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Published by Secrets Magazine ABN 35 535 679 949 Mailing Address PO Box 356 Creswick VIC 3363 Phone 0427 103 217 Email info@secretsmagazine.com.au Web www.secretsmagazine.com.au Editor Norma Morton Design & Layout Nick Morton Contributors Lyndall McQuinn, Rebecca Sprosen, Della Vreeland, Leah Armstrong, Lily Mason All content in this publication is copyright and may not be re-produced in whole or in part in any form without prior permission of the publisher. Secrets will be distributed quarterly throughout Victoria and various tourism outlets. Secrets is also available from cafes, restaurants, B&B’s, hotels and shops. All care is taken to ensure accuracy of articles and advertising, however the publishers accept no responsibility for errors or omissions and references are a guide only and not intended as a recommendation.

LIFE IS MEANT TO BE LIVED Well what do we say about the last few months? Massive bushfires, floods, the Coronavirus and now the great “bog roll” fiasco. Is it any wonder that most of us feel shell shocked. Who would have thought that in this country people would fight each other in supermarket aisles over something as basic as toilet rolls? Yes, the Coronavirus is worrying and maybe we haven’t seen the worst of it, but irrational behaviour isn’t going to change anything, it’s time to move on. It will also take time for people impacted by the bushfires to recover, but recover they will and we can all play our part by travelling to those towns instead of jumping on planes to spend our money in other countries. We are fortunate to live in a beautiful land and we need to cherish it and cherish our unique wildlife, they have had a tough time too.

Although it has been a bit quiet, there is still good reason to get out and about. Autumn is the optimum time for festivals and in this issue we take a brief look at a few of them. For garden lovers, the art and sculpture event at Mica Grange kicks off in April and the now famous Clunes Booktown Festival is in May along with Trentham’s annual town highlight, the Great Trentham Spudfest. Anything you can do with a spud, they do it in Trentham. Also in May sees the now annual Plate Up Ballarat event run for the entire month showcasing much of Ballarat’s (and a bit beyond) food scene. And Della Vreeland takes us on a journey around the region with her Autumn Itinerary article. Life is meant for living, so let’s get out and live it – there is no reason not to. Until winter - Norma


at Leaver’s Hotel

A cosy bar in the heart of gold country

Open Thur/Fri. 4pm till late – Sat/Sun. 12 noon till late

80 Albert St. Creswick 0428 694 258 Find us on Facebook 4


49 albert street, creswick monday to saturday 10-4pm, sunday 11-3pm


PLATE UP BALLARAT THREE years ago, Ballarat’s Kate Davis decided to create a festival combining her three loves – food, wine, and her hometown. “I had seen a huge change in the dynamism of the food offerings we had here in Ballarat,” Kate says. “The people behind the venues are so progressive and were really starting to lead the way in a true contemporary way.” And so Plate Up Ballarat was born – a food and wine festival showcasing the best produce and finest eateries in Ballarat and surrounds. “The idea to have a Ballarat-owned food festival was a no-brainer,” Kate adds. “We have it all here and we can own it ourselves.” With a background in events and a keen interest in the food and drink sector, Kate has always wanted to see her hometown become the culinary capital of Victoria. Through her event services, project management and delivery, she has collaborated with the city’s thriving and diverse hospitality sector for over a decade, creating and delivering new and exciting food experiences based on her mantra that ‘great food starts with great produce’. “Ballarat is home to a wealth of passionate businesses, producers and individuals who are leading the way in food and wine,” Kate proudly proclaims. “Our region is also home to some of the highest quality produce in the world, with ingredients that are lovingly cultivated, grown, reared and handcrafted to promote healthy and delicious dishes. “Plate Up is one way in which we can connect with and support our producers across the

