Saturday, August 31, 2013

Madly, in Geelong

It's here, beside this assemblage of white clay thrown with classical references before a host of discordant plant-forms, that I find I have got myself to, in the Geelong Botanic Gardens.
In amongst the Aloes and horrible Cacti ( I love them, mind you ), the several acres of outlying parkland, the bit of a tea-room and the lusciously shady mini rainforests and all the respectable statuary, the exquisitely-kept Victorian tidiness, the wonderfully brave southern hemisphere plantings, I was left with just enough time to linger under the timelessness of a ridiculously early spring day. 
I am struck by the Fan Aloe ( Aloe plicatilis ) waving its fingers and its hair all over the place,
and some gymnastic Gymea  lily ( Doryanthes excelsa ), big, bold and leaning out.
All of my photos, thanks to my lack of photographic skill, got bled of life, as maybe I did. Oh what would I do to have got here in a car, or even a limousine, with a. picnic basket. But I am a poor man and so the train is what I take -
 - with a stunning spectrum of personalities, all of them also booked on this particular transit, from out of Melbourne, in any number of the seats around me. A view to die for, no, but I began to breathe more easily.
You approach Geelong Botanic Gardens via scruffy Eastern Park, where Eucalypts like these, and any other number of other trees, stand tall. I like that it's got an unplanned look.
Out around the other side, where new works are going on, you know you're not in an urban landscape.
The new plantings take my breath away, so brave they are against the traditional.
I found a cooling banana and a place to sit,
and a place to hide.
Here it is as you look out across towards the Gardens, with the sea to your left, glistening as it did this day.
And here, a look into the gardens, where a whole lot of development is taking place, beyond the rough-hewn bits of fence.
And here, madly, he who hoped to transmit an idea of a most beautiful garden, both its 2002 reincarnation, and its mid-19th century establishment, is simply propping before you his favourite house in the vicinity, without any idea as to its garden, a ghostly place. What a long journey it all was then, to get back to my little doggy to get un-mad.


  1. Not the kind of botanical gardens I am used to.

    You may not be a rich man but you are rich in enthusiasm and spirit, with eyes to see and a voice to speak. (well, fingers to tap a keyboard)

  2. Well, thank you me English gardens are a sort of richly smooth embodiment of colour and form - abundant, glorious, showy. Here we deal with tougher conditions, with absences, stricture and with sudden assault.
    I hope to be able to find the good wherever I go, and it's with encouragement such as yours that I'm privileged to do so.

  3. dear Faisal, I love train travel, but one of the disadvantages is that your canine love can't accompany you on it. Not unless you hide her. And then you'd probably have to tranquilize her. So it's probably all for the best you left Zara at home. Hope she and you have recovered from the separation. I love Geelong Bot Gdns. too, and enjoyed the way you described your day.

  4. Zara may well need tranquilizing at some stage Sue, especially given her conduct out in public where she is prone to yapping furiously at any other dog she sees. And she was such a shy little thing when I got her...
    Life's been a bit wacky lately, so I'm glad there are people out there who can get something out of my sometimes offbeat posts.
    I want to go to Little River next. Have you ever been there?

    1. No, so I look forward to going virtually via your post.