In my early twenties my refuge was here, in Melbourne's Fitzroy Gardens.
First set aside as a public space in 1848, and named after Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy - Governor General of the Australian Colonies 1851-1855 - work began in the 1850s. On a spring day such as this, they are especially gorgeous.
I was on my way to my brother-in-law's birthday at the very fine Flower Drum restaurant. Above is a shot of St Andrews Square, with Parliamentary offices behind it. What a wonderful place to work!
Much of the Gardens are open space, with specimen trees and avenues of trees. There are, however, more private spaces, such as above here, where Wigandia and yellow Iris fringe a pool.
This is the 'Temple of the Winds' rotunda, built in 1873.
A pollarded tree that caught my eye.
A broad view, above, with one of many glorious Hoop Pines ( Araucaria cunninghamii ) on the right.
While much of Melbourne has changed beyond recognition since my younger days, 'Bishopscourt', the home of the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne, across the road from the Gardens, remains the same as it has for decades: a mercy.
Above, a pair of striking, native Gymea Lilies ( Doryanthes excelsa ).
Fountains humanise a landscape and let us stop, and find peace beside them.
A view of the nearby, splendid St Patrick's Cathedral.
A wonderful gate tower at the entrance to this most august of Melbourne's Catholic churches, in Lansdowne Street, built of our characteristic bluestone.
A lovely white Azalea, sprawling at a side entrance to the Cathedral.
I couldn't resist this, as I wandered to lunch, a vehicle fit for The Thunderbirds' Lady Penelope.*Thankyou, Dave, possibly for a geriatric Lady Penelope.
Nearby, in Burston Reserve, behind the Old Treasury building, is this limpid sculpture, 'Great Petition', by Susan Hewitt and Penelope Lee, representing an 1891 petition presented to parliament "as evidence of support for equal voting rights for women".
I've only got this here because I liked it, a view opposite the sculpture, and looking into the grounds belonging to Parliament House.
And here it is, Victoria's Parliament House, looking like a bastion of propriety, however much its attendees might well do with some re-orientation in nearby gardens...