Australia, Gardening

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

If you have stopped here for information on the Carnival, you may be disappointed. I missed the Carnival of Flowers itself, so there are no pictures of the annual parade, but what I did see is stunning floral displays that are the dominant feature of this event in Toowoomba, a large country town, about an hour’s drive west of Brisbane, Australia. I arrived two days after the festival officially concluded. By the looks of the displays, the flowers are quite oblivious of the carnival’s end date.

The city of Toowoomba sits atop a mountain range and is blessed with cooler temperatures and rich volcanic soil, perfect for horticulture. The major horticultural event, The Carnival of Flowers, draws thousands of visitors to the city’s generous parks and gardens.

Whilst the historically wealthy country town has monolithic bluestone churches, funky alleys and quirky street art, it is the stunning floral display in late September that draws most of the region’s visitors.

Laurel Bank Park

Amongst neat and tidy lawns and prolific flower beds at Laurel Bank Park, on Hill Street, you will find plenty of seating for those who need a rest from taking a multitude of floral camera shots that one is apt to do given the spectacular displays.

Displays of Tulips, Poppies, Foxgloves and Hollyhocks take me back to memories of Denmark or The Netherlands, albeit without the rainy weather.

This is Australia, remember. The continent where it forgot how to rain!

Like many parts of Australia, Toowoomba has experienced, for many years, a severe water shortage. This has resulted in the Gardeners, at Laurel Bank Park, adopting stringent water-saving strategies and switching to growing more water-tolerant plants in order to maintain the floral displays to the expected standard. It seems that they have succeeded in their quest.

Topiary elephants, seals and the Leaning Tower of Pisa add a fantasy element to the gardens. Can you guess what this topiary represents? It is rather Australian and Danish!

Toowoomba Botanic Gardens

Cherry Blossoms line the Toowoomba Botanic Garden’s at Queens Park. The entry path offers the visitor a visual explosion of multi-coloured Ranunculus, inviting you to explore more of the gardens. The pathway then opens to rows and rows of flowering beds with daisies, violets and pansies.

It seems one lonely tulip bulb missed the memo.

Snapped at the right, or perhaps, the wrong moment. Street photography in Toowoomba can be surprising.

I have so many questions about the man’s pickle. Not a sign of a picnic basket or lunch box anywhere. Where was he keeping it? So random and fun!

There is so much our country towns can offer us. We only have to look closer, before lamenting we can not travel outside our own borders. This is another of the country towns that offer unique experiences, similar to Amandine Lavender farm at Bargara, near Bundaberg, which I posted about recently.

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Community, Gardening, Painting, Photography, Traditional Art

Friendly Friday Challenge – Art Unexpected

Sandy over at The Sandy Chronicles, is hosting this week’s Friendly Friday photo challenge and the theme was so tempting, I had to showcase some of my unexpected artsy photographs.

Art can be cathartic, fun, controversial or just a bit hard to understand.

From a pumpkin photobombing in Japan,

  • to the wilds of Australia’s farming communities
mailbox donkey
The Donkey mail
  • Some old photos and some new.
Oops, nearly lost it.
  • A Trick of the eye or a slight of hand

What do you think?

  • Lastly, our Kiwi cousins have a fun sense of humour. Especially if you are a gardener in Wellington.
hidden art

Thanks Sandy for a fun prompt. Are you joining in too?

See you here next week for the new Friendly Friday prompt for Something to Ponder About.

jacaranda tree in bloom
Community, Gardening, Photography

Photo Challenge – Remastered

The Friendly Friday Photo Challenge will soon begin again at Something to Ponder About and Sandy L’s The Sandy Chronicles. As such, I am reviewing some of my older photography posts and came across this one.

This pic that was part of Sally’s Phoneography Challenge in years gone by.

Would I change anything?

No – I still like this photo. In particular, the fine hairs on the petals of this Jacaranda flower.

jacaranda flower

The phoneography challenge was the brainchild of Sally at Lens and Pens and each week has a different theme and tip for improving your phoneography.  I changed the angle of the light for this photo after photographing it on a previous day. It is a Jacaranda flower that flowers here generally in November.

