Spring 2012-Summer 2013

The Gardens are a delight through spring and summer.  It all begins with the purple blossoms of the paulownia tree in the front garden and continues with the wisteria walk flowering its dainty white and purple droplets, followed by the abundant double blossoms in Crab Apple Lane.

Hedges continue to border the vibrant colour and continue the green theme, long after the blossoms have dropped, leaving a carpet of white, like a snowfall.  

Weddings, friends, family gatherings, and a meditation workshop that brought participants from as far away as Broome, have made our springtime-list of visitors. Duck families have made their home again on the garden ponds, alongside the pobblebonk frogs that can be heard calling each other in the warm evenings.  Daddy Duck has been working hard to protect his ten charges as they learn the ropes of life.,  Wood ducks are a delight, staying strong as a family until the young ones are strong enough to fly off on their own.

Summer has brought more family groups to Tasma House, to celebrate and share pre-Christmas get-togethers, Christmas/Boxing Day gatherings, and slow-time together, just having fun and relaxing in an easy going environment.

New Year's Eve was enjoyed by a bunch of old school friends who like to get away together each year.  This gathering of old school friends seems to be popular here, with many groups in their 50's who have known each other and kept in contact 35-40 years after their final school year, is such a treat to be able to host. These guests all know and like each other very well. Some do not see each other except for during these gatherings and make the most of their time together, without needing much else, apart from each other's company and time to spend with each other.

After enjoying the late spring working furiously in the gardens, Carla and I have passed the reigns of onsite property management over to Gerry Managh, a capable and amiable individual who is doing a great job keeping the wheels turning and guests provided for, in our absence.

Carla and I are in Clarksdale, Mississippi, birthplace of the Blues, the centre of the Delta, and the land of cotton.  We have undertaken a project here that will have us coming and going for a while, revitalising an old Masonic Temple and some shops in the historic downtown blues precinct.  There was snow here over Christmas, with some days not getting above zero.

We will be back in Daylesford in late February to prepare for a busy March season of garden weddings and Easter family get-together extravaganzas.  Can't wait for the beauty of the fading summer heat, with the cockatoos and galahs swooping by while the croaking frogs sing songs of approaching Autumn.

Wishing all of our guests a happy, safe, summer in the Central Highlands on Table Hill.

See ya,



Winter 2012

A cool Sunday afternoon on The Queen's June birthday long weekend, and it's warm inside.  The sun shows itself outside, through the misty mountain air, which so many guests enjoy walking through with their winter coats, hats, and gloves.  With air-conditioned houses, cars, and shopping malls, it's no wonder that Daylesford is so popular in winter.  Perhaps it's the last place to actually use all the winter accessories.

Wibbly-wobbly Wall in Tasma Gardens, Daylesford

I often tell people who book and stay over winter that the fresh mountain cold is a great excuse to do nothing.  Well, almost nothing, whilst sharing it with your close friends and family.  It's a great time to walk in the hills, around the lakes or the many bush trails that connect Tasma House to the outside world of mineral water, fresh forrest, or the Mill Market at the end of the street.  The house stays warm and comforting whilst guests get out and explore the Sunday markets or the main street cafe's and galleries.

Rosella in Tasma Gardens, Daylesford
On days of doing very little, it's totally fine to make a round of hot chocolates on the expresso machine or cook a long slow soup with fresh veggies from the Saturday farmers market, enjoying a fresh sourdough loaf to dip into it.  Book reading, and occasionally looking out at the cold from frosted-over windows at the colourful rosellas and cockatoos seems to add a special ingredient to a winter visit.
Cockatoo in Tasma Gardens, DaylesfordThe cold does not seem to be stopping the many children here this weekend from enjoying a bounce on the trampoline.  I have been hearing squeals of of the most beautiful sounds, reinforcing to me that things are going well for the families in residence this weekend.

Somebody contacted me regarding the celebration of their 50th birthday at Tasma House the other day.  This is a regular enquiry, and quite a number of people have now gathered their best mates and family together to do this here.  This enquiry got me thinking about why I am so passionate about my responses to these requests.  I held mine here, not because I could, but because that is what I truly wanted to do....bring my important people together in one place and share their presence, not their presents, in a slow and delicious way.

On receiving a quote for another 50th gathering, the recipient thought it too much to spend on oneself, and suggested that they and their partner could go to Bali for a week for the cost of bringing their whole gang to Tasma House for an extended weekend.  They got no argument from me, because it's true.  It's also true that you do not get to enjoy a week in Bali with up to 18 others, and the souvenirs you bring home will most probably end up at the op-shop in a few years' time.  The only comparison between the two experiences is a price point, and what happens when you bring the whole gang together is priceless!

There are 2x 80th celebrations booked in this winter.  Four generations will be able to be together at one place at the one time.  A few weeks ago we had a marvellous family gathering combining a doting matriarch, four siblings and partners, and a combined force of 10 children between them.  Madness, mayhem, and hilarity....bring it on, I say!

