Life long pas­sion spent in gar­dens

A good form of re­lax­ation

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

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.

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