Lofty height for suc­cu­lent


Shepparton News - - NEWS - By Madeleine Cac­cian­iga

Murchi­son’s John Fer­gu­son was not jok­ing when he told News jour­nal­ist Madeleine Cac­cian­iga ‘‘you haven’t seen it all yet’’ in re­sponse to her com­ment ‘‘you need a big­ger gar­den’’.

Af­ter Mr Fer­gu­son’s wife died seven years ago, he went look­ing for a hobby to keep his mind oc­cu­pied, choos­ing gar­den­ing, which he now refers to as his ther­apy.

‘‘It was about 12 months af­ter my wife passed and I had a small gar­den, then it started to get big­ger and big­ger,’’ he said.

Choos­ing suc­cu­lents at ran­dom, Mr Fer­gu­son picked what he thought would be a nice small plant to start.

‘‘No way did I think it could have got that big’’ he said.

As the years went by, what has now been iden­ti­fied as a type of as­para­gus Agave Amer­i­cana has grown to 6 m.

‘‘A women said to me if that f low­ers you’ll lose it and un­for­tu­nately that’s started hap­pen­ing. I’ll miss it,’’ Mr Fer­gu­son said.

He said the stem would even­tu­ally break, leav­ing be­hind noth­ing more than a mem­ory.

Mr Fer­gu­son has con­tin­ued plant­ing, while keep­ing a eye on his rare plant, adding sculp­tures, rus­tic fea­tures and house­hold struc­tures, cov­er­ing more than a hectare of his prop­erty.

‘‘I could talk about my gar­den all day, there’s a lot to tell about the his­tory pieces within my gar­den,’’ he said.

Hats off to John’s suc­cu­lent: Murchi­son’s John Fer­gu­son can­not be­lieve what he thought was a ‘‘small’’ suc­cu­lent has grown into a 6 m high as­para­gus.

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