We built our home, and moved in, in Easter 2009, just before the floods of 2010, 2011. As we’d cut into the hill, to build the house on solid foundation, the surplus soil of pure clay, formed our front lawn.
I had more than a few sleepless nights worrying, listening to the heavy down pours on our roof, and wondering if there was going to be any soil remaining, in front of the house, the damage was extensive, thus the main purpose of my garden was to control water run off and erosion.
I started planting on the steepest parts first – the retaining wall behind the house. Tube stock of Grevillea, bottle brush, and natives, obtained from the local council nursery and Nanango Markets ( my source of cheap plants) were used. This was wonderful fodder for the wallabies also!!
I’d had an established garden at our previous home, and had to leave mature trees, and garden, to come to nothing, not even grass, for a gardener this was heart breaking. I kept telling myself, picture it in ten years!! Well it’s nearly been ten years and WOW, in my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have imagined the way it looks now.
Many of the plants in my garden, have their own story. My Loquat tree was given to me in a jam tin, from an old timer that lived close by in Haden, he and I spent many an hour plaiting whips, while listening to stories of ploughing with drought horses, and times long gone. Every jacaranda tree was lovingly transplanted as seedlings by my 84 yr old Aunty, who lives in toowoomba, and has a mature tree in a neighbouring garden, close by. Another elderly relative, gave me a golden penda tree, that has beautiful large balls of golden flowers, loved by lorikeets. I remember my wonderful, long suffering husband dragging a trolly full of Boganville plants around Nanango Markets, what a bargain, only $5 each!! A frangipani tree called tutti fruiti was obtained while on holiday in Coffs Harbour; daffodils that were my dad’s favourite flower, and remind me of him, every year when they flower.
My garden is my refuge, my inspiration, my place of healing, and calm when my world is falling apart. No matter how bad I feel, a short walk outside, will soon have me pulling out weeds, or checking on the damage inflicted by wallabies, possum, and or bandicoots. All wildlife is welcome, especially the birds, which now inhabit and call my garden home.
My roses are a gift from God, every time I have a special friend that needs cheering up, he always blesses me with the biggest bouquet of long stemmed, perfumed roses. They don’t get any special care, just plenty of mulch and manure, always in plentiful supply on a cattle farm. Although an electric fence now guards them from hungry marauding wallabies!!
Visitors usually accompany me for a stroll around the garden, before leaving, and always leave with cuttings, or plants if they are gardeners, or produce, jams and chutney, or both, as a parting gift. This gives me the greatest pleasure of all. A gardener always shares, either plants, produce or wisdom, and this is the greatest gift, and legacy, possible.