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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.

Celebrating Tulips

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #15

Destination: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Where we live the climate is warm and temperate and, although our city is renowned for its beautiful gardens, tulips aren’t easy to grow here. In Canberra, one thousand kilometres further south, winters are colder and more rain falls, allowing tulips to flourish.

For 30 days from mid-September tulips take centre stage at Floriade, the largest annual garden festival in the southern hemisphere. Commonwealth Park resembles an ocean of colour, with displays of more than one million springtime flowers complemented by sculptures and art works.

It’s worth the journey to see tulips in all their glory.

 

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time.

Top Stop

Western Queensland Road Trip Square Tops Challenge #6

The tiny outback town of Wyandra is conveniently located on the Mitchell Highway, halfway between Charleville and Cunnamulla.

With a population of just 116, you won’t find any fancy department stores or shopping centres in Wyandra. But you don’t need them when you can stop in at the quirky Post Office Café for refreshments.

Take your delicious hot coffee and some freshly baked scones topped with jam and cream outside to the garden and relax for a while before continuing your journey.

That’s what we did!

While our travels are on hold, I’m joining in every day with Becky’s April Square Tops Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme word “top”.

Canada’s Best

Canada #45

“What was the best thing about your trip?”

We’re often asked this question when we return from a holiday and it’s always difficult to give just one answer. After five weeks in Canada, here are the things we loved best.

The Best Party 

The Best Airbnb View

Vancouver, from our 21st floor apartment – by day,

at night,

and early in the morning as the cruise ships arrived at Canada Place.

The Best Water View

Pitt River

The Best Mountain Views

Sky Pilot and Co-Pilot, Coast Ranges, Squamish BC

Fitzsimmons Range, Whistler BC

The Best Wildlife Encounters

chipmunk, Whistler BC

raccoon family, Mount Royal, Montréal QC

and the squirrels, who were everywhere!

The Best Food

20 flavours of hot chocolate, enormous ice cream sundaes, chocolate pizza! Even the ceiling was all about chocolate at Chocolato, Montréal QC

The Best Garden

Jardins Gamelin, Place Émilie-Gamelin, Montréal QC

a free community garden with a cafe, space for games, music and family activities

and several themed gardens, educational for both adults and children

The Best Adventures

For me, a birthday trip to Niagara Falls

For Glen, EdgeWalk – 356 metres above the ground at CN Tower, Toronto ON

So many wonderful experiences in a truly amazing country. Canada, we’ll be back!