Life long passion spent in gardens
A good form of relaxation
GARDENING has been a life long passion flowing from generation to generation for Col and Joy Wells, who love all aspects of the activity.
Col and Joy were both born in Mundubbera and travelled across the state before returning to their hometown in 2004 to retire.
Col described gardening as a way of relaxing in a life that is constantly busy.
“I’ve always been a keen gardener as my great-grandparents and grandparents were always into it,” he said.
“We’ve always attracted people with our lovely exhibit out the front but we don’t do it to show off, we do it because we love doing it.
“The other place we had was out on the bush with a no through road. We had eight acres and it was all gardens and people used to go out to look at the gardens we had.
“It had bright lights, windmills and water falls and other ornaments that made it stand out.”
The house, which backs onto a busy road, attracts a
❝ I’ve always been a keen gardener as my greatgrandparents and grandparents were always into it.
— Col Wells
lot of visitors.
“People say to me, ‘we come past your place, we’re just wondering what you’ll do next’, and it’s just marvellous that people take an interest in gardening,” Mr Wells said.
“Those who say they can’t find time to garden, it’s (nonsense). Those who don’t like to garden just won’t garden, it’s as simple as that.”
Col said he found gardening therapeutic.
“It’s very relaxing and it’s as though you’re in another world,” he said.
“I suppose it’s like people who play golf or bowls. I don’t drink or smoke any more but even when I did do it I still found time to garden.
“It’s just the passion for gardening.”
Before Col moved to Mundubbera in 2004 all he had was a frame on a wall and nothing else.
“The old shed has fallen down and there’s only two trees on this whole place that was half an acre, and there was two old big silky oaks. They’re a lovely tree and now they’re in the paddock,” he said.
“(The garden) has taken shape since 2010 and now we have a lot of plants in the garden.”
Col doesn’t believe it’s important to know all the names of the plants he has but if he likes it, he’ll get it.
“I only know the basics of plants and there’s too many to know. I don’t care what names they are, if they smell nice and have a nice flower I’ll just grow them,” he said.
“It’s sort of like a mix really, it’s a bit of everything. I just grow things that grow here.”
For example, Col said while azaleas are a common plant on the Sunshine Coast, growing them in the North Burnett can be a challenge.
“They grow well down there but coming up here it’s a challenge, you learn to grow things that suit the area,” Mr Wells said.
“The bamboo I grow is a special bamboo. I paid for a small thing and now it’s thriving in the garden.
“I’ve tried to propagate it but it’s not an easy challenge.”
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the Wells garden.
“I’ve had a lot of disasters over the years with gardening,” Col said.
“You get green fingers and you don’t tell people all the losses you’ve had whilst
setting up a garden but it all adds up.
“My saying is if it won’t grow, don’t try it again.
“I don’t do it for the challenge, I do it because I love it.”
The drought played a big role in the demise of some of the plants in the garden.
“You can say Mundubbera has been one big drought. It was 28 inches that was the average rainfall and it wasn’t much,” Col said.
He said his garden provided a welcome respite each day.
“I spend around three to four hours a day in the gardens and it’s great because I see all the birds that come to the fountain and they just love it.
“If I don’t go down to the plants everyday, neighbours have said they’ll send a search party to check on me because I’m always out gardening.”
WELCOME: Joy and Col standing beside their house in front of the gardens. PHOTOS: PHILIPPE COQUERAND
The plants are in full bloom this time of the season.
All the different flowers outside Joy and Col's house.
The palm trees are growing and have seen their heights increase.
The plants in the garden are doing well during winter.
Some of the beautiful plants Col and Joy have at their Mundubbera home.
A green tree frog inside.
Plants all lined up.
Plants inside the house.