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.
Bright blossoms on a sunny day
One of the many ponds
Daisies in bloom
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.
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.
Kookaburra and Magpie in conflict over a morsel of food
Maple in a Japanese style garden
Heavenly scented rose packed tight with delicate petals
I spent a few years living in Sydney and would have happily stayed for longer, but life happens and you move on. I loved working by the Harbour and walking around the Botanical Gardens in my lunch break, on weekends there were trips to the galleries and shopping at the Rocks Markets and in the evening we would dine on delicious food in little Italy (Leichardt). When possible I spend a weekend visiting my friends and family and doing all the things I miss such as going to Taronga Zoo and having a hot chocolate at the Lindt Cafe. This is my Sydney.