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A little hiatus

The poor blog has been sadly neglected – life got a bit busy there for a while!  One of the things keeping me away was being “photographer for the day” at my niece’s wedding.  She asked me back in December and I was absolutely thrilled – also a little daunted as this would be my first wedding!  I practiced and practiced and practiced – harsh light, low light, changing light.  I am much more comfortable photographing trees and lakes and things and so mercilessly stalked any family member within range to hone up my “people” skills (I am sure they are all quite glad it is over!).  The day arrived and shooting conditions were perfect.  Combined with the best looking wedding party ever and I think I got a few keepers 🙂  It was a fun (if exhausting) day.

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Back soon with some recent photos from Kibbenjelok, plus some more history from Gay!

Chapter Four – The Gentle Giant

This post was written by Gay Klok sometime in 2007 and chronicles the making of Kibbenjelok. You can find the original post here Giant. I am working my way through and preserving as much of Gay’s writings on Kibbenjelok as I can find, in case the site disappears one day.  I am also compiling all of these on the History page for easy future reference.
"Kibbenjelok" - water colour by B. Warner, a visitor on Open Day

“Kibbenjelok” – water colour by B. Warner, a visitor on Open Day

The Gentle Giant

Kees and I created a pattern in our life that helped us to manage the two households and gardens. Before our retirements, this pattern often became hard to maintain. After we both gave up work we gradually slipped into a lifestyle that was both tiring and fulfilling, I fear we became frequently boring to the outside world. There was no time for my past political pursuits and no time for socialising. Our thoughts became fully taken up with the two properties and the children who were, Oh! so quickly!, becoming adults.

In the beginning I had to convince myself that plants were much easier to get on with than political colleagues. After all, they never answered back or argued with you and their only ambitions were to please the bees and me. The mistakes we made were reversible and the magical moments we experienced will last in our memories for ever (more…)

Renovations in mind

There are two houses on Kibbenjelok – the original homestead dating from the 1870s and a 1910 era cottage that was uprooted from its resting place in Hobart to make way for the Springfield Bus Interchange and transported to Kibbenjelok sometime in the mid 80s (we think).  Both houses are chock full of beautiful period features – high ceilings, fireplaces (the proliferation of these makes me wonder just how cold does it get in Winter??!!) and lovely verandas.

The sunroom - destined to be a favourite spot

The sunroom – destined to be a favourite spot

Part of the veranda of the original house has been enclosed to create a sun-room.  Already this is one of our favourite rooms.  The aspect is to the North-East and the room looks out to the birch forest – these deciduous trees will kindly drop their leaves in Winter to let the sun stream in.  A beautiful man fern brushes against the french doors and Spring photos show daffodils pushing up through the leaf litter.  As lovely as it will be on a sunny Spring day, I am particularly looking forward to a wet and windy Winter afternoon, where I can sit in a favourite armchair, warm myself with a cup of tea, listen to the fires crackle and watch the rain stream down the windows. (more…)

Chapter Three – Paradise

This post was written by Gay Klok sometime in 2007 and chronicles the making of Kibbenjelok. You can find the original post here Paradise. I am working my way through and preserving as much of Gay’s writings on Kibbenjelok as I can find, in case the site disappears one day.  I am also compiling all of these on the History page for easy future reference.

GARDENThe Garden Begins In Paradise

KEES, already in his sixties and Gay, in her second half Century; these two ageing but still active gardeners, kept that big dream to make a little folly. Or was it the other way around? A little dream to make a big folly? Our first planting took place in January 1987. We were still working in the house to make life warmer and more comfortable. My daughter, Michele, was soon to leave with her husband to live and work for a few years in England. Shortly before they left for overseas, they visited us in Middleton for the weekend. When Michele arrived, she thrust a bought plant into my hands with the words, “It’s a kind of Acer. I expect it will die because you are not ready for it, but never mind.” (more…)

Chapter Two – Eden

This post was written by Gay Klok sometime in 2007 and chronicles the making of Kibbenjelok. You can find the original post here Eden. I am working my way through and preserving as much of Gay’s writings on Kibbenjelok as I can find, in case the site disappears one day.  I am also compiling all of these on the History page for easy future reference.

Primulas at KibbenjelokGetting Down To It All

The road to “Forest Home” was two kilometres of long, very rough gravel and travelled through stately, stringy bark eucalyptus bush. Passing two shanty “picket” [pickers’] huts, it finally finished its bumpy journey at the house which sat quietly slumbering, surrounded by apple trees. The two small gardens in the front and the back of the house were completely covered in Oxalis and the rose bushes in these gardens looked very sad with their burden of carrying so much mildew and black spot. Down the side of the verandah was a brilliant planting of manferns and these hosted three other forms of bush ferns.

The cottage garden boasted an old picket fence around one and a half of the four sides, the rest of the garden was enclosed with iron uprights and chicken wire and even barbed wire had been used in some parts to help keep the rabbits out. Beyond a delightful but decrepit garden gate stood two Rhododendron bushes. One of these was huge and healthy [“White Pearl” or “Pink Pearl”] and the other was a large and sick looking Rododendron “Sir Robert Peel” and I noted these with some interest as I hoped to grow specie Rhododendrons in my dream garden. Another plus was the absence of thrip and it was not hard to reason why; hopping busily and chirruping incessantly to one another were dozens of blue fairy wrens, the husbands with peacock blue chests and the dowdier but plump wives equally vocal in their courtship. Everything under foot was wet, wet, wet. (more…)

Chapter One – Two Wrinkly Gardeners Build Paradise in Tasmania

This post was written by Gay Klok sometime in 2007 and chronicles the making of Kibbenjelok. You can find the link to the original site here In The Beginning. I am working my way through and preserving as much of Gay’s writings on Kibbenjelok as I can find, in case the site disappears one day.  I am also compiling all of these on the History page for easy future reference.

chookIn The Beginning

This is the tale of two ageing people who found a new purpose for life in their “golden years.” We anticipated that our last years on Earth would be full of the joys of sharing the work in our Hobart garden that we dearly loved. We also hoped to have lots of time to travel and see all the wonderful gardens around the world that in the past we had never found the time to do. The gold was to turn very quickly into a veritable rainbow of colours. The simple idea changed to a grand folly and the easing down of the pace of life developed into hours of heavy planning and enormous physical strain. And we loved practically every moment of it.

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The Top Dam

At the top of the property, up a track a goat would find difficult, there is The Top Dam.  There has been no mention of this dam in any of the real estate blurb, and we only found out about it because the owner turned up while we were there and told us.  After one false start we found the road and tentatively drove the (hire – oops!) car into the forest.  At the top of the goat track, the view was somewhat uninspiring – a grass and sag covered bank loomed up from the paddock, obscuring any glimpse of the dam or anything beyond.  Leaving my camera in the car I debated whether to climb to the top of the bund or not but as Clint had already marched to the top I decided I should as well.  This is the view that greeted me when I crested the hill.

The Big Dam

The Top Dam

I was speechless – a wonderful, secluded, peaceful place with the added bonus of supplying the garden with all the water it could need.  This was the icing on the cake for us – once we had seen this we couldn’t go back!

p.s photo credits to Mum – thanks Mum!

Mud Map

PropertyMudMap

We are yet to really fully explore Kibbenjelok, having only spent a platypus_smmeasly few hours there.  I am really hoping that platypus call the pool on McKay Rivulet home!  I have found reference to a platypus family living in the Top Dam – x fingers they still do