How to Relax Under a Fairies Tree

Australia #16 Fitzroy Gardens and the Fairies Tree

Relax? Are you kidding? Life gets hectic surrounded by five million people, the population of Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. That might make someone like me from a town of 7,000 feel somewhat claustrophobic. Since 1848 Melbourne has found a way of calming its visitors and residents alike. Come with Carol and me through Fitzroy Gardens and relax.

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Fairy Tree in Fitzroy Gardens

Carol and I found one of the secrets in Fitzroy Gardens in East Melbourne. Wide paved pathways lead to the Fairies Tree and the Model Tudor Village.

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Relax, you got credit for this, OLA.

Ola Cohn carved the Fairies Tree and dedicated it to the children of Melbourne. One mother complained on Trip Advisor that it was not worth the walk with a baby in a tram. She missed the idea.

Relax? Did you see that giant spider web?
Playful artwork

Young mothers like Tram Mom may have lost the skill of relaxing and enjoying an afternoon of imagination. What conversations she could have had with Tram Baby about a bear that stood no larger than a bird. Did he shrink? He looks fearful.

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Relax, you can’t fall off the web. Bird’s got your back!

Imagine this!

Fairies, full of energy, climb and play on the branches of the giant web. Some practiced their gymnastics while others cuddled the fuzzy spider. Children, surrounded by onlooking adults, imitate the fairies and practice their gymnastics on the lawn. Applause breaks out.

I picture Creative Mum and five-year-old Frannie with books and writing materials spreading out a blanket near the tree. Creative Mum opens an insulated lunch bag. Slowly she pulls out a sandwich made with magic peanut butter spread on raisin bread with a banana face dusted with a light coating of powdered fairy dust.

“I brought your favorite a fairy catching sandwich,” she says as she takes it out.

Frannie squeals, jumps up and down, spins around, and runs over to the fairies to tell them.

“Come sit down,” Mum calls out laughing.

“The fairies want a bite of the magic peanut butter.”

“Yes, they do, and they will sneak over and grab your sandwich if you are not careful.”

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Relax, Eagle has the peanut butter kid under control

Frannie plopped onto the plaid blanket and lay on her belly propped up on her elbows. She looked at the fairies clamoring for her attention.

“You want some of this, you sneaky fairies? You can’t have my magic sandwich. It will make me fly like you.”

She glanced down at her peanut butter and banana sandwich. She dipped her finger in peanut butter and held it up for the fairies to lick off her. Then she rolled over and giggled as she stuck her gooey digit into her mouth. The fairies still clamored, so Frannie teased them again.

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Relax Teddy. Some sweet kid will fall in love with you.

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On the other side of the tree, Tram Mom’s baby reached out to the bear. The tree bear wanted to ride along. Tram Baby looked up at Tram Mom and whimpered. Tram Mom angrily pushed the Tram away from the tree.

“No, you can’t have that bear. Here, play with your teddy. Let’s go.”

Tram Mom did not realize that the tree gave HER a reason to relax and build some memories and wonder in her children.

Ola would have been grieved to hear Tram Mom’s grumpy tirade.

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Clamoring characters vie for children’s attention.

“A long time ago,” Mum told Frannie, “the fairies might have jumped off the tree onto your sketch pad.”

When you were my age, Mum?”

“No, no, fairies are ancient forest creatures, older than the animals, and much older than I. They would dance on your paper making beautiful designs.”

“I can do that for them, Mum!”

“Yes you can, and we can show Dad and Eric what happened when they come home for dinner tonight.

Frannie leans against her mother and doodling. Creative Mom bends forward and whispers. Frannie looks up, and giggles then gets back to her task.

Several pages go by with many shared secrets and muffled laughter. Finally, Frannie says, “I’m done! Dad and Eric will be so excited to read it.”

“I think the fairies enjoyed it too. Can you hear them buzzing?”

Frannie sits quietly and purses her lips together as she listens.

“Yes!”

