Thursday, February 22, 2018

Back roads of East Trentham

Decided to go for a drive in our latest's plaything - an MG 2003 TF. Had the iPhone in the car playing Spotify via bluetooth - Modern cars do have benefits.
The new toy

I discovered a few new roads in Trentham and some interesting architecture. You never get tired of the surroundings in the Central Highlands.

Lisieux until recent times was a B&B but now is a family home. I pass by this property on my morning rides. 1849 dates this property before the gold rush era of Victoria.

Once a church in Fernhill, today it is a private home. Every St Patrick's day there is a march from here to the Pig and Whistle pub just up the road at East Treantham. Naturally its an Irish pub with Guinness on tap.

I have no idea of this corrugated iron house in East Trentham but once I know, I'll let you know.

Again in East Trentham is this small timber hut. I imagine it was one of the many potato grower's huts that seem to expose themselves when you just happen to take notice.
Next Sunday we are off to a classic car show which is our "Pebble Beach". All the state car club will have their cars on display. We'll bring you some of the finest examples next post.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Over the many years Sue and I've had several pets or more appropriately, additional members of the family. When we first met, Sue had Ella the cat, then came Che the Lab/Shepherd cross.
Another dog arrived in the shape of a beagle. The three, Che, Mac and Ella would lay in front of the fire in winter on their communal rug.

Ella passed away at good age and two cats arrived however one we believe may have been stolen (Burmese) and the other ventured to far from home to the highway - buff said!

Che had a good life but Mac the beagle was lonely and so we eventually decided he needed another friend. Murphy was an Irish Wolfhound and the most delightful and loving big bloke you would ever want to meet. With two dogs in the family, Sue started pining for another cat but it had to be Burmese.

We went to a breeder in Richmond with our son Mitchell. It was a good thing we took Mitch as he actually made the choice or maybe one of the kittens chose him. Our little Burmese was with us almost 21 years. She ruled the two dogs with an iron paw. Gem outlived both Murphy, Mac and another moggy by the name of Rosie. It was only last year Gem passed away and we decided not to replace her now that we live in the country.

Well!!!, that didn't last long as Sue was researching breeders and came across a recommended breeder on the Bellarine Peninsula. We went to visit her and the new litter. The Breeder took us around the garden and we seemed to talk for ages but on reflection, I think we were being considered as worthy "parents". We passed the test.

Sue was concerned how she would pick from the litter and remembering that Gem chose us, I told her it would be the same - the right kitten would choose her. How right was I?
After handling the kittens, one crawled up onto Sue and snuggled into her shoulder with her head under her hair - BINGO.

Her name is Lily - she's still a smuggler and has endeared herself to us as a member of our family.
Until I build and outside cat run, she remains an indoor cat. Living in the country we believe we have a responsibility to maintain her safety and the lives of the native fauna.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A HOUSE that became a HOME.

Last post showed our garden as it is today - it made me follow up on what the property looked like during the build during the winter of 2016. We took the keys 3 days before Christmas so that's 14 months ago. I reckon we haven't done too bad in the scheme of things, particularly since its been mainly our own work except for the major part of bringing in the gravel and soil.

Our next post, we hope to introduce you to the new member of our family - her name is Lily.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


I never thought of myself as gardener but since retirement and moving into a new home in Trentham, the desire to improve our surroundings has become a bit of a passion. Sue of course finds it difficult to do the physical stuff but she's the expert supervisor. Having said that I do tend to rush off to the nursery to purchase plants the "I" tend to like without consultation with the "Supervisor".

We also have had some great advice from one of our neighbours, Wendy who is an avid gardener. Trentham also has a gardening group and our local nursery has been helpful with advice on the best plants for our climate. Being situated at 700m above sea level we are part of "the Cool Country" and yet we have had a few high 30 to 40 degree days. This summer we've had to keep the water up to the garden and fortunately its survived very well.

This post is to show where we are at after 14 months since moving in to the house. The hard part was shifting the left over builder's rubble, and then getting top soil in, laying gravel drive and pathways.
Then came the satisfying project of building our gardens and seeing them grow.

Recently we had an arbor built - at the base we planted climbing roses that we hope will eventually soften the structure with green, creamy white and pink.
When we first moved in, this area was a mass of builder's rubble and uneven ground.

Just outside our dining room window we've planted a cottage garden that now has got wild. It's a mass of Cosmos, Bluebells, Lavender and Iris amongst other plants that this newborn gardener has no idea of their names. BUT, gosh they all look great.

I've personally loved fern gardens and I found a spot that survives under a cover of several overhanging trees. There's tree ferns with baby tear growing around their base, smaller birds nest ferns and several ground cover plants amongst the mulched garden bed.
A grave path leads you to the fernery and I hope in time that some of the ground cover with border the path and give it a softness.

As we emerge from the fernery, the gravel path takes us to what we call, the maple walk where we have planted four maple trees and to the very left along the fence line we are planting a rosemary hedge.

At the front of the house, we've set-up a little sitting area. This area faces the house with our cypress hedge behind it. The hedge gives us total privacy. Either side of the garden seat are two potted olive trees. The elysium has gone rampant as have the petunias and some cosmos are sprouting delicate white flowers. We are very please with the way this small feature has progressed.

Currently I'm working on the laundry side of the house with the planting of more ground cover plants to grow among gravel pathways I have laid. Most probably we'll add some potted shrubs/trees to add height. This side of the house gets full morning sun so the plants should grow well with TLC.

Another future project is a combined one with my son who has been a wonderful help with the garden. He wants to add a personal vineyard of pinot noir and chardonnay which should grow well in this cool climate.

I wonder where we will be in another twelve months!

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Down the Track a Little

MUSK is a hamlet no more than 15 kms from Trentham. 
The railway up until 1974 ran from Daylesford thru Musk, Lyonville also stopping at Trentham and Fern Hill on its way to meet the main line to Melbourne.
Today its a tourist train stopping at Bullarto just pass Musk and returns to Daylesford.

We must try it one day.