Friday Flowers: By the pool

Today’s Friday Flowers is another from Darwin’s Open Garden scheme, now sadly defunct.

This garden was one of our favourites in 2014, with its hidden corners and plants, and this idyllic spot by the pool. Who wouldn’t enjoy “chilling” by the pool with a flowered cup of tea, scones and multi-coloured flowers on the table.DSC_1973

For us a winning Open Garden was one which let us see great landscaping, wonderful plants, and somewhere to enjoy the view with a cuppa and cake. This one certainly hit the spot!

I hope today’s Friday Flowers bring sunshine to whichever day you view them.


Shadow Shot Sunday: Cycad and waterlilies

Another Open Garden, another tranquil spot.

Waterlily shadows_edited-1

Waterlilies and a magnificent cycad add drama to this scene.

Shadow Shot SundayCheck out the other amazing photos in Shadow Shot Sunday.

Garden flamboyance

Flowers and flags_edited-1
Before I started visiting Open Gardens it wouldn’t have occurred to me to add “artificial” colour and sculptures to the garden. I’m now a convert and love the additional splashes of colour. Tropical light and gardens welcome vivid colours. Balinese flags appear in almost every garden.

Shadow Shot Sunday: Circularity in Red

This week’s shadow shot is from a lovely garden owned by a local artist, Jasmine Jan (check out her amazing paintings).

Seat circles varn_edited-1

I love the vivid red contrasting with the shadows and the sharp lines of the leaves.

red chair dreaming

Shadow Shot Sunday

Do have a look at the other wonderful images posted under Shadow Shot Sunday.

Shadow Shot Sunday: Yin and Yang

Another photo from last weekend’s Open Garden which was so full of magnificent shadows, and some interesting contradictions.

While yin and yang is not entirely appropriate for Buddhism, nevertheless it reveals light and shadow. Similarly it’s interesting the Balinese-influenced gardens here so often include a Buddha, yet Bali is predominantly Hindu. That oracle of all things, Wikipedia, says “Balinese culture is a mix of Balinese Hindu/Buddhist religion and Balinese custom”

Yin and yang

Light and Shadow

Buddhist and Hindu

Balinese tranquility

In Darwin gardens

Yin and Yang, Light and Shadow

Yin and Yang, Light and Shadow

Shadow Shot Sunday

Do have a look at the other wonderful images posted under Shadow Shot Sunday.

Shadow Shot Sunday: Tropical shadows

Yesterday we visited our final Open Garden of the year. The weather is turning and what we call the Dry (elsewhere it’s winter) is steadily running out of puff with the temperatures and humidity kicking in. However this weekend’s Mosaic Garden would be a perfect spot regardless of the weather with tropical shadows and shady nooks.

Open Garden, Mosaic House, Parap, Northern Territory

Open Garden, Mosaic House, Parap, Northern Territory

Tropical shadows

Glimpses of green

Cooling breezes

Draw me in.

Shadow Shot Sunday

See other Shadow Shot Sunday posts here.

O is for the Olgas ( Kata Tjuta) and Open Gardens

O is for the OLGAS

The Olgas or Kata Tjuta, as this rock formation is now known, is part of the Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park. Kata Tjuta’s more famous big sister tends to take the highest profile but if you’re heading for the Red Centre you should allow time to do both parts of the park. This national park is truly Australia’s red heart and is smack bang in the middle of the country and probably encapsulates the sense of the Outback more than anywhere else.

The Olgas from a distance. ©Pauleen Cass 1994

The Olgas from a distance. ©Pauleen Cass 1994

Kata Tjuta is all curves as each rocky dune looms against the vivid blue of the desert sky. The contrasting colours are magnificent with the green of the Spinifex looking almost lime-coloured on film and in some light. It provides its own dot-painting effect against the vivid ochre red of the rock formation. Tucked among the rocks are hidden spots where the desert animals can live, survive and even thrive. A quiet bushwalker has the benefit of hearing the birds and may even see some creatures as well.

On the Valley of the Winds walk. ©Pauleen Cass 1994

On the Valley of the Winds walk. ©Pauleen Cass 1994

The track through the Valley of the Winds is peaceful and restorative, as well as tiring! This is certainly an experience best savoured in the cooler months of the year when overnight it can be decidedly chilly, especially in a tent or swag. Those hot summer months (about October to April) are best avoided as most people will find them unbearable. Do plan to hang around at the Olgas towards the end of the day so you can see the setting sun light the dunes with varying shades of pink and red. Just magnificent!

068 Kata Juta moonrise and sunset


Welcome to the garden.

Welcome to the garden.

If you love gardens it’s always worth keeping an eye out for the local Open Gardens events   when you travel – they’re a great Opportunity to see new and different garden designs as well as plants you may not be familiar with.

The 2013 season Open Gardens NT commenced last weekend and we have a feast of Top End gardens to choose from throughout the Dry. It’s one of our favourite weekend activities to visit a garden and have a coffee and cake while soaking up the ambience. You can see my stories and photos from 2012 through this link.

Why visit: To see a unique natural wonder of Australia and the amazing colours, vegetation and animals of the Outback.

FYI: There are a couple of maps on my A to Z planning post which will help you to pinpoint where today’s tourist spots are situated


On the turps: big drinking session

Old mate: A NT special gradually soaking into the vernacular elsewhere. A generic expression meaning, roughly, bloke, someone you don’t know. So old mate drove his (Land) Cruiser through the creek….

Outback: Australia’s vast interior. The iconic idea of Australia often completely unfamiliar to its many coastal dwellers. The people are typically unemotional and physically tough and laconic.

Ordinary: not the usual meaning of “normal” but also in the Aussie sense can mean sub-par, inferior, not much good. How’re ya going mate? Feeling a bit ordinary today…

I wonder where the letter P will take us tomorrow? How about back into the Kimberley?

Do you remember?

Who remembers seeing one of these in the laundry in the “olden days”? I can certainly remember when the copper was heated up with gas (in our house) and the sheets were boiled with Reckitts blue to make them white (makes sense -right?!).

Who would have expected to see one reincarnated as a water feature in an Open Garden?

the old laundry copper finds a new life in the garden.