Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Allure and Hilarity

Dani and Al and I headed into the Hunter Valley’s gorgeous scenery past its Olive Groves, Equestrian Acreage and Vineyards. We had lunch al fresco at the  Bluetongue Brewery with Salty at our side. The weather was perfect as we drove on to the town of Pokolbin and The Hunter Valley Gardens. We prowled around the shops first, one displaying homemade chocolates, a British Candy Store for Dani and I and an incredible beer and wine store for Al. We spent a long time perusing the worldly selection of beverages, their labels and ingredients. We loaded our purchases into the car and began the most remarkable garden experience that I’ve ever had.

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We knew we were in for a treat seeing the sculpture, plaque and amphitheater at Garden’s entrance.

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A teacher figure is surrounded by enthusiastic children at the centre of hundreds of rose bushes and vines with fragrant, ravishing blooms of many colours and varieties both cultivated and wild. One stellar bush was laden with giant roses that were as large as melons! The perfume along the pathways was intoxicating!

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The allure continued as we entered the Formal Gardens that one might find outside a castle or royal          home. Symmetry prevails in the fastidiously trimmed hedges and classically-inspired walkways, fountains and statues.

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Wild horses stood beside one of the many lily ponds throughout the gardens whose edges are filled with amazing water plants that are beginning to turn golden with fall colours.

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   _MG_2630     Al spotted this little owl a few feet away.        

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A cobbled pathway meandered through the Tuscan Gardens which featured Olive Trees and flowerbeds brimming with herbs. The scent of basil, oregano and rosemary conjured up images of antipasto and earthy pasta sauces.

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The Chinese Moongate Garden offered Bamboo, reflective pools and multi-coloured Coy who swam a slow ballet beneath the blue waters.

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Our adventure back to childhood began as we entered Story Book Gardens. Spontaneously, we played!

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And yes, I joined in but those photos are in Dani’s files. We were alone in the garden and just had a crazy time. I can still feel the tickle of belly laughter beginning deep in my stomach when I remember that day!

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As the sun began to descend, we were able to get our demeanor under control before touring the Indian Mosaic Garden. The late day sun painted the gardens with tangerine and mango coloured light.

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Salty was released from his afternoon in the car and charged with jubilation across The Village Green. The sun set across the small lake adjacent to the gardens and the clouds above soaked up pink and from the reflections below. Once again, we had another scenic drive back where we enjoyed home made pizza and a cozy fire.

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