Together Creative Mum and Frannie pack up their lunch and go home to make finishing touches to the fairy story.

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It’s easy to relax if your guardian angel

The day Carol and I visited Fitzroy Gardens there were more fairies than people.The sun beat down on us. We did not have a blanket with us, nor a cute five-year-old with a peanut butter face.

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Carved Mom and fairies shield their eyes from the sun.

I Admit to Being Somewhat Tram Momish

By the time we finished taking photos, it was past noon, or at least 10:30. Since confession is good for the soul, I’ll tell you that I was a little out of sorts after walking for quite a while in the heat. We were both thirsty. Like the little red fox who got his fat tummy caught inside the tree, I wondered if I would faint from starvation. I’d had nothing to eat since my Tim Tam’s that morning.

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My imagination cried out for a break. Fortunately, there was a little restaurant with air-con a few steps away from the Fairies Tree. We trudged past the Model Tudor village giving it little more than a cursory glance on the way up the hill to the Pavilion Cafe.

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Model Tudor Village in Fitzroy Gardens

We both ordered an iced coffee and relaxed enjoying the pictures of the fairies tree on our digital phones. Carol quickly Instagrammed her photos. I sat patiently trolling my fingers on the table and waited.

I couldn’t post until I had internet service at the Air B & B to show my pictures on Facebook through my computer, the old-fashioned way. By that time my hubby, Vince had already liked her beautiful pictures. So I treasured them until now.

If you have a chance to wander the pathways of Fitzroy Gardens, take your camera, books, paper, crayons, and blanket and stay a while. Let the fairies do their magic before you leave. Just a word of caution, take sunscreen, cold drinks, and maybe hard candy from Ballarat or some nuts. Those fairies like to eat! And they are sneaky!

Enjoy more trails and paths by clicking on these two Photo Challenges, Jo’s Monday Walks and Cee’s Which Way Challenge.

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Oh no! There’s a Turkey in Your Garden

May Dreams Gardens #15 Australia

If you miss Ballarat, you miss Australia. Forget Sydney. Sovereign Hill went down in history and stayed there. Like going to Colonial Williamsburg, VA in the United States, or Mackinaw Island, MI or Columbia, CA visitors step back in time when they walk the city’s streets.

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Sovereign Hill living the dream, steeped in Australian Gold Rush history.

“Oh my dear man, would you care to tour my garden?”

How could he refuse such an offer?

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Peek-a-boo We have a guest. Let’s hide.

Guests are easy to spot. They dress funny.

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Keep looking up.

How delicate the tiny petals looked, so romantic.

“These  would look lovely in a bouquet on the table for tea, would they not?”

“Perfect like you, my dear.”

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What’s that?

“Are those flowers moving. There’s not a wee bit of air moving.”

“Indeed, I do not feel anything but the scorching sun. I’m wearing my coolest dress today.”

“It flatters you, dear woman.”

“And are you keeping cool in your dapper black?”

“I’m not fussed about this suit.”

“Don’t get your knickers in a knot, my dear. We’ll have a spot of tea, straight way.”

garden turkey
These look like basil and azalea to me, but what do you think, Carol or Carol?

“What do you think of these muted colors, dear man?”

“Most muted, yes indeed. Most muted.”

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There’s the culprit.

“There, I saw it again. A bit too much movement.”

“Ah, it’s nothing to rot your socks, sir. It is simply my turkey. He wanders the garden looking for a shady spot.

“I think I’d like to join him.”

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I’m quite beautiful, don’t you think?

“Let’s get you to the porch for a lot of iced tea and maybe Sarah has baked some meat pies and pavlova.”

“That sounds lovely. It sounds like you have everything all sorted. Good on ya.”

“Thank you my dear. We’re in a good posi here on the veranda, don’t you think?”

“I’m enjoying shade and my lot of tea. Thanks for inviting me in to see your garden, and the surprise turkey.”