western Victorian food chain, and continue to develop a vibrant paddock-to-plate industry.” The 2020 Plate Up program will return for the month of May, serving up an array of dining experiences in some of Ballarat’s finest eateries. The festival will also present a range of special events year-round, showcasing the breadth of food and wine offerings in the region. “I am so excited to be bringing Plate Up back to the city for another year,” Kate says. “For 2020, we will be taking on a ‘less is more’ approach, with high quality events in May coupled with specially curated experiences scattered throughout the year. “We have always said that Ballarat is not only good to eat out in May, but is amazing every day of the year. Our focus is to encourage locals and visitors to enjoy a unique Ballarat dining experience no matter when they choose to dine out.” In 2019, the festival attracted more than 11,000 people during its month-long program. This feat was further celebrated with the launch of Eat Drink West, an online platform connecting producers, chefs and consumers and strengthening the region’s position as a culinary hotspot. For more information about Plate Up Ballarat and for the full program of events, visit plateupballarat.com.au. Images by Vegas & Rose vegasandrose.bigcartel.com


ODESSA AT LEAVER’S HOTEL Creswick’s newish bar has rapidly become the ‘go to place’ to enjoy a quiet drink, delicious food and live music within one of the town’s historic landmarks. The building dates back to 1852 and was formerly Leakes Hotel, a café, a brothel, a gold exchange bank, a fish and chip shop and milk bar. The building sat idle for several years until purchased by Chantel Leaver who had no idea what she’d bought when she made the leap. Asked what made her buy it, Chantel said; “I can’t remember how it came about. I went to an auction with no plans to buy anything and when the property was passed in, on impulse, I chased the auctioneer and made an offer, which surprisingly, was accepted”. It was very run down and with the help of a builder friend, Chantel started stripping back the old plaster, revealing red brick fire places, original stonework and then the biggest surprise discovering the shingle roof. Chantel said, “We fixed it to what we imagined it would have looked like in it’s former glory and then we found the original windows. I spent years scavenging furniture and fittings from all over the place and when it was at a liveable stage, we rented it out for awhile, then decided to restore it to the original intention of making it a communal space, as it was in its hey day”. Chantel wanted to be open for a cycling event, but with very little money, it meant working day and night to complete all the renovations


with some very willing helping hands being involved. And they made it. It is a beautiful old building that exudes conviviality and now with renowned chef Ben O’Brien (many will remember Ben from Daylesford’s Breakfast and Beer) running the kitchen, patrons can also enjoy Ben’s excellent menu. Odessa’s is a place where people can go alone and feel safe. The friendliness of the staff and other patrons makes it a welcoming place for everyone and it is very child friendly. No surprise there as Chantel and her partner Cameron, a very busy physiotherapist, have their own children and have fostered several others. Asked how she deals with the work/ life balance, Chantel said, “it isn’t really hard. Our older children help and as we live at the back, we are close on hand when needed”. Chantel’s background was in the corporate world in the UK and she also worked in hospitality, so her experience has stood her in good stead to run Odessa’s. Asked where she saw Odessa’s in five years’ time, she said, “I see it as similar to now, possibly with added accommodation in the rear stables, running more events and weddings and just enjoying watching people getting together and having fun”. Odessa at Leaver’s Hotel is open Thursday and Friday from 4pm until late - Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon until late. For enquiries check out the Facebook page or call 0428 694 258.

AUTUMN AT THE FARMERS WIFE The fashion for autumn at the Farmers Wife is lots of natural fibres, Australian merino wools, cotton, linen and cashmere, Rabbit fur jackets and ponchos. And colour, lots of colour, soft shades from blush to clay pink and terracotta and wine or the other colour palette - apple green, soft jade through to emerald and deep forest. Definitely no black here! The Farmers Wife also carries a range of children’s clothes and home wares. Open 7 days 10am to 4pm – Sunday 11am to 3pm. facebook.com/thefarmerswife.com.au


