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Peachester School Gardens
For a backyarldl ynour eeds
Sugar Cane Mulch
Contributed by Sheila Williams Recently Beerwah Neighbourhood Watch along with the community was privileged to be invited to see the Indigenous Bush Walk and Bush Tucker Track at Peachester State School. We were shown around by Dorothy Robb (who received the Good Neighbour Award for February 2017, for her work on this project). The Gubbi Gubbi people have advised on the appropriate native flora to plant. We were amazed by the many vines that have been planted to attract native butterflies. All of us had heard of the efforts to save the Richmond Birdwing butterfly by planting appropriate vines, but I don't think any of us had realised just how many butterflies there are in Australia, and how diverse are their food requirements. The Bush Tucker Track has many of the food plants that are now beginning to find favour in Australian restaurants, and, a bit away from the walk, there is a small vegetable garden and chook pen. After our walk we were served afternoon tea in one of the circles of tree stumps which serve as seats for use as outdoor classrooms. The refreshments included biscuits, some of which included ingredients from the bush tucker trees.
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Dorothy explains various features of the garden
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Home Garden ideas to inspire
Sometimes viewing a beautifully designed garden can help inspire your own backyard creativity, so if you could do with some inspiration you should head along and see Chris and Angel O’Dempsey’s award-winning garden at ‘Orchid Grove’ at Buderim when it is open from Saturday September 9 through to Monday September 11. The couple originally chose the home site because of the northeast aspect and the existing eucalypt and casuarina trees, which gave protection from the westerly winds without
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inhibiting the sun’s reach to most of the garden. The initial site work included rock and timber retaining, plus planting of natives along the fence. Chris said, “We took care to take account of the natural lay of the land, the surrounding native vegetation and the aspect when coming up with a design. We wanted a walk through our garden to feel like a walk through the bush or a rainforest.” During the first few years, extra trees, ferns and shrubs were planted to supplement and complement the existing growth. While primarily natives were chosen, some exotics were added for colour or variety. “Because it’s as close as we could get to a natural setting, our orchids have been established in a natural style, on logs, rocks and trees, which shows them off so much better than confining them all to pots,” Chris said. Ponds were created, and recently a waterfall and a creek flowing into another pond have been added. The introduction of undercover foliage and ground specimens is an ongoing process, as is the addition of orchids and native ferns, which are initially secured on trees, logs and rocks and in shaded or protected areas. Bromeliads have become a feature where orchids have not thrived and over the years, plants have been moved to suit their needs. Oncidiums, vandas and cattleyas provide flowers all year round although spring and autumn are the most prolific flowering periods in the garden.
Some of the exotic and rare orchids can also be found either in baskets or in protected spots on the ground. Garden lighting, water and garden features and the use of bush rocks and logs have created a relaxing environment, enhanced by the additional placement of historic farm implements and pieces of equipment. The goal of creating Orchid Grove was to make every area a place of interest, features and new discoveries. It is still an ongoing, 'unfinished' symphony of sight, sound, colour and scent. Orchid Grove is located at 17 Barkston Court, Buderim, and will be open to the public from 9.30am - 4.30pm each day. Entry is $7 for adults, with under 15s free.
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&Backyard Bush Food Banter
STATUES & WALL HANGINGS FROM
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with Karen Shaw From Forest Heart Nursery
Wild about bush foods If you've ever wanted to explore cooking with bush foods but don't know where to start, there are many fabulous books (my favourites are ‘Coo-ee Cuisine’ by local Indigenous chef Dale Chapman and Jan Sked's ‘Go Native – Wild Food Cookbook’) and some excellent websites such as www.ilovewarrigalgreens.com.au. However, if you like to taste test, see demonstrations and enjoy sharing ideas with others over a cup of lemon myrtle tea, then maybe join our Wildfood Saturdays. Held on the last Saturday of each month, we explore two easily sourced local bush foods. The small group of only 10 allows lots of time to enjoy the unique flavours and experience these amazing ingredients. Recipes and further information is provided. So far we have enjoyed Warrigal Greens in spinach and feta slices, and pesto with macadamia nuts. Lemon myrtle recipes included panna cotta, tea and infused oils. Join us for the next Wildfood Saturday for Davidson plums and sea celery taste experiences. Our next event is on this Saturday, August 26, from 2.30 - 4pm. Cost is $20 per person. To book, email Nursery@forestheart.com.au or call Karen on 0427 607 628. Karen and her husband Spencer Shaw run Forest Heart 20 Coral Street, Maleny Nursery in Maleny. Their nursery concentrates on local 07 5435 2193 native plants, bush foods, timber trees, native gardens, fruit OPEN Tue - Fri 9am-5pm trees, non-invasive exotics, tools and equipment, garden Sat 8am - 2:00pm and ecology education, books, DVDs, art and so much more.
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In theGarden Backyard Stickybeak ... Frogshollow As part of this year’s Gardening on the Edge, six gardens were opened to the public – one was Frogshollow at Flaxton. Although Frogshollow is a grand garden ... and it is certainly that ... many of the elements follow the basic rules that can make anyone’s garden into a mini-Frogshollow. Owners Deb and Ian have only been working on the garden since 2013, and have definitely shown flair and forethought in their design and plant selection. The house, gardens and sheds occupy 2.5 acres of the 13.5 acre property, with the remainder being rainforest. The ornamental gardens are a mixture of native and exotics. The gardens surrounding the house tend to be more compact and varied in composition, which then gives lovely colourful and interesting outlooks from the place where they spend most of their time – in the house. Further away from the house, the gardens change to sweeping areas where feature plants and the more exotica can be given space to shine. Here natives are grouped together, many with name labels ... which is a great idea for visitors to your garden and forgetful homeowners alike. Gingers and heliconias are located at the outskirts of the garden, which allows them to grow to their full extent in height and width, meaning that flowers are plentiful. So much so that they supply a stall at the Noosa Farmers Market. This is an important thing to remember about the larger gingers and heliconias ... they do need space to be at their best.
If you don’t have much space in your garden, a good trick is to create one spectacular feature that defines the space and then build your landscape around that. Here, Deb and Ian have used what they describe as a ‘natural swimming pool’ – it’s what is shown on the cover page of the ‘Your Backyard’ feature (page 29). This is below the house and so forms a lovely outlook from the living and outdoor areas. Productively, the garden is tops, with a good vegetable and herb area, fenced off from the free ranging chickens, which then help to keep pests under control in the rest of the garden.
It is home to native rainbow fish and a number of breeding turtles. Keeping cane toads at bay is a big headache for many gardeners whose gardens have water features – especially if you’re wanting it to become prime frog habitat. Deb and Ian have cleverly used thick edge plantings of reeds, sedges and other dense plants to create a barrier. The water is circulated through a gravel bed and wetland to naturally clean and filter it. Water movement and purification is often forgotten about, leading to garden dams becoming swampy and rank.
Another option is to simply reticulate the water through a fountain, which will oxygenate the water and create movement within the waterbody; or pump it up to the top of an artificial creek and let the water flow back over rocks and plants into the main body.
In smaller gardens, free ranging chickens will need to be managed so that they don’t destroy your gardens, the neighbour’s gardens, and are safe from dogs and other predators.
Even though we all don’t have the pleasure of large spaces such as at Frogshollow, all gardens need to conform to a similar set of rules. Use what you have well, improve on what is lacking and most of all ... make the space something which soothes the soul and enriches the space where you live. The Maleny Garden Club is always looking for different gardens to feature in their annual Gardening on the Edge event. If you would like to find out more about having your garden considered as part of the 2018 event, you can send them an email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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