“It’s been my pleasure, sir.”

garden turkey

Have a lovely Sunday, and don’t forget to visit Carol and her May Gardens.

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May Gardens in January from Victoria, Australia

May Dreams Gardens #14 Australia

The weeds are growing well in March in the Ingrao’s California household. Instead, we’ll take another peek into the summer beauty in Australia this January.

purple Australian flowers i
Melbourne agapanthus

In my brief experience when bloggers travel together, there is a great deal of serious alone time. Either Carol or I had wandered off engrossed in our own photo taking. When I looked up, she had her nose buried in the purple flowers above.

“These are one of my favorites,” she said. “Here’s a picture Leanne just posted on Instagram.”

Even if I could have gotten Instagram on my phone without costing $1,000 a minute, I probably would not have had better timing. Leanne had posted a picture much like what we were seeing. She picked a bud for her photo subject. So we looked for a bud and tried to duplicate her efforts.

purple Australian flowers
First agapanthus bud composition

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That was not impressive because the wrong part of the plant blurred out.

purple Australian flowers
So I tried it again only closer.

It got worse when I enlarged it! I can’t do manual focus! You can see that the greenery is lovely.

This beauty came from Ballarat, I think. I’ve taken my pictures out of context because I grouped them by purple. Don’t ask me why or what this is. Read Carol’s comments if you want precision. She has an encyclopedia-brain. Mine bee a bit fuzzy!

purple Australian flowers
Look closely at Mr. Buzz. He’s immersed his food.

Notice that Mr. Buzz has pollen all over his face and legs. He reminds me of an 18-month-old boy eating chocolate cake. Enjoyment personified.

purple Australia flowers
Bees rule! How many can you count?

The bees did not bother us. They had food on their pinheads.

Happy Sunday! Hope you enjoyed beautiful Victoria in southeastern Australia. Be sure and visit Indiana Carol for more ideas and photos of gardens in my home state and beyond.

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Click picture to enter.

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Australia’s Famous Snugglepot and Cuddlepie Stories

Australia Post #13 Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge

Actually, these stories rate less as an odd ball photo and more sweet and cuddly. However, I fear that a Sweet and Cuddly Photo Challenge might open up to something other than the Australian children’s fairy tales, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

Healesville flowersThat said, I thought it was a bit odd to have a gum nut shoved onto a lizard-riding baby’s head. Yes, I think it’s a little far-fetched to have soft baby skin riding a scaly lizard. Mothers tell me I’m right! Carol informed me that I was a little off in my thinking and that maybe I’d better read the stories. The illustrations have a high cute factor.

Gum nut babyYou make your own judgment.

Be sure to check out Cee’s other oddball photos.

view in the loo

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Healesville Sanctuary Blooms in December and January

May Dreams Gardens Garden Photo Challenge

Australia #12

There is nothing as pretty as some of the flowers I found at the Healesville Sanctuary when I went with Leanne, her friend Suzanne and Carol. I wish I knew the names to share with you, but maybe someone will slip in and rescue my ignorance.

Healesville flowers

Maybe I felt hot and this reminded me of snow. Or maybe it was like blowing on dandelions, which I did as a child. (My dad must have loved that!) I could actually draw some of these random patterns. I love the hazy, spider webby, x-ray quality of this photo.

Healesville flowers

These Australian gum nut gems have special stories about them, the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie series by May Gibbs.

Healesville flowers
grevillea

I love the calligraphy/centipede-style flower. Isn’t it stunning?

Healesville flowers These Australian fruits quickly dried and fell off in the warm summer weather. They look like raisins when dried, but these fruits do not look like grapes to me.

Healesville flowers
kangaroo paws

These brilliant leaf buds look like they are swimming in a watercolor sea.

Feel free to chime in if you know something about these. Which one is your favorite?

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Be sure to check out the two Photo challenges for more photos, May Dreams Gardens (no specific day)  Garden Photo Challenge (1st Sunday of each month)

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