This weekend was a long weekend in the state of Victoria because today was Labour Day. I'm not sure what that is but to whoever Mr or Mrs Labour is that we have a day off work named after them, I thank you.
Yesterday afternoon whilst perusing the Instagram, I came across a photo of beautiful flowers labeled #ballaratbegoniafestival.
Ballarat is only an hour west-ish from Melbourne. I googled this thing and hurriedly smashed a text message off to the Bear declaring, "How is it there is a huge flower festival near Melbourne this weekend and I didn't go!" Then followed by at least 5 emoticons of a crying face. And maybe a flower.
Bless his furry little heart because just as I had written off the weekend and thought I was going to spend to day doing laundry, he said we should go the next day. Today!
I took a million photos. This blog post has approximately half a million.
|The Bear drove, I crocheted. A match made in heaven! *yes, this is one of my hands. it does not belong to a man, just a former horticulturist.|
The Ballarat Begonia Festival is held in the Ballarat Botancial Gardens on the banks of Lake Wendouree. In the era known affectionately as my 'yoof' (youth), I trained as a horticulturist.
I walked away from working in that industry as the income was little more than that of a supermarket checkout chick and years of sun exposure rendered many of my female work colleagues looking older than their grandmothers. Being the vain little thing I was in my mid twenties, I desired a decent income and a life of skin cancer avoidance. However I will still completely Geek Out In botanical gardens, floriades, florists, garden festivals and anywhere near large trees. Like this one...
|Sequioadendron giganteum. AKA The Sienna Redwood. Isn't she beautiful? I have had that Woody Guthrie tune buzzing around in my head all day!|
There was an avenue with bronze busts of all the former Australian prime ministers. Adorned with floral wreaths for the festival!
|Kevin Rudd aka Kevin 07, aka smiles for the camera and acts super friendly but was known to be a raging cranky Napoleon to his staffers behind closed doors. Also known for dropping loads of F-bombs....|
|Lovely Julia. The abuse she copped has possibly guaranteed no female will want to be prime minister for at least another 200 years.|
|Good Old Bob Menzies. I used to use the Menzies library a lot when I studied at the Australian National University in Canberra. It was haunted. Maybe by Menzies.|
|Dear Harold Holt. He walked into the sea and never walked out. Then they named a swimming pool after him. Because #australiahasasicksenseofhumour|
|Another PM who has a suburb somewhere named after him....|
|And little Johnny Howard...|
|The great Cunning Linguist (he would appreciate that), Paul Keating.|
|The garden beds were filled with the most amazing dahlias. This one is as big as my head!|
|A bed of Fragrant Plum roses.|
So if this is a Begonia Festival, where are the begonias????
See that big glasshouse past the statue of Wallis?
Let's go inside!
|A lego umbrella!|
|A beautiful mermaid in the very very large sandpit play area.|
|Because in Australia, kangaroos are everywhere.|
|There was exactly 10 lego sculptures hidden around the gardens as a part of a treasure hunt/ competition to win a cruise. It was actually quite fun.|
BUT just on the outskirts of Ballarat we saw the signs to the Ballarat Mill Market. I have already visited the one in Daylesford and Geelong. These markets are huge antique and old wares emporiums...
|This place is so huge and has so much stuff, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Just as well theres a café inside to rest your overwhelmed eyeballs!|
|Um, excuse me Sir. Have you seen a US version of Desolation Boulevard by Sweet around here anywhere? Or a budgie vase?|
|All of the anodized bickies tins and ALL of the pyrex.|
What a fun day! Thanks for visiting!
What did you get up to this weekend?
The Red Haired Amazona