A blooming good job

Gatton Star - - NEWS - Dominic Elsome dominic.elsome@gat­ton­star.com.au

IT’S taken 12 years, but Lorelle and Trevor Niebling have fi­nally taken out the grand cham­pion prize in the Lock­yer Val­ley Gar­den Com­pe­ti­tion.

Mrs Niebling has been en­ter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion since 2006 and, while she’s taken out plenty of cat­e­gory wins, the grand cham­pion prize has al­ways been just out of reach.

“That was a bit of a fright,” Mrs Niebling said, hav­ing not ex­pected the win.

But with the gar­den the Nieblings have, it was only ever go­ing to be a mat­ter of time.

Work on their planned mas­ter­piece be­gan al­most im­me­di­ately when the cou­ple moved into their Blen­heim prop­erty on new year’s day, 2000.

It utilises plenty of na­tive and drought tol­er­ant plants, which keep main­te­nance and wa­ter us­age low, Mrs Niebling ex­plained.

“It’s got to be a gar­den where I put it in the ground – look af­ter your­self,” she said.

The co­pi­ous use of na­tive and hardy plants have also helped the Niebling’s gar­den not just sur­vive the dry, but also thrive.

There’s still plenty of colour how­ever, from the bright reds of the bot­tle-brushes be­gin­ning to bloom, through to the dark greens of the tall conifers.

Mrs Niebling’s oc­ca­sional ap­pli­ca­tion of wa­ter also helps keep the grass lovely and green – some­thing she be­lieved helped push her gar­den over the edge.

“When (Trevor) is ir­ri­gat­ing a crop, I try and flog a bit of wa­ter,” she said.

“We had one cou­ple come through who was in the com­pe­ti­tion as well, and she said ‘well you’ve got green grass – no one else has’.”

Lock­yer Val­ley Mayor Tanya Mil­li­gan said, given the dry con­di­tions, all en­trants in this year’s com­pe­ti­tion should be com­mended.

“It’s heart­break­ingly dry and still our com­mit­ted gardeners have some­how man­aged to present out­stand­ing gar­dens for judg­ing,” Cr Mil­li­gan said.

The cou­ple said the best tip for creat­ing a gor­geous gar­den like theirs was to de­ter­mine the qual­ity of both your soil and wa­ter and work with what you have.

PHOTO: DOMINIC ELSOME

ALL SMILES: Lorelle and Trevor Neib­ling were shocked when they found out they had been crowned grand cham­pion for this year’s Lock­yer Val­ley Gar­den Com­pe­ti­tion – but look­ing at their prop­erty it’s easy to see why.

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