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#26 Pavement Art

I’m joining Becky in her February Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Odd, referencing one of these definitions: different to what is usual or expected, or strange; a number of items, with one left over as a remainder when divided by two; happening or occurring infrequently and irregularly, or occasionally; separated from a usual pair or set and therefore out of place or mismatched. Look for #SquareOdds.

While we didn’t travel as much as usual in 2021, we were fortunate to enjoy several holidays in our home state of Queensland and one short trip over the border into New South Wales. Join me this month in a retrospective look at the very odd year of 2021. 

 Queens Park, Toowoomba QLD, September 2021

The beautiful floral displays at Queens Park during the Carnival of Flowers were complemented by some clever and colourful drawings on the footpaths.

This quirky creature was one of many fantastical characters decorating the walkways.

#25 At the Park

I’m joining Becky in her February Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Odd, referencing one of these definitions: different to what is usual or expected, or strange; a number of items, with one left over as a remainder when divided by two; happening or occurring infrequently and irregularly, or occasionally; separated from a usual pair or set and therefore out of place or mismatched. Look for #SquareOdds.

While we didn’t travel as much as usual in 2021, we were fortunate to enjoy several holidays in our home state of Queensland and one short trip over the border in New South Wales. Join me this month in a retrospective look at the very odd year of 2021. 

Queens Park, Toowoomba QLD, September 2021

Each September, the Darling Downs city of Toowoomba lives up to its reputation as the “Garden City” by celebrating the annual Carnival of Flowers. The centrepiece of the 10 day floral extravaganza is the garden at Queens Park. Spread over 25 hectares, with broad expanses of lawn, mature trees and garden beds overflowing with blooms, the park is at its most beautiful in spring.

Council gardeners spend countless hours sowing and maintaining more than 150,000 plants in the lead up to the Carnival and almost as many people come to see the floral display. In 2020, the park hosted 116,039 admiring visitors and in 2021, with travel restrictions eased, that number would have been even larger.

Toowoomba is our home city and we’re lucky to have Queens Park to visit at any time of year. And we’re already looking forward to September, when we’ll join in the celebrations for the 73rd Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers at beautiful Queens Park.

6 Collections ~ Part Two

I’m joining Becky in her October Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Past. Look for #PastSquares. This month we’re travelling back in time in the western Queensland town of Miles and surrounds. We’ll explore the local area and join in the festivities at the Miles Back to the Bush Festival.

The self-guided Collections Tour, where local residents open their homes to share their collections, is a popular event at the festival. Some collections are huge and multi-faceted while others are small and specific. Some are vintage objects, some are a little eccentric and some are just for fun. Today we’re exploring Jan’s lovely garden.

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While Jan’s garden has many traditional flower beds, this bed of roses is quite different!

19 Supersized Sunflowers

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Emerald

A supersized Van Gogh painting in a park in Emerald is a unexpected sight! At a height of 25 metres, it towers above the trees surrounding Morton Park.

This huge painting on its massive steel easel was created by Canadian artist Cameron Cross, whose aim is to place copies of Van Gogh’s seven different sunflower paintings in seven countries around the world.

Why did he select Emerald as the location for the third painting in the series? Sunflower production is one of the region’s major industries and the town’s annual Sunflower Festival is a highlight every Easter.

Also joining in with Marsha’s PPAC challenge

26 Floral Beauties

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park is the oldest wooden structure of its kind in the United States.

We wandered through all five galleries, each one displaying the flowering plants of a different ecosystem.  

From the vegetation of Earth’s tropical regions to the world of aquatic and potted plants, the five rooms of the conservatory were aglow with dozens of vivid blooms in a kaleidoscope of colour.

 

22 Squirrels in the Garden!

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the Japanese Tea Garden – and happy to pose for photos! 

Park Love

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #4 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Queens Park, Toowoomba

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare.

Feeling the Blues

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #3 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Queens Park, Toowoomba

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare.

Sharing the Love

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #2 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Toowoomba

Visitors to Toowoomba’s annual Carnival of Flowers are spoiled for choice when it comes to gardens. Queen’s Park, Laurel Bank Park and Picnic Point have magnificent displays of spring annuals. Private gardens are also open to the public – some are entries in the garden competition and others are simply on display for all to enjoy.

The garden at Lorea House welcomed visitors for the first time this year. Created by Leisa and Serge Rossignol, it’s the result of their combined vision and hard work.

Leisa and Serge only began designing and constructing this garden in 2019, starting with a pretty pink summerhouse. Using a combination of new and repurposed materials, Serge created a retreat for Leisa that’s filled with memories. The windows came from a convent at a local church and the doors were found on a farm at Cambooya. Most precious of all is the tiny kitchen, which was originally in Leisa’s grandparents’ home on the family property at Brookstead.

Leisa says her love of gardening comes from her grandparents on both sides of her family, who all shared a passion for plants. It’s not surprising to learn that, although this garden is new, it’s not Leisa’s first. She’s been creating gardens since she was 20 years old and the beautiful space she enjoys now is her fifth.

With a compact block of just 630 m² this one was much smaller than previous gardens, and Leisa has filled it to overflowing with a beautiful mix of perennials, annuals, fruit trees and vegetables. During Carnival week, she spent her days talking about her plantings with the 2,800 people who came to Lorea House.

For Leisa, the joy of gardening is as much about sharing as creating.

See more of Leisa and Lorea House on Instagram at eleanorandruby

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare

Carnival Time

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #1 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Toowoomba

Every year in the last week of September the Queensland city of Toowoomba celebrates the Carnival of Flowers although, like many community events this year, it’s been a little different. For the 51st Carnival, there was no grand floral parade down the main street or lavish food and wine festival in the park and many of the regular exhibitions featuring local arts and crafts were deferred until next year.

But for most visitors at Carnival time, the decorated floats and local produce are an added bonus. The beautiful gardens in full bloom are what they come to see and the heritage listed botanic gardens at Queens Park are the main attraction.

To achieve the stunning floral display, the city council gardening team starts work in April, planting up to 40,000 seedlings and 5,000 bulbs. Their efforts come to fruition in September when gardens overflow with colour, and this year has been no exception.

So if in the future you’re planning to come to Toowoomba, make sure you come at Carnival time – it’s the best time of year to visit.

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare

See previous Carnivals here and here.