about this blog



I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Arthurs Seat



Arthurs Seat is on the Mornington Peninsula, about 75 kms south east of Melbourne. It is a good place to visit for a nature fix.


Seawinds Garden is part of Arthurs Seat State Park, a pleasant park with walking tracks and great views of Port Philip Bay.

It contains sculptures of William Ricketts (1898 - 1993), a non indigenous artist whose work is based on his experience living with Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. The mystical works are meant to represent Aboriginal attachment to land.





Arthurs Seat was named in 1802 by Lieutenant John Murray, because it reminded him of a mountain in Scotland. Aboriginal people know it as Wonga.





Another attraction in this area is the Enchanted Adventure Garden, a beautiful and fun private garden with lots of mazes and things for children - and adults - to do. I have a thing about enchanted gardens, and in a way that's what I have been trying to create myself, not that successfully. But this one really feels enchanted, and I was bowled over by the creativity and skill needed to achieve the resulting picture. It's expensive to visit, but worth the cost if you can possibly afford it. On my visit the camera battery died after a few minutes and I didn't have a spare. That's why there are only two photos. But I hope even two photos will demonstrate that this garden is worthy of adding to your bucket list.


21 comments:

  1. Hi Sue! Thank you. I can see why you found Seawinds enchanting. That's a quality you don't hear of so much any more, in relation to gardens, though I'm sure it's what motivates many of us.

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    1. I went to a talk recently about enchanted gardens in renaissance England and France and Germany. I found it really interesting, how the meaning of gardens have changed. Then people found them mysterious and even dangerous places because of the nature spirits that inhabited them.

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  2. I like that boy with hair standing! I can imagine it to be a beautiful place from that last pic. Remember to bring a spare battery next time ok. You have a great day, Catmint!

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    1. thanks, Steph. I plan to go back some time, and maybe even bring two spare batteries!

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  3. An enchanted garden indeed! The two pictures are a great teaser and I'll do a web search for more as this place looks truly special. Can you imagine the work it takes just to keep that cool hedge with the boy looking so great? Sorry about your battery! Thanks for sharing this place with us.

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    1. Altogether it was hard to imagine how much work all the mazes and different gardens would need. No wonder entry was expensive. I didn't see any gardeners the day I was there.

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  4. What a lovely place to visit, it looks really nice. I love the sculptures by William Ricketts, they are so well done.

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    1. I'm glad you love the William Ricketts sculptures, I love them too but at the same time feel uneasy because I'm not sure if they're a bit kitchy, and also not sure what indigenous people think about them.

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  5. Mazes are always intriguing. Did you see the one with the Japanese garden inside?

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    1. I'm not sure, but the mazes were incredible. Just talking about it I'm dying to go back.

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  6. I remember seeing his sculptures when I visited Mount Dandenong years ago, I can't remember what the place was called though. Lovely :)

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    1. That is a lovely garden, I also visited it ages ago. The whole garden was designed for his sculptures, I remember it was very green and restful.

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  7. Looks like a great place to visit. Initially i had thought you must have visited Edinburgh in Scotland where Arthur's seat is a dormant volcano.

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    1. that must be the mountain it was named after. Lots of our place names are British, the settlers must have found it helped with homesickness.

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  8. That does look like a great place to visit! I'll add it to my "must see" if I'm ever in Australia list. I do hope I can travel there some day.

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    1. I hope you can, there are wonderful nature sights here. It's a shame it's such a long away ...

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  9. Perhaps some day….I will wake up and have an adventure in an enchanted garden! This sounds like my kind of place. Like you, I would love for my own garden to reflect a similar spirit.

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    1. from what I've seen, Deb, I think your garden has that quality of enchantment. But I think we often are too critical or too emotionally involved to truly appreciate our own gardens.

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  10. What a crying shame about the camera battery. I would have loved to see more photos.

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    1. I want to go back some time with spares of everything!

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  11. Marg, an Aboriginal friend of mine, emailed me explaining why she dislikes William Rickett's sculptures. Here's what she wrote:
    I must share that I do not like the depiction of the Aboriginal woman. It deeply disturbs me that white fellas mess around with Aboriginal business - in this case Ricketts interpreting an ancient people's relationship to the land. It assumes that Aboriginal people are homogenous. I read a little about Ricketts and he apparently spent a lot time with Pittanjarra communities. Their dreamtime and songlines etc are different to that of the Wurrundjeri people who were traditional custodians of the lands on which Ricketts formed the sculptures. Our relationship to the land is a lot more complex than the romanticism expressed in Mr Rickett's sculptures.The whole notion of Aboriginal is a white construct that does not recognise the several hundred clans that existed before invasion.Furthermore Aboriginal people were regarded as fauna under the Fauna and Flora Act until 1967! Hard to believe and even harder to believe that there is still no recognition in the Constitution of our ancient culture.

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