A GOOD LIFE Eight years ago Marie and Paul Williams opened a French Patisserie and Boulangerie - Le Peche Gourmand - in a smallish, but very cute shop in Creswick. Leading up to opening and for sometime after, some people were predicting doom and gloom for their new venture, declaring, “Why would you open a fancy bakery, it’s too up market for Creswick, it won’t last”. How wrong they were. From the ‘get go’ the response was extremely positive with customers enjoying the delights of French pastries so much that word spread rapidly and it wasn’t long before Marie and Paul were greeting customers from far and wide. In January this year they moved from their little shop to much larger premises that had become available two doors along the street. The expansion has been a big change and has thrown up more challenges than the couple expected. Marie said, “it has become more café than bakery and is going in directions we hadn’t originally intended.” Adding, “When we first opened the new place, it caught the staff and us off guard, we knew it would be busier, just not as busy as it has been. We have great staff and they picked up the pace really well.” Paul said that he is amazed at how well known Le Peche has become, saying, “it makes me laugh when we go to Melbourne or other places and mention that we come from Creswick and people often ask if we know the little French pastry shop there.” Marie added, “even when we were in Port Douglas, someone asked us if we knew about the shop.”

French born Marie and Aussie Paul met at a Canadian resort 17 years ago. Both have travelled extensively working mainly in hospitality. Their journey to Creswick wasn’t exactly straight forward, in fact, Paul says, “it was an absolute fluke, my sister wanted us to come to Victoria to open a business in Beaufort, but the area didn’t really suit us. Then we saw that the shop was up for sale and we liked Creswick, so it was a no brainer.” Both Marie and Paul said they like Melbourne and city living, but the country life suits them and their family of three children much better, although they are still developing that ‘work/ life’ balance. Marie says, “the kids have learned to be resilient and that’s not such a bad thing.” Their vision for the future is simple. While they say that they both loved the smaller shop, the larger premises and extending trading to seven days, gives them more scope. It also means they can tick along - keeping their range simple, but delicious, maintain a successful business providing good jobs in a country town and continue to enjoy a really good life that they have already established. No one can ask for more.


ALL ROADS LEAD TO BOOKTOWN The town of Clunes has embedded itself in the minds of all booklovers as the mecca for discovering rare and collectible books. Visitors can browse the street-long book shop to find one of those treasures as well as contemporary publications signed by their favourite authors. This annual event, now in its thirteenth year will adventure into topics of crime, young adult fiction, memoir and climate through a series of panel discussions and talks with some of the nation’s favourite authors. Booklovers are invited to celebrate the power of books and community in an engaging symposium looking at Book Clubs, featuring a variety of authors and guest speakers throughout the day. Author talks, panels and workshops will take place across the weekend with Andy Griffiths, Garry Disher, Judy Nunn, Ann & Geoffrey Blainey, Chloe Hooper, Don

Watson, Robert Gott, Nina Kenwood and more presenting within the beautiful heritage buildings of Clunes. Together with thousands of books, the Clunes Booktown Festival is alive with music, street performers, exhibitions and a range of local food and wine to enjoy. Located approximately 90 minutes from Melbourne by car or train, Clunes is a member of the International Organisation of Booktowns – the only town with this title in Australia. The 2020 Clunes Booktown Festival takes place on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 May and the Book Club symposium will be held on Friday 1 May. Festival tickets are $10 and author talks $15, available from Monday 2 March. Tickets and further information at www. clunesbooktown.com.au

www.vicplanning.com.au info@vicplanning.com.au 0456 173 281 Site Analysis & Feasibility Reports Planning Permit Applications & Amendments Bushfire Management Statements Landscape Design Land Management Plan Reports Planning scheme reports


By Lily Mason

A TREE CHANGE THAT HAS WORKED When I first decided to leave my city upbringing and live the dream in a small Victorian town, I assumed I’d be sacrificing a lot. But very quickly I adopted the slower pace, the fresher air and realised that I wasn’t missing out on anything. In fact, I’ve gained so much. Clunes, has a population of roughly 1700, it’s about half an hour from Ballarat, serviced by a few trains a day and is steeped in gold rush history. The town has more recently become known for its International Booktown status and is home to a campus of Wesley College. I was born and raised in Birmingham in the UK. I’d spent my late teens-early twenties in London and moved to Melbourne at 24 in 2000. Moving to Clunes in 2008, the town was tiny. A bit run down, but very pretty. Fewer shops were open in the main street. Coffee could be found at the bakery, wine at the pub and a little bar open one night a week, but options were limited. I was commuting to Melbourne to work each day, so at first I didn’t notice the difference too


