Tag Archives: Subtropics

Monet’s island garden?

THE iconic water-lily pond and Japanese bridge within artist Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny in northern France (Fondation Claude Monet à Giverny) has often been emulated in landscapes throughout the world, but it’s the last thing I expected to happen-upon on a subtropical island in Queensland.

Here on Coochiemudlo Island, pedestrians are treated to a glimpse of a shaded lake scattered with native water lilies, sporting a bridge that would have caught the eye of the French Impressionist, with a reflection to match.

The lake is part of a property known as ‘Mudlo’, sporting extensive gardens set back from the island’s Main Beach, open on occasion to visitors during various island festivals.

Claude Monet (1840-1926) escaped the confines of Paris for Giverny after the tuberculosis death of his wife, Camille, in 1879. He spent the rest of his life creating, and painting, his own little corner of Woop Woop.

Passing Coochiemudlo Island’s lake in the evening, you’re likely to hear the unmistakable croaking of cane toads, but don’t let that spoil the delight of our own little taste of France!

© Australian Country Life, all rights reserved.

Follow Michael Burge on Twitter @burgewords

How to spot an islander

1238070_551172344949481_657413862_nHERE in the subtropical regions of Woop Woop you only have to check out someone’s ankles to know how close they live to the seaboard. The tell-tale signs of irritating little bites can label you a shore-dweller faster than any accent or choice of clothing.

It’s beaut living by the sea, but there’s always a drawback, right?

Well, for me it’s my daily routine of insect repellent to the lower legs. It’s either that, or the terrible bites I copped within weeks of moving to Queensland in 2012, right as sandfly season took off.

Since then, I’ve been on the search for the most effective mozzie, sandfly, and bug retardant I can find, one which won’t kill me through daily use for half the year.

There’s plenty of home-made remedies out there, and many commercial products include the essential oil of a great Aussie native – Corymbia citriodora – the ‘lemon eucalyptus’.

I want to know if anyone’s got any old-fashioned home remedies to share?

© Australian Country Life, all rights reserved.

Follow Michael Burge on Twitter @burgewords