Living in an area with limited water supply presents significant challenges to the keen gardener but a judicious selection of plants and planting locations can overcome this handicap.
Greg and Pat Jackson live on 100 acres in an idyllic location west of Gin Gin on the delightfully named Duckpond Road.
Their property was once a slice of the immense cattle property called Moolboolaman Station.
The Jacksons moved to the area about eight years ago and in that time have established significant garden areas around their home, “Greenacres”, which also serves as a B&B.
The house sits on a property high point and gazing east from the undercover area at the hilly range that frames their property it is easy to imagine the beautiful vista the property presents in kinder times.
“There’s nothing better than sitting in the spa with a wine and watching the moon rise over those hills,” Greg said.
Both are passionate gardeners.
“Greg’s the one with the ideas and the vision,” Pat said. “I like to tend the plants and really just lose myself in the garden.”
“This place was very much akin to a moonscape before we started. We use a lot of mulch and we’ve put up shade cloth as well as trellises and a shade house which does allow for improved gardening conditions.”
The garden is segmented with areas dedicated to bromeliads, cordylines, roses, hibiscus, magnolias, herbs and vegetables.
One plant that does like a little water, but which makes a stunning display is the jade vine and Pat is delighted with her trellis specimen which produces amazing blooms and must rank as one of the best ornamental additions to any garden.
Greg has a passion for growing plants from seed. Currently he has germinated around 5000 rosella plants which he does intend to sell at market locations.
“It’s quite incredible the amount of people who want rosella plants to grow and then make jam,” he said.
The couple never tire of collecting plants.
As members of the Gin Gin Garden Club they regularly meet and swap plants and cuttings with fellow club members.
“We’re always checking out markets for new plants. It’s just a challenge to add something new and see how it goes at our property,” said Greg.
Also among their growing exploits is the commercial cultivation of vetiver grass which is renowned for its environmental cleansing and stabilising qualities.
Native to India and Ceylon, vetiver grass adapts to fresh or salt water and most soil types.
“It’s a clumping style of grass with a vertical root system which makes it suitable for stabilising erosion prone areas or simply as a wind break as it grows to about one and a half metres tall,” Greg said.
Since moving from Gladstone to their new Duckpond Road garden home, Pat and Greg have found a lifestyle that perfectly suits them.
“There’s always something to do and no better place to do it,” the couple claim.
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