rain everything looks and smells so fresh. As you can see, it was time well spent and I felt so relaxed and happy afterwards that I almost forgot about having to go back to work.

 

Sunny afternoon in St Andrews Botanic Gardens

One of the many paths that lead through the Botanic Gardens, St Andrews Scotland.
One of the many paths that lead through the Botanic Gardens, St Andrews Scotland.

St Andrews, Scotland is well known for it’s golf course however there is plenty for a visitor to do if they’re not interested in chasing a little white ball around a paddock. There are castle and cathedral ruins overlooking the sea, as well as delightful little cafes and cobblestone streets.¬†After a morning sketching a church¬†and doing a little shopping in the centre of St Andrews we headed out of the centre to the Botanic Gardens for a picnic lunch and a few hours of quiet in the gardens.

The Botanic Gardens aren’t huge however they are full of brilliant¬†coloured blooms in Spring, some of which I had seen before such as Rhododendrons. The sun was shining and local students appeared to be making the most of the warmth, lying on the grass studying or just ‘hanging out’. As a small group we scattered quickly after lunch, each of us going our own way and doing whatever we wanted. I chose not to sit and draw, and instead kept my camera at the ready because there were so many flowers to see and paths to explore. A couple of ducks caught my attention at one stage, the female splashing around in the water while the male seemed more content to strut around the pond. A heron also became the focus of my attention, I stalked him/her all around one pond trying to capture them in flight however I didn’t not have a fast enough shutter speed and most of the action shots are fuzzy. Big fat bumblebees are always a delight to see although the most amusing creatures in the gardens were not alive, they were carvings and sculptures dotted among the trees. The red squirrel sculpture was as close as I got to this endangered¬†creature, I didn’t even see the more common grey squirrel during my time in Scotland.

As I wandered around the gardens I ran into several of my fellow travelling artists, most of them thoroughly enjoying the peaceful surrounds and the opportunity to draw something other than a church or castle. Hopefully the many photographs I took will serve a inspiration for my artwork in the future. In the meantime I hope you enjoy my walk through the garden.

 

The colours of Spring

Spring is here and there are floral festivals happening in several places around Australia, two popular festivals in Queensland are located in Toowoomba and on Mt Tamborine. I haven’t been able to enjoy either this year however I do have a lovely collection of photos from previous visits which I will share with you.

Happy Spring days!

Beauty and the heat

With temperatures being approximately 5-10 degrees (celsius) higher than average for November we’ve had an early start to summer. It is storm season so the potential for rain is good although much of the heavy rain that has fallen already this month¬†has failed to appear over our¬†suburban block. Despite the extreme heat¬†the plants and trees in our garden continue to bloom,¬†the magnolia flowers don’t last long though and my gardenias have all but disappeared, leaving only¬†crispy and brown remnants among the foliage.

Each year I wait for our Poinciana tree to flower, the foliage is beautiful but I have been wanting to see red flowers flooding the tree since seeing how other trees in the neighbourhood look at this time of year. We came close last year however a hail storm shredded everything and we were left with very little of anything on the tree. Poinciana trees in flower scream summer to me, the red blossoms provide spectacular contrast to the garden and it is the perfect colour scheme for the festive season.

Here are just a few of the beautiful things in our garden,¬†I’m so happy that the heat hasn’t destroyed them.

Springtime on the Mountain

Springtime on the Mountain is a festival held on Mt Tamborine at the end of September each year. Similar to the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Springtime on the Mountain offers visitors beautiful private gardens to explore in addition to blooming public parks and gardens. Mt Tamborine is one of my favourite places to visit on the Gold Coast, best on a weekday when there are fewer day trippers, Mt Tamborine has an abundance of cafes, art and craft shops, nature trails, wineries and some of the yummiest triple cream brie I’ve ever eaten.

This year was my first time for visiting Mt Tamborine during the spring festival, we went on a Saturday in the hope that it would be less hectic than on a Sunday but still it was very busy and parking at a premium. Our choice of destination was the Botanic Gardens, a beautiful, lush spot on the mountain, well maintained by a group of committed volunteers. The artistic children of my friend set themselves up in a central location and set about drawing some of the flowers, my friend and I wandered off to smell the roses.

As some of you know, I love take photos of flowers so you’d think I would at least be able to tell you what some of the flowers are in the photographs below however it isn’t my strongest point. Ff I get the name of a plant wrong or have completely left it off the image please let me know and I will amend the caption.