Monday, 26 October 2015

Celebrate Spring!

Returning to the present for now, yet sticking with the garden theme…

On Saturday, hubby and I headed out for a drive to the stunning Yarra Valley.
It was a pretty, softly sunny spring day – just perfect for a garden visit.

Turning into a driveway lined enticingly with gloriously red, red roses, we arrived at Alowyn Gardens – which consists of 7 acres of mixed formal and informal areas.
Within this green and floriferous haven, there are approximately 500 trees, vast organic vegetable gardens that include luscious berries, fruit trees and herbs, a nursery where one can ponder upon plant purchases, and a charming courtyard café.

The star of the garden every spring is the Japanese Wisteria arbour.

Stretching to the garden's centre, and continuing on past, it is one of Australia’s largest wisteria walks, and boasts a truly glorious display. Sadly we weren’t able to get there in time this year, but we marvelled at the deep emerald green shade the arch provides.
Hopefully next year, we’ll return when it is in its fully glory and while away time under the pendulous purple racemes – the longest has been recorded at 1.6 metres!

Since the garden’s beginnings, there has been a strong emphasis on recycling, with most of the materials gained from local sources. An intense composting system enriches the soil. All water run off is collected and returned back to the plants, and solar powered pumps run the fountains and water features.

So now, come with me as we amble through these lovely gardens, taking our time to stop and smell the many, many roses in their first flush, while I get my rose fix...

Even though romantic "old world" Pierre de Ronsard has only the subtlest of scent - and can "ball" badly after rain - he still finds a place in our hearts.

The tiered fountain is the central focal point of the garden, and many vistas lead the eye back to it.

Gates beckon us beyond them.

Meander through the beautiful birch forest.

Wander past mysterious mini monolithic meeting places.

And visit an old replica miner’s cabin, which is now home to birds of all kinds.

Happen upon cool shaded nooks that welcome weary travellers.

Watch hoverflies and bees busy themselves among bountiful blooms.

Subtle sculptural features are dotted throughout.

This is made from discarded horse shoes.

Irresistible iris flank a long pond.

Pretty parterres and productive potagers.

So many tempting paths.

 Which way now?

Rest awhile by the wetlands, and listen to the songs of the many birds who call this magical place, home.

Take a moment to appreciate the waterlilies on a small lake.

Chairs welcome the guests of a happy couple.  It’s a nice day for a white wedding…


Stop, once more, to smell the roses.

Enter the charmingly rustic, maple lined courtyard café.

 So pretty

Reminders of days gone by.

Oh my gourd!

After a coffee, saunter through the small but neat nursery.

And finally, once more outside, look up the hill...

... for a sneak peek to where we head next - which will be a unique, colourful feast for the eyes... and tummy.   To be covered in my next post, in a few days.

But for now, we leave here happy and inspired.