SOMERSET GARDENERS SHOWCASE TOP PICKS
WHAT started as a simple favour for his daughter has turned into more than a decade long project for Lowood gardener Peter Bevan.
Twelve years ago, Mr Bevan started planting a few native plants out front of his daughter’s house to provide her with some privacy from the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail that bordered her yard, and as he explains it – he just kept going.
“I got a surprise of how well things grew here and as I went I got more knowledge and got more contacts where I could source rare and threatened plants from around Australia,” Mr Bevan said.
The garden, now called the Lowood Beautification Project, runs over more than a kilometre of the rail trail, and this month it won the Best Community Group Garden in the Somerset Garden Competition and also took out the best Native Garden.
The project sources native plants and has become a safe haven for many threatened species, Mr Bevan says.
“Some of them are very rare – there’s only a few of them known in the wild, so if we get them in the gardens we don’t lose them,” he said.
Despite the tough soil he works with, he said many of the native plants thrived in it.
“I’ve travelled around Australia a fair bit and I’ve noticed quite often, nice flowering native plants growing in the wild are on very poor soil,” he said.
Mr Bevan said while many people’s gardens had suffered due to the dry conditions and frosts over winter, his native plants had flourished.
“What surprises everyone is that we don’t water, and we don’t fertilise – we just try and keep the weeds out and prune,” he said.
“A lot of them (plants) come from inland Australia – they like it dry.”
He encouraged more gardeners to consider planting natives, as despite their hardiness and drought resilience there were also plenty of bright and beautiful flowers and shrubs to choose from.
Anyone who is interested in becoming involved in the project is encouraged to contact Peter on 0412 243 740.
NATIVE: Peter Bevan won the best community group garden for his kilometre-long stretch of native gardens on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.