GARDEN OF DREAMS
WHAT CAN START AS AN IDEA CAN QUICKLY GROW INTO YOUR OWN BACKYARD CASTLE
If you have heard of the Festival of Ideas you would probably agree that it is in itself a great idea. I have always wanted to have a festival of garden ideas. But often there are more ideas than you can poke a stick at, many requiring great superficiality and large amounts of cash.
Well that’s what a garden is all about really, an airy fairy experience or maybe a jumble of items that finish up as just that. An idea.
But it’s ideas that make our gardens what they are – unique.
I am talking about ideas on how to beat a budget into oblivion and cleverly apply other ideas on how to get the best look with as little cash as possible. Or the other big ideas that are out there – big time, enormous ventures verging on the preposterous, such as a Christopher Skase idea to buy up a whole plantation of oil palms in the Daintree and move them one by one and tonne by tonne to give a Hollywood hit to the entrance to what was a sleepy old Port Douglas at the time. The idea seems to wane at times with the hankering for their replacement with some drab local plants that are a good idea and in keeping with the ecology of the place, but miss the original idea of some garden extravaganza, glamour and botanical bling for a resort town.
Other ideas that came with good cash backing include a recreation of the great gardens of Europe, with bequests and lavish lolly doled out by the well-heeled to remind themselves of the gardens of home, in a colonial climate, where most of the plants would end up being declared a pest.
Surely someone thought prickly pear would be a good idea as a most attractive domesticated plant grown from a small slip from England. A good idea indeed...
Another good idea is to replicate home over the seas, like castles and gardens among the towering rainforest trees in a place that recorded Australia’s highest rainfall. Jose Paronella concocted an idea of the ultimate pleasure garden among the rainforest at Paronella Park.
We all know and love his story of procuring land and reselling to fund the next stage of his love and adventure.
Hand-made cement was mixed with wet season sweat (and probably a few tears) to create and craft tea and ballrooms in a fairytale castle style architecture with its own power generated by the crashing Mena Creek waters almost a century ago.
Never give up on your good idea. Of all the ideas we have about a garden, one will drop like the proverbial penny.