Ricardo Wedding Ceremony in Tasma Gardens, Daylesford

The last garden wedding for the season was held in late April, on the most glorious of autumn days.  A special helping hand from someone looking over the Beautilicious Bride, Danielle, and her Handsome Husband, Phil.  Danielle is an experienced event photographer herself,, and planned the event with her partner to the smallest detail.  Their wedding was photographed by Immerse Photography.

Ricardo Reception Table on Crab Apple Lane in Tasma Gardens, Daylesford

Their success, which is obvious by the photo's and the generosity of sharing their private memories, was, in part, attributed to the fabulous team that they chose to help them achieve their ideal ceremony and celebration.

The photo's are a testament to a beautiful couple who worked hard to make a special day for themselves, and reached out to their loved ones and friends, making them all feel at home.  A toast to the happy couple!


Wedding Couple in Tasma Gardens, Daylesford

Autumn 2012

It's officially cold outside, but after the run of beautiful late Summer/early Autumn blue skies, the crispness is welcomed.

The last few months have seen three weddings, each with a unique flavour, all individually hand-made by their participants.  With help from sought-after local caterers, their families, their friends, and to a great extent, the couples themselves, they managed to make these special events quite successful.

Wedding photo by Lara Luz, Tea Garden at Tasma House and Gardens

Here is a link to Elle and Terry's Wedding, which was held here at Tasma House in February, 2012.  Elle and Terry have graciously allowed us to share their photographs.  Also, Lara Luz, photographer for this event, has had the wedding written about in RockN'Roll Bride, an international wedding blog, focusing on unique events.  

Tasma House Wisteria Walk Painting by Carla Maxwell

Carla Maxwell has painted one of the scenes from Elle and Terry's wedding (from one of the photo's of the wisteria walk), as well as other garden scenes over the last few months.  I am sure these paintings will end up in some of the garden rooms, as Command Central gets crowded with finished paintings.

Elle and Terry Wedding at Tasma House and Gardens
Wedding photo by Lara Luz, Wisteria Walk at Tasma House and Gardens
It often looks like something out of a children's picture book when I look around the garden and outbuildings during the changing seasons.  Speaking of children, we have seen quite a few in the last few months!  It seems that sharing time away with other families or your own extended family has certainly been popular.  There have been two four-generation events at Tasma House and Gardens.  These multi-generation events have a great sense of honour attached to them, as they are momentous for those gathered, and it is an honour to host such an event by providing the type of place where everyone feels at home and welcome, from infants to distinguished older guests.

Elle and Terry Tasma House Verandah Photo
Wedding photo by Lara Luz, Verandah at Tasma House and Gardens

Other great weekends have included:
  • A 91st Birthday, with a birthday-girl flying in from England, and 4 generations to help her celebrate. 
  • Successful business operators from another regional town enjoyed bringing their whole extended families away for a fun four days together.  They cooked for each other and entertained themselves with luscious indulgence.
  • A group of midwives gathered for a weekend workshop, to network, learn, and relax together.  
  • Significant birthdays 30th, 50th, and 91st have had a look in these last few months.
Elle and Terry Wedding at Tasma House Bungalow Photo
Wedding photo by Lara Luz, Bungalow at Tasma House and Gardens

Looking ahead, lots of people will be coming to stay, for all sorts of reasons with some bookings already for 2013.  How luxurious to savour the planning of a special gathering and have a full 12 months to let the momentum and anticipation build!


Summer 2012

Australia Day 2012  -- A blue sky day for Tasma House, with a three-generation family gathering off to a beautiful early weekend start.  The sound of happy kids fills the air, along with a fresh breeze that is so much appreciated after a few hot days.

It is five degrees cooler in the shade of the front verandah or in the garden under the tree canopy.  Twelve ducks and two cormorants were visiting the pond this morning, but the fish are pretty canny and have, so far, avoided the cormorants' beaks.

Tasma House has been booked every weekend this summer, so far.  There have been 40th birthday celebrations, an intimate wedding, a school-friends gathering, a larger catered wedding ceremony and function.  A number of family groups have stayed for 3-4 days together, bringing the whole gang.

The Boite Singers Festival returned this summer to Daylesford for its 26th annual festival. The singers that run workshops and perform at the evening concerts have a home here during their time in Daylesford.

One of the weddings that was held here has sent us some delicious photo's of their special moments and have allowed us to share them.

Tasma House Lavender Bride Photo

More to come, but here is a sneaky-peek.  The photographer's name is Nina Williams,
Tasma House Barn Wedding Decorations

Watercolor painting by Carla Maxwell

Carla Maxwell has been painting in watercolours over the last few weeks on our kitchen table, and she is capturing the many birds and animals that are attracted to the gardens at Tasma House with her brushwork.

Tasma House Verandah Watercolor Painting by Carla MaxwellThese beautiful paintings will inspire more creative works, with each season providing plenty of source material for inspiration.

Watch out for some of the finished work around Tasma House soon.


