Sea monsters and fairies feature in Donna Corr’s eclectic Coonarr garden which has provided a haven for dozens of foster children over the years.
Donna and her husband Aaron tend the garden which was originally a cane farm divided into housing lots when they purchased it 21 years ago.
“I built the home on the property, then first set out to fence the land as I wanted paddocks for my horses,” Donna said.
“Following completion of the fencing I then planted natives with the idea of having some shade as the entire block had been cleared with the exception of the trees in the native grass tree area and down in the driveway area.
“I also planted bananas, a mulberry tree, mango tree, lemon tree, passion fruit vine and a mandarin tree.”
“Over time I added two dams,” she said.
Donna has two miniature horses, Spirit and Summer, who fertilise the gardens.
A collective love for animals and nature has involved many people with the garden throughout the years.
“I eventually became a foster carer and had around 60 children here over the years,” she said.
“Many of them used to enjoy swimming in the dam with our kelpie RJ who is now 17 and known as Nanny dog as she would watch over them all.”
The garden now includes themed areas for Donna’s grandchildren to enjoy.
“The first garden I created is our ‘sea themed’ garden. I used bromeliads to look like coral and it even has a sea monster in it,” Donna said.
“My next project was a fairy garden for my grandkids; the fairy garden is nestled between two lilly pillies.”
Donna’s goal is to restore a small bit of balance by only planting natives for birds and bees.
“When I first moved here there were so many birds, it was part of the attraction of the block of land for me,” she said.
“In the last two years I’ve noticed a huge drop in the number of birds in our area.
“The fences around the local cow paddocks used to be lined with Rainbow Bee Eaters, the power lines would be shoulder to shoulder with Galahs and my driveway was full of finches.”
Donna said it had never been more important look after the environment and buy local.
“I still have a small section of cane railway tracks on the property just at the beginning of my native grass tree grove,” she said.
“I’ve recently installed a gorgeous cut-out figure of a man cutting cane as a tribute to the old farmers who worked this land.
“I purchased this from Harlick Industries here in Bundaberg and it’s just perfect.
“I purchase all my natives from Landcare.
“Where I can I always try to source what I need/want locally.
“It’s vital we support our local businesses for Bundaberg to grow.”
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