May 6th, 2013
Started the Portland Botanical Garden’s Art and Community Engagement Project today. There are 1250 Dahlia Plants at the Portland Botanical Gardens, which are grown for public enjoyment and to use in the wreaths and flower arrangements for ANZAC day on the 25th of April. They have been grown in the gardens since 1926. As its after Anzac day and the Dahlias have had their day in the sun, our interactive community engagement pop up event was to write some words in the Dahlia flowers, from suggestions from the Portland Community, via social media. Two Facebook community members, Emma and Jo, suggested the words “serenity” and “harmony” to be made in the last of the Dahlia flowers. Afterwards the Dahlia heads were taken down to the Portland Child and Family Complex for the children in the platypus room to touch, smell and feel.
It was surprisingly enjoyable working with the flowers in the fresh air and sunshine. Gave me a bit of an appreciation of the work done by Rachael and Wayne, the Gardeners at the Portland Botanical Gardens. In a bit of an oversight, I did spend a bit of time in a tree taking photos of the flower words, as i did not bring a ladder.
We managed to hijack some guests in the gardens into taking some flowers home to their loved ones. Being a bit shy and with a very infectious sense of humour, Cathy hid behind her Dahlia bunch for the photo.
What an amazing day.
This beauty was waiting amongst the Dahlias. Is she a Monarch butterfly? A non native?
The breeze was warm and filled with the smell of roses. There were bees everywhere.
The Dahlia word of the day was chosen by the Ladies at the Croquet club based in The Portland Botanical Gardens. They decided on the word Renewal.
Belinda White, owner of the Tea Tree Gallery, was the social media guest word decider and her word was Shine.
And last but not least, Rachael and Wayne, the gardeners who work at the Portland Botanical Gardens came up with the word Fresh.
I guess its time we left the last of the Dahlias for public enjoyment so its onto words in sticks and stones and leaves and whatever else is falling down in Autumn.
So if you have a word that you would like to see made in natural materials that signifies what the gardens means to you – you can post it on my face-book page https://www.facebook.com/cat.bailey.92 and it maybe the word that gets pulled from a hat at the end of the week.
Looking forward to next week when the gardens are visited by the Portland Child and Family Complex, Kalbari Kindergarden and Narrawong Primary School. Head Horticulturalist David Garnier will be showing the students around the gardens, sharing stories, answering questions and doing some art. And then watch out for the ladies at the Portland Croquet Club. I have a feeling they might be sharing some stories about spending time in the Gardens and playing croquet.
23rd of May
This week students from the Glenelg Shire Council’s Portland Child and Family Complex visited the gardens and were treated to a tour by David Garnier, the head horticulturalist. They seemed to really appreciate the colour, texture and smell of the different types of leaves in the gardens, especially with the effects of Autumn. After which there was a bit of painting and sticking leaves going on to create wonderous works of art. Thanks to Child Care Workers Kristy, Kirby, and Joan and the parents who accompanied the children to the Portland Botanical Gardern, on the day. So don’t be surprised, if next time you are in the gardens, your child leads you to the camphor tree or the leaves of a bush that smells like peppermint.
Hanging at the Croquet Club Room Windows at the Portland Botanical Gardens.
I asked Rachel Dawson, who works as a gardener at the Portland Botanical Gardens, if she had some good pics of the place. Here are some really beautiful images taken by someone who knows the hidden secrets of the gardens
June 3rd and 4th
The weather has been really kind to both The Portland Child and Family Complex and Kalbarri Kindergarten today and yesterday. Loads of enthusiastic youngsters enjoying the leaves in the garden and making awesome and extremely colourful artworks. Hello Winter.
Expecting Narrawong school and The Reengagement Centre at the gardens soon. Note to self – must buy pipe cleaners for secret surprise crazy art-works.
Today the Portland Croquet club, which have been using the club at the gardens for over 100 years, kindly consented to be documented, as part of the instagram project, which is part of the Portland Botanical Gardens Arts and Community Engagement Project. We would be pleased if people visiting the Portland Botanical Gardens will upload their instagram photos of the gardens to #pbgproject.
This Project has been funded by a quick response grant from the Regional Arts Fund, which gives all Australians, wherever they live, better access to opportunities to practise and experience the arts. The Regional Arts Fund is administered in Victoria by Regional Arts Victoria.
We would also like to thank Errey’s Farm Timber & Hardware, 142 Hurd St, Portland, for their product sponsorship of 4 pieces of masonite and Network Video for their material sponsorship of old video posters for this project.