Turning to gardening in times of drought may seem counterintuitive. But, as those living on the land will attest, when dryness in the paddocks increases, so too does the yearning for a small refuge. In 2019, Claire Austin was clinging onto her patch of green in Gin Gin, near Trangie, during one of the worst droughts on record. Seeking tips on drought-hardy plantings from neighbours and swapping water-saving hacks at her local mothers’ group, Claire soon realised she wasn’t alone in her quest.
And so, Gin Gin Garden Club was born. “It was clear that others would benefit from what I was learning, so I began documenting my journey and profiling gardens through Instagram – it’s a new-age garden club!” says Claire. Each month, she shares her ‘to-do’ list, outlining jobs to attempt in her garden. Others add what they’ll be up to, creating a conversation. The Club has evolved to include a wonderful online store, in which Claire curates her favourite outdoor tools and accessories. She stocks good-quality garden gear, picnicware, log carriers and tool rolls – items she uses nearly every day. And as it turns out, people all over are looking to the garden in tough times. Claire notes that sales of seed packets increased by 200 per cent in April, something she attributes to lockdown. She adds: “Compost bins have also been popular… maybe because of all the scraps from the homegrown vegies!” Join @gingingardenclub on Instagram or Facebook, and shop via the website. Among tools fit for lovely potting sheds, keep an eye out for cooler bags by Business & Pleasure Co. Made from leftover beach umbrella canvas, they’re a must for a spring full of work (or play!). gingingardenclub.com
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Fred Living in Aldgate, SA, offers homewares, utensils and quirky gift ideas; Milli & Robe in Dalby, Qld, stocks both classic and contemporary fashion, plus eye-catching accessories, homewares and gifts; chair and lamp from Milli & Robe.