Rosie McKenry, Castlemaine.
We walk around Castlemaine Botanical Gardens most days. The family of white ducks with their one multicoloured member chatter to us as we pass. We delight in watching them tend to their latest offspring. Magpies acknowledge our presence with song. Last summer we were treated to the presence of two white baby powerful owls high up in a pine tree, watched over by their brown parents.
Other birds come and go… galahs, corellas, plovers, even the odd ibis.
We are greeted by friendly people with excited dogs that insist on rubbing noses, people pushing babies in prams or toddlers on their small bikes, single runners who pass us repeatedly as they circle the perimeter – people of all ages.
All this is made possible by Gill Miller, Head Gardener, and her talented staff. They are remarkable in the way they maintain the precious old trees. They know each tree’s history, characteristics, value to the community and specific needs.
When we struggle to keep the roses in our own garden blooming, Gill and her team give us glorious blooms that border the path through the magnificent Indian Bean trees. The workers constantly add colourful beauty to the garden beds with both annuals and sometimes vegetables that are harvested for the community.
Thank you Gill and staff. We have a place where we can connect with nature’s beauty, nourish our mental and physical sense of well-being and where we can smile at each other.