DIFFERENT ‘ROOMS’ PACKED WITH COLOUR AND PERSONALITY, SOME FORMAL ELEMENTS, AND RUSTY AND RECYCLED ART.
Who uses this garden?
We share it with thousands of visitors.
How old is it?
Six years old.
What was here to begin with?
A couple of small beds – a blank slate.
Was the garden planned from the outset? It was shaped as our knowledge of plants and gardening techniques grew.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Toowoomba’s Chronicle Garden Competition and experienced local gardeners.
Have you ever studied garden design or horticulture?
No. From not knowing what a pansy is, we’ve learnt a lot!
What is your favourite part of the garden?
Amanda: The rustic area is charming and peaceful, and when the jasmine’s flowering it smells so nice.
Keven: In the afternoon, the sun casts beautiful shadows in the front garden, and I love the aroma of scented flowers. What is your favourite time of day in the garden?
Amanda: Early morning or late afternoon when the birds are most active.
Keven: I enjoy sitting on the patio with a coffee in the early morning crispness. Describe your maintenance schedule. Leading up to the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, we’re like hermits, gardening every weekend. Time is spent maintaining the hedges and topiary. Tight planting reduces weeds, and everything is mulched with sugarcane. Sheep or chicken manure is added at planting.
Is it irrigated or hand-watered?
We hand-water the garden with tank water once or twice weekly. Our four tanks have a total capacity of 11,500L.
What has been the toughest challenge? Both agreeing on the same thing! Once you get past that, anything’s possible!
Also, the changing microclimates in the front and back garden when trees were removed and a paling fence installed.
Does your garden provide habitat for wildlife?
Yes, the birds love the garden, including superb fairy-wrens, and a family of about 20 double-barred finches that live in a thorny Cherokee rose.
Where do you source materials such as compost or mulch?
We use clippings from the hedges, as well as annuals that are past their use-by date, which are mulched and added back onto the garden.
Do you do any recycling or upcycling of materials in your garden?
Yes, we incorporate a lot of recycling and upcycling in the garden.
What has gardening taught you?
We’ve learnt to take people’s advice and to try anything!
What would you say to new gardeners? Give it a go and don’t be discouraged when things die! Start with a small area and watch where the sun moves, to get to know your garden. Get your hands dirty!