Country Style - - IN THE GARDEN -

Mem­o­ries of her child­hood on a farm in Roma, Queens­land, in­spired Robin Mclay (be­low with Stafford­shire bull ter­rier, Bungee) to cre­ate a big coun­try gar­den at her home in Brook­field to Bris­bane’s west. Robin’s ram­bling one­hectare gar­den fea­tures sweep­ing lawns, a rose gar­den, a mas­sive veg­etable patch and a trop­i­cal walk. Plants have al­ways been an abid­ing pas­sion for Robin, even as a teenager at board­ing school. “I’d res­cue plants and grow them in wa­ter in the dor­mi­tory,” she says. Mar­ry­ing a farmer meant mov­ing fur­ther west to a sheep prop­erty at Tambo. Robin had their cot­tage fenced off from the pad­docks and, af­ter giv­ing birth to her first daugh­ter, she prop­a­gated cut­tings of the chrysan­the­mum flow­ers she’d been given in the hos­pi­tal, plant­ing them all around the home. “There’s a photo of me the next year, nurs­ing the baby sur­rounded by chrysan­the­mums,” she says. Nowa­days, she owns Brook­field Gar­den Cen­tre, just down the road from her house. As well as a nod to her coun­try up­bring­ing, Robin’s home gar­den is a place of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion. “If I think a plant at the nurs­ery looks a bit sad, I’ll bring it home to re­vive it,” she says. It seems Robin’s plant pas­sion knows no bounds. (07) 3878 7739; brook­fieldgar­den­cen­

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