It’s such a beautiful afternoon, let’s go for a walk and get some Vitamin D.
For all you Postcrossers out there – here is the post box where your postcards begin their journey!
I live in a suburb of Melbourne called Murrumbeena in an area between three parks. Just to the east of my house is Boyd Park, which runs in a north/south direction. It’s a long skinny park for two reasons. First, it was actually planned to be a railway line a hundred years ago, but that never eventuated. Then in the nineteen-sixties they were going to build a road right through it, but the residents protested and the park was saved. The second reason the park is long and skinny is that there is a creek which runs much of the length of the park. It was tunneled underground in the 1890s to prevent the spread of water borne diseases. UPDATE: Thanks to Peter for his comment below. There actually was a railway line here in the 1880s-1890s which fell into disrepair. The real story is much more fascinating than my approximation of it here. See Peter’s link in the Comments for more information. The park wasn’t really a park until twenty years ago – when even then there were plans to run a VFT (Very Fast Train – like the French TGV) right through here!
A reason why the park is so important is that it has several pre-European -settlement eucalyptus trees (don’t ask me which ones, I guess the old knarly looking ones!).
Across the road the park becomes a little more European looking.
Although south-eastern Australia is still in drought we have had some nice rain recently, which has made the grass green again!
In this part of the park there is a plaque and a bronze relief embedded in a boulder. It commemorates the naming of the park as Boyd Park. The Boyds were a family of artists who lived in Murrumbeena for much of the first half of the twentieth century, when the suburb was still very rural in character. Australia’s famous artist Arthur Boyd grew up in Murrumbeena, but the bronze relief is by his father, Merric Boyd, who was a renowned potter. His work is very much sought after as an Australian form of Art Nouveu studio pottery. Merric Boyd set up his studio in Murrumbeena and was inspired by the natural beauty around him. His home, known as “Open Country” became a place for other artists to visit and stay, including John Perceval and Sidney Nolan. To find out more click here.
It’s a little hard to see here but the bronze features a man seated under a tree sketching a woman and children playing in an idyllic setting.
That’s my dream house just there.
Another park then connects with Boyd Park. It’s called Springthorpe Gardens. This post is an old iron gas streetlight, no longer in use.
On one corner of Springthorpe Gardens are a pair of old stone gates. They date to before 1860 (ancient history in Australian European settlement) when they were the gates to the Lodge at Melbourne Hospital. In 1910 they were presented to Dr J W Springthorpe, a doctor at the hospital, who had them erected at his Murrumbeena home called “Joyous Garde”. In the thirties they were presented by Mrs Springthorpe to the local city council who moved them to their current location.
Across the road from Springthorpe Gardens is Riley Reserve.
This tree is a little spooky. If you look carefully at the trunk you can see forms that resemble human faces…oooooh! Try to see how many you spot!