This week we take a walk around Joy Foley’s beautiful garden at Bullyard, where her garden is a sea of colour and tranquility.
When Joy Foley sold her farm about 16 months ago it gave her the chance to concentrate on her first love – gardening.
“Gardening is my passion,” Joy said.
“But when I moved to Bullyard the soil wasn’t ideal, so I decided to grow everything in pots.
“I already had a large collection of potted plants and it was a bit of a task relocating here but totally worthwhile.”
Five minutes with Joy convinces you that she is a “doer”.
“This property is not for everyone,” she says as she gazes across the six and a half acres of her mostly scrub covered property.
“It’s on a slope and very rocky but through perseverance, mulching and selecting the right plants I’m pretty pleased with what I've been able to achieve. It was full of lantana and other weeds, but I eventually got on top of them.
“I’m a farmer from way back so hard work has never worried me,” Joy said.
“Getting a water supply was very important,” she says pointing to a large dam at the bottom of her property.
“I’ve done quite a bit of work in stabilising the slopes with plantings of grass trees, palms, philodendron, crucifix orchids and bromeliads to mention a few.”
Originally from New Zealand where she worked in the thoroughbred industry, Joy made the trip to Australia 45 years ago.
“I went to Sydney and two years there was more than enough. I’d never lived in a city and I couldn’t wait to get out of the place,” she said.
“I met my late husband and we purchased 12,000 acres near Tamworth where we farmed cattle and bred working Border Collies and, of course, there were gardens.
“Gardening in New Zealand where you have buckets of rainfall and gardening here in Queensland where the climate can be testing is really chalk and cheese,” she said.
However, the magnificent diversity of Joy’s garden attests to her ability to find the right plants and place them in the right locations.
Succulents, ferns, miniature bougainvillaea, crotons, orchids and everywhere splashes of colour from the striking beauty of annuals and perennials make every turn in her garden a new adventure.
“It is a work in progress,” she smiles.
“I’m a bit of a mad collector,” she said pointing to an old pedestal now hosting a bromeliad. Garden ornaments, handcrafted rustic items and bric-a-brac converted into plant containers add further charm to an already engaging environment.
“I just love being able to sit among my plants, enjoy a cuppa and listen to the sounds of the birds and of nature in general.”
“It’s a great reason to get out of bed every morning,” Joy said.
- Last week’s garden: A friend you can visit any time