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I am currently planning a trip from Australia to the United Kingdom and Europe and hopefully will have time to share daily events along with photographs of each day’s highlights.
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To mark the publication of Post Number 100, I am sharing 100 flower photographs taken by me in my Past Garden.
ISAIAH chapter 61 verse 11 – For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. (NIV)
Along the wine route of the romantic Palatinate region of Germany sits the sleepy historical town of Neuleiningen, where one has the feeling that time has stood still. It is a place of picturesque quaint houses, numerous flower boxes, centuries old fortified walls, cobbled streets with not a single multi-storied modern construction in sight. Well preserved timber-frame houses (16th/17th century), some with oriel windows, characterise the village centre’s narrow lanes. Many of the buildings have histories reaching back to the Middle Ages
The Pfarrkirche St. Nikolaus was built in the 13th century as a castle chapel at the same time as the castle itself. Neuleiningen belonged until 1969 to the now abolished district of Frankenthal, where my friends live. Perched on the top of a hill (300m above sea level} is an impressive ruined castle built on the model of many French castles in the 1240s. From the castle’s lookout tower one has an outstanding view of the Upper Rhine Plain in the east and the Palatinate Forest’s mountains in the west. Adjacent to the castle is the Alte Pfarrey (“Old Rectory”) which was first recorded in 1524 and today houses a gourmet restaurant and hotel.
After a wonderful afternoon wandering the cobbled streets of Neuleiningen with my German friends we sat to share afternoon tea in the Alte Pfarrey. Although the tables were ready for a reception we were made very welcome. I would have loved to have known what was being said during a conversation in German but there were many smiles and I came away with a gift of apricot jam, preserved from locally grown fruit. It was a very good day.
The Tuileries Palace (Palais des Tuileries) was a royal and imperial palace in Paris which stood on the right bank of the River Seine. It was the usual Parisian residence of most French monarchs, from Henry IV to Napoleon lll, until it was burned by the Paris Commune in 1871. The gardens became a public park and meeting place for Parisians after the French Revolution.
The Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries) is surrounded by the Louvre (to the east), the Seine (to the south), the Place de la Concorde (to the west) and the Rue de Rivoli (to the north).
An Autumn Day
The Tuileries Gardens get their name from the tile factories which previously stood on the site where Queen Catherine de Medici built the Palais des Tuileries in 1564. The gardens, which separate the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, are a cultural walking place for Parisians and tourists where Maillol statues stand alongside those of Rodin or Giacometti.
The Garden covers about 63 acres (25 hectares) and still closely follows a design laid out by the royal landscape architect André Le Nôtre in 1664. His spacious formal garden plan drew out the perspective from the reflecting pools one to the other in an unbroken vista along a central axis from the west façade, which has been extended as the Axe historique (historical axis or triumphal way); a nearly straight path leading from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe to La Défense west of Paris.
The hallmarks of a Le Nôtre garden such as Tuileries, Versailles or Luxembourg gardens are vistas created using mathematical training to deduce the contours of the land in relation to perspective and to follow the architectural lines of a building into its grounds. Le Nôtre also worked for British patrons on Saint James’s Park, Hampton Court, Greenwich Park and Windsor Castle.
Psalm 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. For many years I have had a keen interest in observing the clouds, whatever the weather, especially when looking through the lens of a camera, and over that period have taken a series of photographs from the window overlooking my back garden. When I moved to my current home 10 years ago there were 3 Alder trees in my small back yard and I enjoyed their fine foliage and the structure they brought to the garden even though they were not growing in a climate to which they were suited. (Alder is the common name of a genus of flowering plants belonging to the birch family).
Living in the driest State in Australia should determine the plant choice when establishing a garden. The Alders had been here for many years but after a year of serious drought (and possibly their age) they had to be removed.
A sad day
I planted three Manchurian Pears at my back fence and they now bring afternoon shade to the back windows, from which I take the photographs.
Before the lightning
Genesis 9:16 – Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.
The Clare Valley is an area in which to enjoy an amazing mix of rich heritage and breathtaking scenery, with great food and wine experiences – a series of memorable moments. Driving time from Adelaide, capital city of South Australia, is around 100 minutes (not allowing for stops for photo opportunities).
One does not necessarily need to be a wine lover to thoroughly enjoy all that this area has to offer. During the recent visit to Adelaide of my friend from Switzerland we had an overnight stay in Clare and were able to visit several of the 30 + Cellar Doors. Many of the properties are quite historic and the well-manicured gardens sit beautifully into the hillsides with the green leafy vines extending in all directions.
The photographs I share here were taken at Skillagolee where we enjoyed a scrumptious Brunch.
There were wines to be tasted in many places so we had to leave this area of beauty and relaxation and move to our next stop which was at Sevenhill Cellars, established by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1851. It is the oldest winery in South Australia’s Clare Valley and the only remaining Jesuit-owned winery in Australia. This is a place of rich heritage and there is a walking trail (with map) with information along the way. The religious buildings are surrounded by vineyards and a lovely shaded lawn area, perfect for picnics and a place to relax. A step back in history.
We were now heading South but called at two more wineries along the way –
The little town of Mintaro was our next stop when we came upon a “GARDEN”sign. We soon found Mintaro Garden Rooms where we meandered along the pathways through the various rooms with creative features and fragrances. The garden was established in 1995 and was developed from a bare paddock and 3 existing trees. The whole area is reliant on water from the River Murray with a permit to irrigate and there is also an on-site bore. The average rainfall is 550mls and the earth is red/brown over hard limestone. Beds are heavily mulched with leaf litter and pea straw and the fertile soil is regularly fertilised. The bird life is plentiful. A delightful place to take time out.
Last stop for the day was at Reilly’s Cellar Door in Mintaro where we enjoyed the best scones ever.
I was the driver for this excursion so not able to comment on the wines but those with discerning taste buds were making favourable comments and packing bottles into cars before leaving.
BURSARIA SPINOSA is a small shrub in the family Pittosporaceae. The species occurs mainly in the eastern and southern half of Australia and not in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. It is widespread throughout South Australia, the State in which I live. It has brown bark and dark green leaves. The fragrant white-cream flowers adorning the tips of the branches drew my attention when walking recently in the Laratinga Wetlands in Mount Barker. They are prolific in that area in roadside vegetation where the flowers are quite showy as they blanket the bushes.
NEW ZEALAND CHRISTMAS TREE isa coastal evergreen tree in the myrtle family that produces a brilliant display of red (or occasionally orange, yellow or white) flowers made up of a mass of stamens. Renowned for its vibrant colour and its ability to survive even perched on rocky, precarious cliffs, it has found an important place in the New Zealand culture for its strength and beauty. The blossom of the tree is called kahika.
Beautiful specimens are currently in flower along the south coast of South Australia and the one photographed is at Horseshoe Bay, Port Elliot, South Australia.