For me gardens and friendship are synonymous
– from a very early age I was going to public gardens with my parents to spend time with friends and family.
These first photos were taken in October 1942 beside the fountain in the Castlemaine (Victoria) Botanic Gardens. Harry Yench, as he was known to the family, had enlisted in 1940 and perhaps was on leave when these photographs were taken. My mother has very smart buckles on her shoes. The fountain dates back to 1878.
Castlemaine is in the area known as the Central Goldfields in Victoria, Australia. After the gold rushes of the 1850’s were over these provincial towns were keen to show how they were prospering and establishing a public garden was one way of doing this and generally a Curator who had trained in England was the person responsible for doing the groundwork.
Castlemaine Gardens are still well respected as being of historical significance with the diversity of plants and the age of the trees.
Another town in this area which also established a Botanic Garden at the same time was Ballarat. A much grander garden than Castlemaine it receives many visitors each year for a Begonia Festival. It also has many beautiful statues including the lion (one of a pair) donated in 1893.
We shared time there with friends in 1954
We still use public gardens today as a meeting place to spend time with friends, so I am just going to slip in here now some recent photos – which of course are part of my personal history, which we’ve visited in recent years. Maybe you might like seeing some places you have not yet visited yourself.
The Southern Highlands Region of NSW in Australia is a cool climate area south west of Sydney long used by Sydney residents as a summer holiday spot. Many beautiful homes and gardens were built there which from time to time open their grounds for public viewing. One of these is the Fifth Chapter Estate winery and Gardens near Bowral and we spent time there with friends in October 2012.
and last year on the other side of the world we met up with friends from the south coast of England, at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey in Hampshire. These are ‘modern’ gardens – being established in the 1950’s Each year they host an Art in The Gardens display, and although the gardens themselves are spectacular, in this post to add a little variety, I will just feature a few of the sculptures that took my eye.
And on a very personal note this is what we purchased in 2003
and by 2007and if you’ve hung in thus far we can both be rewarded as I honour the theme of a man watching a woman work in a garden.but I must give credit where credit is due and he took a turn too – much to my shame as he was visiting from Canada, we had only just met them and would never meet face to face again but it just reinforces my theme
Gardens and friendship go hand in hand.