Flow­ers in full bloom

Gar­den­ing is ther­a­peu­tic and bright­ens up Dot’s day

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR BACKYARD - Philippe Co­querand philippe.co­querand@cnbtimes.com.au

See pages 50 and 51

THROUGH tri­umph and ad­ver­sity, gar­den­ing has thrown ev­ery­thing at Dot Ford.

How­ever, she has never given up and in fact she de­scribes it as her pas­sion.

“I’ve al­ways been a big lover of gar­dens, even hav­ing gar­den par­ties here over the years,” Mrs Ford said.

“But when the 2013 floods came it washed a lot of it away so I had to start all over again.”

It was a dif­fi­cult time as ev­ery­thing was de­stroyed.

“I haven’t got quite as much as I used to be­fore the floods hit but what I have now, it’s a lot eas­ier to main­tain and to look af­ter,” Mrs Ford said.

“I just love flow­ers and pot plants and I just think it’s good for your health. If you’re feel­ing down, you just go out to your gar­den and start feel­ing bet­ter, it’s re­ally ther­a­peu­tic.

“Some­times I say I’ll just go out for 10 min­utes and water the plants, and a few hours later I’m still there.”

There are many ben­e­fits

❝ Some­times I say I’ll just go out for 10 min­utes and water the plants, and a few hours later I’m still there. — Dot Ford

that gar­den­ing can have on your­self.

“It’s good to be out in the sun­light, it pro­vides you with the much needed vi­ta­min D,” Mrs Ford said.

“You for­get all about your wor­ries and you just do things be­sides just stay­ing in­doors all the time.”

She said she does have her favourites among her plants.

“I love quite a few plants but my favourite would have to be ger­beras and roses,” Mrs Ford said.

“You have an­nu­als that you can only plant a cer­tain time of the year, the suc­cu­lents and cacti they grow all year round and I like or­na­ments and or­chids.”

Gar­den­ing takes quite a bit of time and pa­tience, she said.

“Well first of all you have to have good soil, we have river loam which is not clay or any­thing, it’s very good drainage which a lot of plants like,” Mrs Ford said.

“It needs plenty of water and plenty of fer­tiliser when it’s good drainage like river loam.

“You can just dig up this whole area and it’s easy dig­ging which is good for plant­ing and gar­den­ing.”

Living in the North Bur­nett can have its chal­lenges, Mrs Ford said.

“I’ve lost quite a few ger­beras a few years ago with our water as it was a bit salty,” she said.

“The plants didn’t like the water and as a re­sult we lost the ma­jor­ity of them which was a huge shame.

“I’ve started wa­ter­ing all my ger­beras and my pot plants with tank water be­cause the river water didn’t work and I’ve found us­ing tank water is help­ing a lot.”

Most days will be spent in the gar­den en­sur­ing all plants are well looked af­ter.

“I won’t water the plants ev­ery­day, in the sum­mer time they’ll get wa­tered ev­ery sec­ond day but in the win­ter time they prob­a­bly only need it twice a week,” Mrs Ford said.

“I have a mix­ture of plants in the gar­den from petu­nias, daisies, ger­beras, flocks, suc­cu­lents, or­chids and I also have the Star of David.

“The Star of David has a lit­tle flower on it which makes you think it could be a re­li­gious thing.”

Mrs Ford im­parted some ad­vice for those think­ing about gar­den­ing.

“A lot of peo­ple say they can’t grow ger­beras but most of mine are in pots be­cause of the floods,” Mrs Ford said.

“It’s easy to over water the flow­ers and as a re­sult they rot very quickly and hav­ing good drainage helps im­mensely.

“I get river loam, pot­ting mix, I get some soil and I mix it all to­gether in a big wheel­bar­row and that’s what I use for my pot­ting mixes.

“Those roses I had in pots when the flood hit the Bur­nett and they all got washed and flooded.”

One of the high­lights from gar­den­ing is show­ing the com­mu­nity the fin­ished prod­uct.

“I love tak­ing part in the shows and putting some of my plants up on dis­play,” Mrs Ford said.

“I didn’t en­ter any this year be­cause I’ve been away but I get a big thrill and have won many cham­pi­ons with my flow­ers.”

Gar­den­ing is re­ward­ing, she said.

“Ev­ery­one should have a go at gar­den­ing, it’s not hard and I bet you’ll end up lov­ing it,” Mrs Ford said.

PHOTO: PHILIPPE CO­QUERAND

LABOUR OF LOVE: Dot Ford with her beau­ti­ful roses that she wa­ters ev­ery morn­ing.

FULL BLOOM: In front of the Bougainvil­lea plant which is grow­ing steadily each month. PHOTOS: PHILIPPE CO­QUERAND

The cit­rus is tak­ing off in Mrs Ford’s gar­den.

An­other one of Dot Ford's favourite plants.

These plants are cur­rently in bloom­ing sea­son.

A glad­i­ola plant is in full bloom this sea­son.

Dot Ford says roses are one of her favourite plants in her gar­den.

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