much. But there was something lovely about reaching Pentland Hills and seeing the city fade behind me as the countryside opened up. I quit my job six months later. Life in Clunes has always been busy as I was quickly cajoled into joining a couple of local volunteer organisations. Clunes has one of the highest rates of volunteerism in the country making it a very active and inclusive community. For instance, each Tuesday night a big crowd of us head to the Town Hall for the Open House Dinners – a chance for people to connect with each other over an inexpensive meal created by volunteers and enjoy one of the town’s most beautiful, significant buildings. Food brings us together a lot here. Clunes is growing and it looks very different to the town I moved to twelve years ago. We have a handful of great cafes and restaurants and now most of the shops are occupied, there are semi-regular circus shows and live music, but with the same small town community feel. I’m glad I quit my city life and stayed on.

Mineral Indulgence - your ultimate autumn escape Private 100% pure mineral water spa and either a 60 minute Relaxation Massage OR Signature Relaxation Facial Complementary glass of local sparkling rose post treatment! Mon - Fri $269 pp | Sat, Sun & Public Holidays $299 pp Your indulgence begins with a private mineral water spa in our ‘tree house’ style cabins overlooking the willow trees surrounding Lake Daylesford. Your skin will soak in the 100% pure mineral water sourced from the local springs. A personal spa therapist will guide you to your treatment room for your choice of either a massage or facial ... the perfect way to relax, revive and rejuvenate your skin and muscles this autumn. spa@lakehouse.com.au 5348 3329 lakehousedaylesford

King St Daylesford VIC 3460 lakehouse.com.au

Open 7 days 9am ‘till 4pm No reservations

Delicious all day grazing & take away in the enchanted gardens on Wombat Hill. Join the #wombatpuppyclub - four legged friends are welcome in the garden. Don’t forget #thedailybake – a selection of slow fermented sourdough loaves, baguettes, croissants, pastries & doughnuts from the bake house at Dairy Flat Farm Daylesford – delivered each morning. Pick some up with your morning coffee!

Available for private parties, gro ups & weddings! @wombathillhouse 7017 5999 wombathillhouse.com.au Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, Daylesford. Entry off Central Springs Road at Stanhope St.

HIGH ON A HILL Wombat Hill House Café is ideally located within the outstanding Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens overlooking Daylesford. Offering simple food sourced locally, including delicious breads and pastries from Dairy Flat Farm, this is the perfect spot for a great coffee, glass of wine, all day grazing and take away and no reservations required. Or you can choose to go for that special indulgence - High Tea – minimum 2 guests, but bookings are essential for this one. Wombat Hill House Café also offer special picnic hampers. With our usually benign autumn weather, there is no better way to share time with friends than to picnic in these stunning surrounds. Wombat Hill House is also available for private parties, groups and weddings. The café décor is eclectic, enhanced by the large mural of the “enchanted forest”, created by Alan Wolf-Taker, all adding to the ambience of this special place.


A UNIQUE STUDIO It’s hard to find the words to describe Allendale Studios with its mix of visual art, sculpture, ceramics and unique hand crafted, women’s fashion ware. The creation of well known sculptor and ceramicist, Dianne Coulter, there is a surprise around every corner, from walking through the entrance gate, along the winding path through the expansive garden and into the studio that also has a bar and refreshment corner. A deep thinker with a very strong sense of social justice, Di’s artwork is a reflection of how she views the world. There is a story in each piece and whilst her clothing lines are not for the faint hearted with their bold colours and style, they are in essence simple in structure. As Di says “I’m not shy and I love to be seen and isn’t that true of most women”. Add to the mix of Allendale Studio, Di has established bed and breakfast accommodation, again showcasing her unique style with the India and the Africa Room. Di’s hand can be seen in almost everything on the property. It’s not unusual to find her cutting up palings for the front fence, or with a hammer at the ready, when not working in her studio. Dianne Coulter is a fascinating woman who has created a fascinating destination. Allendale Studio is on the Creswick/Newstead Road, Allendale, close to Daylesford and Creswick and is open Thursday to Sunday 11am – 4pm or by appointment. Phone 5345 6378 or visit facebook.com/allendalestudio

