Busy week, but a good week. Last night we went out to dinner at Tin Cat Cafe in Kent Town, with a largish group of friends. I wore this wardrobe stalwart - you can never have too much sparkle in your life (old pic, I wore my hair down. I outfit repeat all the time).
And ate this delicious fig and blue cheese and walnut salad for an entree.
And laughed and laughed so hard that I cried. We have some very funny friends, and there is nothing better than uncontrolled laughter to make your troubles disappear.
No action on the renovation this week - we are awaiting the concrete crew, who have been held up on another job apparently.
On Friday, I went on a Garden Tour to two gardens in the Adelaide Hills with my friend A, the first being in Stirling. It was the most glorious day, 27C and blue skies, perfect for a stroll around two absolutely stunning gardens. The first garden in Stirling was established in 1885, but was quite neglected until recently when the current owners began a programme of restoration 10 years ago. It's on a hill, as many gardens in Stirling are, with difficult soil according to its owner, but they have still managed to achieve an enviable result.
Maples, Cedars and Conifers, Rhododendrons and Camellias and beautiful garden features
Such as this Gazebo below, which was the first flat pack Gazebo ever sent to Australia, back in 1885 and now heritage listed. It was lovely. The owners use this for BBQ's with a large table and chairs. Lots of windy paths and little bridges over the creek led to a Japanese Tea House (the Victorian, inauthentic folly like version of one), a croquet lawn, a pond and a peacock house.
We then went a little further on in the Adelaide Hills to our next destination, the little town of Balhannah. The second garden is more recent, created by the current owner from scratch over the past 22 years and recently featured in the beautiful book "Rural Australian Gardens".
It's quite different in style from the garden in Stirling, with a very large and beautiful Rose garden all bordered by Box Hedges, an Orchard, and an enviable Vegetable garden.
We ate lunch on the lawns than run below the house in dappled sunlight. Loved the little pots of pansies wrapped in hessian as centrepieces.
Clive Blazey, the founder of the Diggers Club (Australia's version of Seedsavers, founded in 1978) gave a very interesting talk during lunch about the way in which gardening has evolved since they started Diggers. Diggers magazine was the first to promote Cottage Gardening as a style in Australia (until then it had been petunias and pansies at ankle height he recalled), and the club has now grown into an absolutely massive operation from its very humble beginnings. Diggers recently took over running the shop at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, and he said that they aim to achieve the high standards that the Royal Horticultural Society in England achieves, with quality publications and garden related products, as well as the heritage seeds that are the mainstay of their business. He also spoke a little about genetic modification of plants, and the way in which "terminator"genes are applied so that farmers can't take seeds from their crop to re-sow the following year, and the impact of this on poor countries where saving seed and reusing it is crucial. All very interesting.
The Vegetable Garden
Pot scarecrow man
After that we wandered around the garden some more - I loved this table and chairs, perched on the top of the hill and overlooking the rolling hills beyond (and you can see what a dry Summer we have had).
Perfect rosemary hedges
After that it was back to reality with a thud as I surveyed my rather dismal and small garden upon my return home. Lots of work to do!
Hope you all had a great week too xx
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