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.