Unique Design studio with a wide range of women’s fashion. All garments made with natural fabics and individually hand dyed. Open Thursday to Sunday, 11am - 4pm or by appointment

4154 Creswick Newstead Road Allendale 5345 6378 – 0448 504 547 – allendalestudio@gmail.com


AN AUTUMN ITINERARY TO DELIGHT THE SENSES FOR THE BOOKWORM The village of Clunes will come to life in May as part of the annual Clunes Booktown Festival. With over 15,000 people descending upon the goldfields town, the event features author talks, panel discussions, literary experiences as well as the chance to discover the largest collection of rare, out-of-print and collectable books in Australia. FOR THE FOODIE Plate Up Ballarat will return to Ballarat this year, albeit in a different format, showcasing the best food and wine offerings in the western region. Keep your eyes peeled for various pop-up events as cafes, restaurants and eateries the city-over open their doors and present culinary experiences that will stimulate the taste buds and warm the hearts. See full article in this issue FOR LOVERS OF THE OUTDOORS The Macedon Ranges is one of the most popular regions to visit during the autumn period. Set aside time to visit the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Kyneton, Malmsbury and Gisborne, or explore the gardens that open for the Macedon Autumn Weekend. You’ll be in awe at the striking colours and calming natural beauty.

Autumn-time is a most magnificent time of the year in our region. Our townships’ stunning streetscapes are painted in the distinct colours of the season, with trees boasting hues of crimson, orange and yellow. Here’s some suggestions for how you can delight all your senses and explore the wonders of the region this autumn.

FOR FAMILIES Trentham comes alive on 2nd May for the 13th annual SpudFest. Everything spud related is on show with games, entertainment and fun for the whole family. trenthamspudfest.org.au FOR THE MARKET GOERS We are lucky in that our region boasts a number of Farmers Markets, so you can stock up on the freshest, seasonal produce from our paddocks, patches and vines. Daylesford, Creswick, Trentham, Talbot and Clunes are just some of the places with monthly markets, so make a day of it and do a spot of shopping while exploring the rich offerings of these goldfields towns. FOR YOUR DIARY Although a little early for this issue, but well worth noting in your diary for next year is Ballarat’s Begonia Festival and Heritage Weekend, Ballan’s Autumn Festival and the highly popular Lost Trades Fair, which moves to Bendigo this year. All good reasons to visit the region.

FOR SOMETHING NEW The city of Ballarat is becoming more renowned for its café and restaurant offerings, and the newest kid on the block Johnny Alloo is one to put on your hit list. With an all-day breakfast menu that will have you salivating at first glance, as well as decadent lunch options, this eatery serves up the best seasonal flavours for your dining pleasure.


THE BIRTH OF SOMETHING NEW AND DELICIOUS Not many women would dream of opening a café when pregnant – let alone when pregnant with their third child. But for Elise Rowe, creating a human being and a café at the same time was an enterprise she was ready to tackle head on. “It was all hands-on deck to open the doors, so I was renovating and supervising, and there were some long days and nights,” she recalls. “But we made it! And that is one of the biggest accomplishments I think.” Elise and her husband Sam are the owners of the highly coveted Hydrant Food Hall, a warehouse café they opened a little over two years ago adding further life to Ballarat’s growing café culture. “I am loving that the city is growing, offering so much to our locals and visitors,” Elise proudly exclaims. The always-bustling, family-friendly eatery is housed in a former fire hydrant store down one of Ballarat’s elusive laneways. While the husband-wife duo fully renovated the historic brick building, Elise says it was important they also paid tribute to the site’s heritage and showcased the remnants of its former self. “When we found the building, I was drawn to it immediately,” Elise says. “The history that the building offers, the stories it could tell, and the genuine rustic atmosphere it oozed – I felt that it needed to be opened up to the public to bring some life back into it, and the laneway.” The Hydrant boasts a seasonal menu that showcases the best ingredients of the western region and serves up some of the smoothest cups of coffee this side of the state. This autumn, Elise says diners can expect to see flavours synonymous with the change in season.