Sally’s Tip for Macro Photography: Here is a quick tip that will benefit you as you explore the world of macrophotography. Be ultra aware of light flow as you take your subject with your device. Turn off your flash to minimize shadows: determine if that allows for a better image. Try to use natural light, which is my favorite setting.

 

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Australia, Community, Gardening

Unusual

My friend has an uncanny ability to find unusual objects hitherto unseen, in my photos.

In a old photo of me in a forest she found a small, fairy-like nymph hidden in the foliage.

In a street photo in a country town, she found a reflection of a soldier in a shop window – No soldiers were visible anywhere nearby at the time at which the photo was taken!!

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So naturally on a photo of steam rising after a heavy night fog, she saw…..well what do you see?

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Is it really so unusual?
Something weird and Unusual to Ponder About.

Ethereal
Community, Gardening

CFFC- Blue and Purple Flowers

This photo challenge spoke to me, and after a quick flick through my media library, I realize they do attract my attention wherever I am!

I hope these images give your eyes Something beautiful to Ponder About

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In my garden

Ethereal Water Lilly
Noosa, Australia

 

Blue and Purple Flowers that I have in my garden and seen on my travels in New Zealand, Australia, Italy and Norway.

[Click on the individual image for a link to the media file]

More details  from Cee’s page here

 

Gardening

Phoneography and Non SLR Digital Photo Challenge- Challenger’s Choice (Gooseberry)

I have been manipulating a few pics in the effects icon on my Nexus 4 phone camera of the first Cape Gooseberry in my vege garden. I used Moldiv camera app to create the collage. I gooseberryRe- posting a B& W photo of the same gooseberry but this one was manipulated with the selective tuning. I like that it looked like it was levitating!

Cape gooseberryPhoneography is something I am always pondering about.

Join in with Sally’s fun challenge and see her fantastic photos posted there.

 

Gardening

Travel Theme: Green

TRAVEL broadens the mind

Rainforest green
Rainforest green

More about the travel theme at Ailsa’s Where’s my Backpack

Other entries:

http://nwframeofmind.com/2013/03/15/travel-theme-green/

http://travelmoments.net/2013/03/15/travel-theme-green/

http://drieskewrites.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/travel-theme-green/

http://rfljenksy.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/monsoon-green-nepal/comment-page-1/#comment-3420

Something to Ponder About

Gardening

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Fire/Summer

Hellesylt, Norway

Although I am in the throws of winter in the southern hemisphere, I have just been holidaying in the far north, and enjoying early and midsummer in Norway. Here is my interpretation of the foto challenge from Cee.

Another photo of these gorgeous blooms is found here

The background is just as nice!

Summer and Poppies: Something to Ponder About

Leaves with water drop
Australia, Gardening

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Leaves and Trees

A favourite photographic subject of mine. Everyone in the Northern hemisphere is looking to the Spring, however, being me, I just HAD to include at least one winter tree photograph, or two, for Cee’s Challenge.

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Beach Grass, Caloundra

 

Trees6
New Zealand, North Island

 

Birch in Snow
Swedish Birch in Snow

 

 

Noosa
Noosa National Park

Part 7 - Munich to Salzburg Nov 29, 2011

Vejen, Denmark
Vejen, Denmark

Look at this amazing tree, complete with its own squirrel!
Look at this amazing tree, complete with its own squirrel!

Sunshine Coast
A tunnel of trees, Sunshine Coast

 

 

Springbrook National Park
Springbrook National Park

springbrook
Waringa Pool, Springbrook

 

Skellefteå
Skellefteå

 

More here:

cees-fun-foto

http://irisgreenwald.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/cees-fun-foto-challenge-leaves-and-trees/

Something for the shutterbugs to ponder about

Gardening

Proverbial Thursday – Proverbs from around the World

I find profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and marvel at the way they can be so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and across cultures, and speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes like proverbs, can make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought provoking.  I hope you will too.

 

Happiness is when what you think, what you say,Singapore orchid
and what you do are in harmony.”
―Mahatma Gandhi

 

“A donkey carrying a pile of holy books is still a donkey.” – Zen Proverb

 
Something to Ponder about