[For my UK-based friends: it’s late autumn here in Melbourne.]
This is a photograph that I made at Alfred Nicolas Memorial Gardens. To a pom like me, this is a location with a beautifully odd mix of indigenous and non-native flora.
The estate belonged to an eponymous, mid-twentieth century one-percenter. Mr Nicolas made his money from “rediscovering” the formula for Aspro. His – now our – gardens are in the Dandenong Ranges, a bushy, hilly area to the east of Melbourne.
Regular visitors to my blog will know I’ve been spending a lot of time photographing the local we-don’t-do-autumn trees. That’s because I find them striking, sometimes beautiful, sometimes unsettling. I suppose I must think they are “exotic”.
I visited the gardens on Saturday when it was difficult not to trip over assorted tripods and camera gear backpacks. The place was teaming with landscape photographers excited by the, I suppose, “exotic” autumn colour. I made an effort not to mention the Yorkshire Dales or the Lake District or even Liverpool’s Sefton Park. The latter had – still has – a “hot house” where I used to go to keep warm when I should have been at school – I remember it had exotic tree ferns like those in the background of this photograph. At the time, I didn’t pay much attention to the fabulous display of autumn colour on the chilly side of the greenhouse’s condensation-clad glass.