“We aim to offer our customers a warm and friendly service, and the fun-loving people who work for us means that customers have an enjoyable dining experience. “The Autumn menu will hold many of the favourites from the summer menu, including the apple crumble pancakes and The Hydrant 3.0 (halloumi, avocado, beetroot hummus, cherry tomatoes, on seed and sprout bread). Autumn to me means pumpkin, ginger and chai, so diners may just find something new and interesting.”

THE BEAUTY OF GARDEN WITH THE WONDERS OF ART Each weekend from Saturday 4 April to Sunday 3 May plus Eater Monday, the spectacular gardens of Mica Grange will be open for their Autumn Sculpture and Garden Art Exhibition.

their own gardens. There is also a wide range of plants for sale and delicious preserves from the orchard and vegetable garden. With prices ranging from $5 to $6000 the Mica Grange Open Garden provides something for everyone.

Mica Grange is an absolute labour of love for Bede and Mary Gibson who after taking over the running of Mica Grange from their daughter have poured many hours and hard work into developing the glorious gardens that not only showcases what can be achieved with time and energy, but also the excellent artworks of very talented sculptors.

After meandering around the gardens you can enjoy morning tea, light lunches or afternoon tea served on the decking with its panoramic views across the Sutton Grange valley. Entry is $7 - children free. Group bookings are available during the week. The Mica Grange Sculpture and Garden Art Exhibition will be open each weekend from 4 April to 3 May, 10am to 4pm. Located at 373 Faraday Sutton Grange Rd. Sutton Grange. More information at 5474 8262, 0499 897 242 or visit www.micagrange.com.au

The exhibition brings together sculptors from all around Victoria plus a wide range of garden art. The exhibition provides garden lovers with an abundance of ideas on how they can add to the beauty and enjoyment of



Sculpture Exhibition



Open each weekend 4 April to 3 May (plus Easter Monday) Group bookings available during week 10am to 4pm Morning Tea, Lunch & Afternoon Tea Garden Art, Plants, Preserves available

Children free

373 Faraday Sutton Grange Road, Sutton Grange


Ph: 5474 8262 & 0499 897 242

ALLENDALE NURSERY Specializing in herbs & vegetable seedlings. 4141 Creswick-Newstead Road Allendale Phone 0411 551 550 allendalenursery@gmail.com Find us on Facebook

Catch me at the following markets from October: 1st Saturday of the month 1st Sunday of the month 2nd Saturday of the month 2nd Sunday of the month 3rd Saturday of the month 3rd Sunday of the month 4th Saturday of the month

Woodend Farmers Market Gisborne Olde Time Market Kyneton Farmers Market Daylesford Farmers Market Creswick Market Talbot Farmers Market Lancefield Little Treasures


Antiques & Collectables o Region

Explore the Bendig

Bookshops & Eclectic Coffee Shops bendigoregion.com


Explore the Bendigo Region





Castlemaine – Stoneman’s Bookroom Stoneman’s Bookroom has been a Castlemaine landmark since the early 1960s. Its wide range of titles, authors and genres makes it a treasure trove for book lovers from near and far. Stoneman’s Bookroom is a proud independent bookseller and is well loved in this Central Victorian Goldfields town.

Talbot – Slightly Bent Books Slightly Bent Books is a literary lover’s world of books, new, old and antiquarian. Visitors will find books on art and antiques, fiction and history and lifestyle. Open weekends from 11am to 3pm, Slightly Ben Books is on the corner of Scandinavian Crescent and Camp Street, Talbot.

Located at 101 Mostyn St. www.stonemansbookroom.com.au


LODDON Bridgewater – The Church Op Shop The Church Op Shop, - known locally as the Bridgy shop. The Church Op Shop is part of the Helping Hands Mission Inc. a not for profit organisation providing emergency support to Victorian families in need. The shop offers a vast array of high quality and affordable clothing, shoes, linen, books, bric-a-brac, toys and household goods. Located in the former Uniting Church. Open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 10am. 15 Main Street, Bridgewater.

