Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

We Had a Date with Nature -- Wed., Nov. 28

A lovely day at the Hunter Valley Gardens today...the rain stayed away, the temperature was perfect, and the display gardens really resonated with us. Upon entering the garden, we spiraled into the sunken rose garden with its sculpture of children frolicking.

[Note: Please click to enlarge photos for detail on flowers, leaves, birds, trees.]

The Indian Mosaic Garden was interesting, but not our favorite. Here's Bob under a shelter by one of the lakes and a picture of the mosaic part of the garden.

Indian Tea House.
Indian Mosaic Gaarden

Right next door we found one of our favorite gardens of the day: the Chinese Moongate Garden. The garden is circular, no corners for demons to hide in. You'll note the moongate is circular. Looking through the moongate are garden versions of a river (crushed white rock), mountain (big gray boulder) and clouds (the topiary bush). You'll also see modern day gardening implements. Oh, and me. LOL.

Moongate with symbolic scene.


Fuschias and hostas in Chinese Moongate Garden.
We then walked up a hill, past orchards with ripening apricots, to a lookout over a pond and the rose garden. I didn't take lots of long-distance photos because the gardens were decorated with wire Christmas decorations for their nighttime Christmas Spectacular. (Their Christmas Spectacular can be seen from space!)

Along the paths, we saw unique flowers and beautiful birds.

Red-browed Firetail
Male Superb Fairy-wren
The Storybook Garden was very cute with books turned to a page of a nursery rhyme and statuary that brought the nursery rhymes to life. Piped in music played children's nursery rhyme music. I'm a fan of Alice in Wonderland, so where do you think I landed? I was late for a very important date with the Mad Hatter and Alice.

Fashionably late.
We found a vegetable garden tended by a scarecrow with a gray moss beard. He guarded over corn, eggplant and squash. Very clever display.

Another garden that impressed us immensely is the Border Garden. Wow! That is one BIG hedge border!

Bob is 6' tall. The hedge must be 18' tall.
Love the varied green bottom hedge.
Inside the Border Garden.
From the Border Garden we took a hike over to the Oriental Garden and stopped to admire a waterfall and plants along the way.


On to the Oriental Garden, another of our favorites! I took so many pictures here but I can't put them all in my blog. Sigh.

Bob was into taking photos of me today.

Japanese Pagoda.
Skinks, methinks.

Water lilies.

Another type of water lily.
That's the end of your tour of the Oriental Garden. We finished up our garden date on the Lakes Walk. I'm a sucker for birds who pose for me and these three were sitting ducks. (Sorry.)

Other shots taken on the Lakes Walk...

Cape Chestnut (Calodendron capense)--native to Africa.

In the Formal Garden we were greeted by a willie wagtail bird dressed in his tuxedo. Do birds just know to dress for the occasion?

Willie Wagtail.
When we finished at the garden, we drove across the street and took a photo of one of the big wineries in the area. This photo doesn't do it justice.

After almost three hours of walking, photography and sniffing flowers, we were ready for the hot tub. The one nearest our unit was worked on Tuesday, but the heater still wasn't working. We walked up the street to the other pool and hot tub. That one worked. It sure felt good to sit in the hot tub for 1/2 hour!

Tomorrow we're taking the CityRail train into Sydney. We can get a day pass for $21 that includes all trains, ferries and buses. We'll really be able to get around. Bob wants to see Bondi Beach, the National Opal Collection and wants to show me the Darling Harbour area. We also want to re-visit Queen Victoria Building (QVB) shopping area and check out The Strand shopping area. We don't know if we'll get to it tomorrow, but we also want to tour the Hyde Park Barracks to learn of Sydney's early convict history.

That's it for today.

Travel Bug out.


  1. What a lovely garden ... I can see why you would have taken a lot of photos. Seems very peaceful, too.

  2. Lovely! Looks like you are enjoying yourselves. Be well, Ann and Jerry


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