Jenny’s gar­den is par­adise

Laid-back ap­proach cre­ates a wonderland

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR BACKYARD - Emily Smith emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

SPRAWL­ING over the back­yard of Jenny Gre­aly’s homestead out­side of Monto is her very Aussie gar­den.

Hard work and a re­laxed at­ti­tude have had fan­tas­tic re­sults and plants like bougainvil­lea, brought over by the first set­tlers, light up the gar­den with colour, while par­rots and wal­la­bies search for food.

“The wal­la­bies are a big prob­lem,” Mrs Gre­aly said.

“They eat all my roses and prune off the bot­tom of even the citrus trees; I’ve got no idea how to get rid of them.”

But the par­rots are a favourite, and Mrs Gre­aly and her hus­band Mick have spent many after­noons watch­ing them splash in the wa­ter dish as the sun goes down.

“I don’t con­sider my­self a gar­dener, just some­one who likes some­thing nice to look at on the ve­randa at the end of the day,” Mrs Gre­aly said, with a laugh.

“So if some­thing dies or I can’t get it to grow I don’t worry much, I just plant some­thing dif­fer­ent next time.”

But de­spite Mrs Gre­aly’s laid-back ap­proach, her fern gar­den, bougainvil­leas, bromeli­ads, birds of par­adise, daisies and herb gar­den are all tick­ing along very well in­deed.

She said the lit­tle signs

mark­ing out dif­fer­ent herbs are a great help when gar­den­ing with her grand­chil­dren and great-grand­chil­dren.

“It’s nice to have some­thing we can all do to­gether, the herb gar­den is great when we are gar­den­ing and cook­ing be­cause I can send them out to col­lect bits for me and they know where it all is,” she said.

“But there are lots of dis­trac­tions for kids out here; I was gar­den­ing with my great-grand­son Con­nor (Stele) the other day and he came across some snails, so that was the end of gar­den­ing.”

Grand­daugh­ter Tayissa Gre­aly also lends a hand some­times, and she came along to the last meet­ing of the Monto Gar­den Club.

“She likes win­ning the plants in the raf­fles; she’s pretty good at help­ing me pot them up and wa­ter them af­ter­wards too,” Mrs Gre­aly said.

Mrs Gre­aly’s charis­matic gar­den also tells a great story of her ad­ven­tures; when she moved from Black­wa­ter to Monto 12 years ago she said she had an en­tire horse float “choker-block with all the plants”.

And lin­ing the edge of her front lawn she has painted plough discs, col­lected from farms all over the area.

De­spite the years of hard work gone into Mrs Gre­aly’s gar­den she still has one more idea to put in place.

“One day I would like to have buf­falo lawn.

“We had it at our old prop­erty and no one would ever wear shoes to our par­ties be­cause that spongy grass feel­ing is so nice un­der­foot,” she said.

FULL OF COLOUR: One of Jenny Gre­aly’s favourite plants is bougainvil­lea.

The hill-top gar­den is pro­tected from the frost, al­low­ing plants to flour­ish all win­ter long.

Knick-knacks col­lected over the years give Jenny Gre­aly’s gar­den a lot of per­son­al­ity.

Jenny Gre­aly said she is a big fan of bromeli­ads be­cause they are so easy to grow.

Jenny Gre­aly said some after­noons there are up to 20 par­rots in her back gar­den.

Bougainvil­leas are thriv­ing on the Monto prop­erty.

PHOTO: EMILY SMITH

White birds of par­adise plants grow much taller than the nor­mal type, Monto’s Jenny Gre­aly found out.

Daisies brighten up Jenny Gre­aly’s front gar­den.

Jenny Gre­aly’s hus­band Mick is a horse breeder and she said all the fresh horse ma­nure does won­ders on her gar­den.

A care­fully la­belled gar­den is im­por­tant for when the grand­kids visit.

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