Peppergreen Farm A two-hectare site close to the heart of Bendigo, PepperGreen Farm offers a range of enriching experiences for visitors. PepperGreen Farm, is passionate about growing quality produce while showcasing the culture and heritage unique to Central Victoria. As part of the Access Australia Group, the farm promotes skill development and personal growth for people with disabilities including microbusiness, horticulture, retail, tourism, hospitality and creative manufacturing. peppergreenfarm.com.au


A GREAT DAY AT GREAT TRENTHAM SPUDFEST There aren’t many events these days where a family can have a day out without breaking the bank. On Saturday, May 2nd, the Great Trentham Spudfest is one of those rare happenings. Run by volunteers, with support from Hepburn Shire and the local Community Bank, Spudfest is a ticket-free festival where, if you BYO lunch, you can enjoy fun for all the family without opening your wallet. Free entertainment includes live music in four performance locations, clowns, a hay-bale maze, a tractor pull and two vintage and classic car displays. This year, we have added a Sustainability Expo to the mix on the Town Square, showcasing ideas to save the planet. For those wanting a little more, there are Spuds galore - 24 varieties to buy fresh-fromthe-ground and take home, cooked spuds to

eat on the spot (think chips, roasted, roesti, twirly, mash, bravas, soup…) along with a wide range of gourmet produce and wines and beers from the local area. Add in classic kids’ activities like mini golf, a petting zoo and the best face-painting in the country (with award-winning artists on the brushes - yes, really!), an Artisan Market with beautiful hand-made items and a diverse general market at the Historic Railway Station and you literally have something for everyone! You can tour the whole village in a Horse and Cart, or simply stroll the streets including visiting the shops on High Street. You can also feel good about supporting the Trentham community. Spudfest raises much needed funds for two local primary schools and the kindergarten, the Historical Society, CFA and other groups. It’s a day filled with fun that makes a difference. Images by Merrilyn Hunt


IN YOUR GARDEN AUTUMN 2020 Autumn is bulb time, to help you get the basics in place for that beautiful flower display in winter, spring and summer here’s a few tips to help you on your way. Basic rules are that bulbs are planted twice as deep as the bulb is high and the same distance apart. The right planting depth is important to keep the bulb cool. However, do not plant too deeply as its shoots will fail to reach the surface before its stored energy runs out. Orientation of your bulb is important – ensure that the pointy growing tip points skyward and the roots downwards. If unsure plant sideways and they will sort themselves out. An exception to the rule is: Anemone coronaria where the point is the root, not the growing tip, hence this is placed downwards. Also Ranunculus asiatics are a corm which takes on a claw shape. The ‘claw’ is the roots and need to be placed downwards. A bulb planter is a great tool to have in your kit. This great little tool is marked so you are able to get the planting depth correct for each bulb. Planting time for bulbs in cooler regions generally is around April and May, later in warmer regions. Lilliums can be planted winter through to early spring. Plant immediately after

delivery, do not allow them to dry out as unlike other bulbs they do not have a dormant cycle. The ideal soil for bulbs is a neutral pH 7.0 this is important in establishing root health and growth. Well drained or free draining soil to achieve this is a balanced mix of clay, sand, silt and organic matter. You can raise or mound up the garden beds to improve drainage. Alternatively plant and grow your bulbs in pots if your soil is soggy. Top dress all bulbs in Autumn. Bulbs will benefit if given a second dressing after flowering as this is when they are generating energy that they require to produce next year’s flowers. Bulbs like to be planted in cool soil. If the weather hasn’t dropped below 13˚ you can store them in the fridge for around 5 weeks prior to planting. Tulips require 4-8 weeks in the fridge. At the end of the season don’t be tempted to cut back the strappy leaves as it is at this point the bulb is generating the next year’s energy. In preference, plant other species to hide the die back such as poppy’s, marigolds, yarrow and euphorbia to name a few. Go on get out there and plant some bulbs in the garden, under trees, in the lawn or in pots and sit back and be rewarded by a wonderful display of colour.


