/bɪ ə gʊd gɜ:l/ n. moniker of she who blogs here [also known as, bie]; adj. personal awesome advice to all female kiddos

meet the fam #thechennies

meet the fam #thechennies

If there's one thing I love about travelling abroad, it's the opportunity to get lost in beautiful landscapes and marvel at the full glory of nature that is in short supply back home. And in Australia, there's simply beauty everywhere you look. There are au naturel spots like beaches and national parks, but I'll leave that for another post because I have a lengthy one about the historic Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens {website}.

Ashcombe is located in Mornington Peninsula, which is known for its gorgeous gardens (among other attractions and activities), and is about 2.5 hours away from Melbourne. Of the many gardens and nurseries, we (I) chose Ashcombe because of its history - the oldest and largest traditional hedge maze in Australia - and the more laidback itinerary. Not that it was boring, there is plenty to see (at the very least, 90 mins is the recommended period): Hedge Maze (obviously), Rose Maze, Lavender Gardens and Woodland Gardens. But less action-packed than say the newer The Enchanted Adventure Garden with its ziplining, tree surfing and tube slides - more intense and probably better suited for older children.

Being surrounded by the beautiful blooms in Ashcombe immediately lifted my spirits (I'm a lousy traveller) and the girls were enraptured by the delicate flowers and rainbow of colours. Right, I'm not about to exhaust my list of adjectives so just enjoy the pictures! (We walked around the gardens quite haphazardly so the photos might be en route to another part of the gardens.)

Hedge Maze
Bielet was quite scared at the start because you can't see what's around the corners and she was rather uncertain. But after we had a gander, she (bossily) took over as "the leader" and demanded we all follow her. We were quite happy to take her lead, even if she brought us to a dead end, because the look on her face and her "HUH stuck again" exclamation were priceless. She picked herself up and trudged on, with her minions following behind!

Relax one corner lol

The hedge maze was quite a tight fit.

Bieny is like, "what's up with these people?"

While in Aussie, Bieny had just started walking by herself (without the use of table or cupboard support), so we tried as much as possible to encourage the walking.

Bielet clinging on for dear life to Papa

This was at the Centre Garden, in between the two hedge mazes

What a pretty sight!

How sweet is this, although Bieny's stance is a liiiiiiiiiitle awkward #justsaying

Yay ZX and I got our couple shot, thanks to Bielet!

There are many gnomes hidden around the gardens, so you can have a bit of fun competing to see who can spot more. 

Pardon the odd choice of clothing. We had expected warm, balmy weather but it was much much colder! So we just wore what we had and layered over. By the time we reached midway of our trip, we had to layer twice over because it got more chilly.

I believe this was a bit further off, at the Rock Gardens. Very Japanesey and Oriental manicured gardens.

Ooh the girls spotted another gnome!

And another further up. Looks like this gnome is 'staying' in the trunk, right?

Rose Maze
This pretty maze is circular and we went round and round trying to get to the middle, then out again. Sounds a little silly but there are so many roses to distract you! Bielet was getting a little tired by this point (because the gardens are spread across quite a wide area, especially for her little legs) so we got her to look for roses that she liked. Between the two of us, we took soooooo many pictures of the flowers we fancied!

Bielet encouraging Bieny to join her at the centre pavilion :)))

And the two sweeties took a nice picture there. Bielet is raising her legs because the stone bench was really cold!

Funny photo of Mama and Bieny!

And funny photo of Papa. Why is he flaring his nostrils like that?! LOL

Finally! A nice photo of us!

Lavender Gardens
The lavender scent is so fragrant that you just want to dive in. There was a old, rusty bathtub among the reeds but I think it was probably a decorative piece (before it rusted). Instead, I picked up a bottle of lavender shower gel (made from those grown right here in the gardens!) for my sis at the cafe shop before we left. She really likes lavender and she commented this smelt really good.

There is a lookout platform that you can stand on to take in a 360degree look of the lavender patch

And right next to the lavenders (okay, a lot further up to the side), there were cows roaming around. There's barbed wire littered around to prevent trespassers so we just stood this distance away and moo-ed our greetings.

Woodland Gardens
The photos here are a mash up of what we took as we wandered around, most of which are in the Lower Woodlands of the place.

The interior of the wedding gazebo. I can just imagine the blissful couple exchanging vows under this roof! (Yah, and looking nothing like those two on the bench......)

And it overlooks a little fountain

We walked further into the Lower Woodlands. "Very Lord of the Rings," ZX remarked.

Bielet was really into all these photo points. And this is probably my favourite of the lot we snapped in Australia! How cute do my fairy and gnome look?

Ashcombe Maze Cafe
By the time we finished exploring the grounds, we were totally famished. It was a vast space to complete!

More blooms outside the cafe

We even managed to snap this bee in action!

That's one solid booster seat for Bieny. Anyway, in case you're wondering, Bielet's expression isn't because she's shouting or saw anything frightening. On the contrary, it's because we told her to vary her photo expressions otherwise the pictures would all turn out the same. But this pose? Ummmmmmmm

Much nicer now, Bielet! She couldn't wait to dig in to her's and Bieny's plate of fish and chips (and she still doesn't understand why Mama always needs to shoot before eating #firstworldproblems)

My scrumptious pie! I could live on pie every day. Yummmmmmmmm

How come ZX just took a soup?! I can't remember if it's because I didn't take a photo or because he wasn't hungry. That man. Eats. So. Little.

I've actually got a lot more photos that we snapped at the gardens, but this has already been a fair bit. Seeing how magnificent the blooms are on (digital) film, you can just imagine how much prettier they were in reality. And I'm not even big on flowers! Ah, Ashcombe, you have my heart.

[Read the rest of our Melbourne adventures here.]


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