When Jane and Geoff Smith moved into their Branyan home 20 years ago there was no garden to speak of.
“It was just a house that needed work, and a piece of dirt,” Jane said.
To walk around their garden now is to be immersed in a sea of colour and creativity, which has been many years in the making.
“I have been a plant lover since having the “Moke Scrub Shack” at Tom Quinn Centre,” Jane said.
“I was always bringing plants home from the nursery there and friends would give me more.
“I fell in love with desert roses, hibiscus, geraniums and cactus.
Jane’s husband Geoff has been an important part of the growth and maintenance of the garden.
“A lot of credit for our garden must to go Geoff,” Jane said.
“He’s the waterer and the one who makes my vision become a reality.”
That vision includes a bicycle converted into a plant hanger, a massive root collected from Moore Park Beach that now has cactus plants hanging from it and a discarded chair that has had holes drilled into the seat to make a unique plant holder.
“I also love putting plants in old boots and work shoes – I’m always on the lookout.”
The next step is an island garden, to make the South Sea islander seasonal workers they host feel at home.
“We will plant cassava, island cabbage and other plants they love to eat,” Jane said.
“They grow really well here and will not only add an island atmosphere, they will give our South Sea Island workers a touch of home.”
Jane and Geoff’s pride and joy is their recently built deck, where they can sit and relax and enjoy their beautiful garden, and where a surprise visitor recently took up residence.
“Geoff heard a commotion and the dog next door was barking at the fence,” Jane said.
“It turned out to be an echdina, which he brought over to our garden and who has made himself quite at home.”
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