By Lyndall McQuinn

AUTUMN ASTROLOGY Capricorn is still dominating the astro sky. It now has five planets transiting through the sign having an impact in the early, mid and late degrees so all Capricorns are changing and redefining their lives. Pluto and Saturn have been together over summer and we can see the impact of them highlighting the destructive elements of our structures and our earth, but also combining with Jupiter/Neptune bringing us a virus that threatens to shut down global movement and destroy the markets for the moment. Saturn is now moving away from Pluto and during April enters Aquarius, offering our Aquarians and hopefully humanity an opportunity to ground and structure some of their far reaching concepts; concepts that are aimed at bigger picture consciousness that Aquarius symbolises rather than financial growth focus of Capricorn. Meanwhile back in Capricorn both Jupiter and Mars will touch base with Pluto. So expect the toxicity to expand and ignite. This doesn’t bode well for curtailing the virus. March is the climax of this dance. Mars with Jupiter offers high energy, but also expansive infections. Mars then heads off into Aquarius in April and will join Saturn and these two are great builders. Saturn always brings a reality check and although frustrating can discipline Mars towards constructive action. So April is a time of controlling influences starting to impact on the roller coaster of 2020, or at least the development of ideas that can contain the destructive forces at play. Jupiter is going to stay in Capricorn and turn backwards over ground that’s already been covered just to make sure we have dug out all the dross. She will keep Pluto company for much of the year which offers powerful opportunity to create change one way or another; definitely not low impact. We are all existing in an intense and unstable period.


Capricorn: anything goes. This is a time of huge changes and upheaval. A total rethink of how you define life. There are moments of action and diversification and moments of a deep underlying need to transform. Cancer: you are in the back-wash from the Capricorn and generally for you this is a great time of changes because things flow in your direction. You may be busy and changing facets of your life, but the changes are setting you up for the dreams you want to manifest. Aquarius: Saturn and Mars are coming your way. April is your time to launch and start building the plans that you have visualized for many years. You are likely to feel the plans are within reach and more realistic than they have ever been. At this point the effect is felt by those born in the early Aquarian degrees. Leo: is happy and quiet for Leo. Energy comes in spurts, at times you feel like expanding and ambitious and at other times you just want to drift. You are trying to find the perfect blend of work/life. Pisces: Autumn is always confusing for you as many personal planets move through your sign over autumn. Adding extra Pisces energy to Pisces doesn’t necessarily energise, it can just overload and make you either tired or dreamy. So allow the space to drift and dream, this is not wasted time this is creation time. Virgo: There is a grand earth trine available for some Virgos and this gives the energy and drive to build and flow quickly. An element of this trine can feel highly anxious but the changes that you press on to make are totally liberating. There is just a need to tend to your nervous system and your physical needs.

Aries: busy but a little lost. When isn’t Aries busy and it is certainly a time when you can sort out career options and ideas but underlying this is the awareness of often unconscious taunts that keep turning or refining your ideas. They tend to thwart your focus right now. Libra: relationships are your source of anguish. They often are, but this is a time when you can see many unhealthy aspects to your relationships and a time of rethinking who you are and what do you need? If you have lost yourself within relationships then you may need some time alone to realign. Family life can be intense. Taurus: April born Taureans have a year of changes which usually makes Taurus uncomfortable, but its time. The changes can bring travel or new learning or study that actually once set up are refreshing and offer new friendships as old friendships are proving elusive.

Scorpio: is in search of their tribe or community. Where do you want to be? People and defining yourself via the people are what’s important for our solitary Scorpios. Your relationships to all others, lovers, partners, work colleagues and community are moving around. This is leading to a settled sense of where I want to be. Gemini: is restless and a bit uncomfortable; something is trying to change deep within. Work is a little uninspiring and you need others to help ground the new concepts you may like to build. Partnership with others offers inspiration but challenges. Sagittarius: is ready to create wealth. Speculative ideas are more likely to bring results right now and there is a settled sense of hard work pays off. Dealing with co-workers is often disruptive especially if they encroach on your territory. It’s difficult to keep the independence you like in workspaces. Blessed Be Lyndall McQuinn www.lyndallmcquinn.com 0428 425 923



Profile for Norma Morton

Secrets Magazine - Issue 63 - Autumn 2020