Sunday, 29 November 2009

Help, help

I have just woken up to the fact that I have three weeks left to do everything before we go away for Christmas! Going away so many times this year has been so much fun........but the consequences seem not nearly so good. I have resorted to THE LIST on the front of my fridge so I check it every time I go there. I will soon end up with another list upstairs too and probably a third one somewhere else. Provided I really take notice of them I guess everything will happen somehow. Textile play will have to be on the far back burner till after New Year I fear.

Here are some more photos from our Tasmania trip. The top one is a view of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. they have the most glorious setting on slopes on the bank of the Derwent river.
We were taken up to the top of Mt. Wellington overlooking the city. I never thought I would be standing up there in a short sleeved shirt with no other layers and feel quite comfortable. We were almost hot. One of our Garden Friends had driven up there a few weeks earlier - they had started in bright sunlight, then had rain, hail, sleet, snow and a whiteout!! Needless to say it was also freezing.

I was fascinated by the large bumblebees we saw all over the place. The other honeybees were around in huge numbers also, but no butterflies. I asked someone about that, he said it was still too cold, but they don't get the large colourful butterflies we have on the mainland at all, theirs are mostly small and quite dull colours - I wonder why?

I just loved the cold climate gardens we saw, will probably keep posting photos of the lovely flowers over the next couple of weeks. These two aquilegas were gorgeous. If you click on any of the photos they should enlarge.

I had better start to gather some photos together for our annual Christmas card/letter. I have just looked at a copy of last year's where I was bemoaning the fact that the year seemed to have vanished before it began, I think this year has vanished even faster.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Home again

I am back home again after a fabulous trip to Tasmania, but unfortunately returned with a rotten sinus infection which slowed me down more than somewhat. Hopefully the antibiotics will cure me in a couple more days - too many interesting things to do and I want some time to play. These photos are uploaded in the wrong order of course - I keep forgetting.

This is looking across Victoria Dock late in the afternoon. I took it from the Lower Deck at Mures where we seemed to end up for a meal most nights - very good seafood, also close to where we were staying and always lots of action to watch.
While in Hobart I met up with Sandra Champion who does not have a blog but is doing the online courses with Maggie and Lynda and Carol. You can just see a bit of one of Sandra's artworks in the background - sliced up newspaper (I can't remember which one, possibly The Guardian) then very effectively woven and slightly distorted in places.
This is one of the gorgeous roses in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. The roses were just so wonderful and had so much perfume. The rhododendrons were in full flower also, as were the fuchsias, echiums, foxgloves, peonies.......and the list goes on and on. I do love cold climate gardens, but I couldn't fo back to live in a climate like that again.

This picture is of a lovely hanging embroidered by the Friends of the Gardens. If you click on the photo it should enlarge so you can see the details - the pictures are of different areas of the gardens.

I loved these gates at the entrance to the Gardens. They have been there a very long time and are very ornate.
Not too much of a post tonight, I am still not feeling like doing too much, but I have started to catch up on all the blogs, I miss them when I am away.
Should have edited some more photos by tomorrow night, but I will be babysitting so may not get them posted till the next day.
Forgot to say that the weather in Tasmania was very cold till the day before we arrived, then there was a heatwave for the first week!!!! I had to keep washing out my two short sleeved tops to keep wearing them, you can't win. We were able to light a log fire one night in the second week though, before the weather turned hot again.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

More flowers and Cranes and travelling

I have managed to load these images back to front, but no matter. The lovely yellow flower below turns into this gorgeous calyx? fruit? after it dies off. I can't rememberthe name of the shrub, which is in the Shade Garden at our Botanic Gardens, and it is one of the few without a label telling me! I know it is native to this area, but I have never seen it in the wild.
These lovely ground orchids are also native, but again I have not seen them in the wild. They are readily available in the nursery industry now, and I am not surprised. They are easy to propagate and make a very pretty show.

This was the picture which I meant to have at the top of the page - they are magnificent fibreglass Sarus cranes, donated to our Gardens by our Japanese sister city Matsuura. For a long time, they have had to be kept inside as they would be very easily vandalised, but the curator has decided to take a risk and leave them on permanent display in an area which is locked when there are not staff nearby. It is sad that you have to think continually about vandalism, but that is an unfortunate truth these days. Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

I wish I could think up inspiring titles like some of my blogging friends do - mine are always very mundane.
Only two sleeps to go and we are off to Tasmania, leaving here at 6.30 am and arriving in Hobart at 5 pm - a long day, but will be so good to get there. I expect to come back with wonderful photos - the first week will be at a Walking guides of Botanic Gardens conference and they have some excellent trips lined up for us. Then Bill and I will collect a hire car and spend 3 nights based in Richmond from where we will visit Port Arthur, a notorious penal colony when Australia was first settled. that description is for the benefit of our overseas bloggers who may not have heard of it - though that is probably unlikely after the terrible massacre there a decade or so ago. From Richmond we will move over to the south west of the Island to Queenstown. We are not really making any plans of what we will do till we see what the weather is like.
I have been given the names of some interesting places to stock up on 'stash' while I am in Hobart, will just have to watch the weight, always a constraint when you are flying - perhaps that is just as well, though small things can be more expensive than large ones sometimes.
Jock is going off to boarding kennels tomorrow - his first experience of that, but I am sure he will love it, there will be lots of other dogs there - and more people - just what he loves.
One of the other Garden Friends has her bag packed ready and waiting already, so I had better start thinking about mine - I am not too worried, I will basically be repacking what I took away last month, though with a bit of luck we may get some warmer weather for some of the time.
I am taking a small bag of hand stuff to see if I can do a bit in the second week and come back with some god's eyes (part of the online course with Maggie Grey) and maybe some covered paper clips. the pictures of what others have done look good so I want to have a go.
Back in two and a half weeks. Cheers