It was a bit of an effort to trudge to handsome Kyneton ( an hour away on the train from Melbourne ) today, but I wanted to see its Botanic Gardens again.
If it wasn't for a fear of falling asleep and a cold air that stopped the circulation in my fingers, I would have readily lain here.
First landscaped in 1866, the nine hectares of gardens abut the Campaspe River, which river could do with some serious restoration, so I haven't shown it here. There are numerous oaks, including three cork oaks ( Quercus suber ), pines, firs, Araucarias, things I was too tired to jot down and a Chilean Wine Palm ( Jubaea chilensis ), "listed on the register of significant trees of Victoria". And these, of course, these aloes and grasses.
It being the end of autumn, rare bright colours such as in these Kniphofia and in this splash of Gingko leaves, lift the senses of the weary photographer/onlooker.
If life were a fairy tale I might easily take requisition of this tiny cottage and roam the surrounding grounds as if they were my own domain. I didn't see any bears, wolves or carriages or pumpkins or bowls of what would have been welcome porridge, but there were plenty of magpies here.
Scruffy around its edges, many of its trees dishevelled and with an alarming number of clunky cement picnic tables ( unshown ), the gardens nonetheless open their arms to the visitor and possess delightful quirks:
a rose garden,
with its lovely, rusted iron frames.
A twist and a wave.
More aloes, soldiers standing to attention.
Palms, though this wasn't a balmy day and I almost longed for a fur coat, but I dislike the means by which fur coats are got, so thin clothes and wet boots had to be borne.
I guess I can pretend I'm in the Mediterranean.
Not that the above in situ shack could be called a villa. I've no idea what it's doing here but it's a rather gorgeous bit of another age -
- though this, this Wollemi Pine ( Wollemia nobilis ) is far more ancient, by lineage. Planted by "Neil, the Baron von Hoelloenzon and his brother Grafling Barrington von Hirt, relatives of Baron Ferdinand von Mueller ( the guiding spirit behind the design of the gardens )" on 6th of April, 2008, "to commemorate 150 years of the Kyneton Botanic Gardens".
I staggered on, after lunch, out of here, into the township.
The bluestone has been quarried locally. Should I now move out of the cottage in the Gardens, and slip into a more respectable life here?
Or here? A sort of 1920s French-inspired Aussie thing. I love it.
But I probably love this most of all, "Catherineville", built in 1872. I continued walking, my feet dragging slightly -
- to stop here, at St Paul's Anglican Church, where a friendly local turned around and talked to me, one of the reasons I love these train trips out of Melbourne. See the turquoise glass. Isn't it wonderful?
I returned to the Botanic Gardens, with enough puff left for a quick walk. It's colder here than in Melbourne, so moss and lichen take hold...
...as everything I've seen has taken hold, leading me, however tired, to new and old outlooks, neither of which I could live without.