Tasma House Bungalow Watercolor Painting by Carla Maxwell

Spring 2011

Spring 2011 at Tasma House and Gardens is in full flight.  The trees are abundant with new growth and blossoms.  The cockatoos, ravens, ducks, honey-eaters, rosellas, and kookaburras are all chiming in with their songs of the forest.  Tasma House is adjacent to the springs reserve and the Wombat Forest and provides a corridor for local birds and animals.  The other morning I bumped into Mr. Kangaroo on Table Hill rd, not with a car, but walking along.  Mrs. Wallaby has been leaving calling cards on the nature strip, as well.

The winter cold had Tasma House booked solid each weekend, with different groups celebrating stuff, getting older and wiser, learning and sharing things, and otherwise keeping warm together.  Daylesford has long been popular as a place in winter where you can relax, stay indoors or rug-up against the cold outdoors and do very little.  The cold acts as an effective excuse for this and an opportunity to cook slow meals and indulge in good company.  Friends and extended family groups have been doing this over winter, but with the spring sunshine, there is a distinct increase in the hoots and hollers of happy kids on the trampoline in the gardens, and the smell of BBQ's in the air as the activities move outside.  

The front verandah gets a healthy dose of sun in the afternoons, where a sunset can be enjoyed over the Wombat Forest, whilst watching all the birds that visit the ponds.  Give that rocking chair a good rockin' while you are at it, and the magic of Table Hill in the Central Highlands will truly reveal itself.  



Autumn 2011

The Central Highlands in Autumn.  Color, sunlight, earthy delights from the garden, growth and water all around.  Tasma's gardens are alive with the best that Autumn provides.  The senses are tickled with layers of activity.

The parrots that cannot be seen for heavy foliage in summer, suddenly show themselves with the baring of the trees.  The cockatoos are stripping the last ripe fruit from the trees, and coming close by to chat about the season.  A pair of wood ducks have a nest and eggs being looked after -- strange time of year for that, but what a strange year it has been in other ways, too.

Tasma House and Gardens is on a flat hill called, "Table Hill," but high enough to be considered in the mountains, making it colder here than in Melbourne or in other lower lying cities.  The wet Autumn leaves sparkle and glisten with morning dew and soon we'll see occasional frosts.

In Autumn, there are occasional blasts of sunny, crisp, days followed by cool nights that make you want to stay under the doona and revel in the time to cocoon.  Maybe take a long hot bath and read the paper all day.  While staying at Tasma House, people bush-walk or jump on the trampoline or play table tennis in the barn to get their blood going, then relax inside, warm and cozy from the bite of cool mountain night air.

There is something about mountain air that makes you sleep well.  That and the sound of nothing but the birds, frogs, and Autumn leaves falling on still ponds.  A friend told me once that people come to Daylesford in the colder times because it gives them the absolute opportunity or excuse to do nothing.  With only a couple of weekends left available at Tasma until spring, this must be true.  It's a tough job facilitating people doing nothing, but someone's got to do it!

This Autumn we have a group of knitters, celebrations for 30th, 40th, and 60th birthdays, family gatherings, multiple family sharings, a wedding party, and more.  I wish all of them a peaceful, memorable, and inspirational time here at Tasma, in the gardens, on the hill, in the highlands.


March 2011

It’s the beginning of March 2011, and the Garden feels spectacular. The wettest season on record has made a difference, after 11 years of drought. A "hedges trimmed, lawns mowed," type of feeling, but more still. The biggest, toughest, piece of hedge -- one I have stared at for 2 years and nibbled at the corners of, has been cut down to manageable size.  I was there at the planting; but, 12 years on, there were parts of this cypress hedge that needed lopping, to keep the beautiful Wombat Forest in view and perspective.

The hedge job of March 2011 was a family effort, a birthday present both unexpected and unplanned, rather totally opportunistic use of strong helpers on a weekend spent otherwise indulging in far more relaxed pursuits -- watching the ducks with their crazy rituals, watching us.

The Cockatoos visit every day, bringing with them their cheeky screams of delight. The sun and rain combine to drench the area's rich abundance. It’s cold enough, sometimes, at night to think of fires outside without the bushfire menace being the first thought.

Tasma House is shaping up to be full of the joys of celebration for many in the coming 12 months. All kinds of private events are scheduled, together with a select few public ones.

The Tasma House calendar is filling as far away as 2012, which, in turn, feeds and nurtures those who sail her. Sorry about the ship analogy, being in the mountains and all, but I often think of Tasma House as a quirky old eccentric cruise ship.

Working on this blog, and one for my other interests, has felt like spring cleaning, even though spring is a looong way away.  Finding places for stuff, cleaning, and sorting, for me, has always been something to put off, yet it energises at the same time.

The Labour Day weekend means “Chillout Festival” in Daylesford, where thousands of people descend on the town.  I just had a conversation with a guest who has an official capacity with the festival but was enjoying his own style of "chill out," hanging out on the verandah, glass of wine in hand, watching the ducks on the pond.  It looked like he felt a million miles from worry.

Here’s a toast to both types of chilling out,........


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