Since moving into their Sharon property Val Johnson and her husband John have created a floral wonderland in their own backyard.
The couple have lived at their 12-acre block since 1981 but only started developing the garden after retirement in 2006.
“It was a slow process from starting in about 2004 and we planted a few big trees to get a canopy,” Val said.
“It wasn't until we retired in 2006 that we were really able to get in and start building the garden.”
Val said developing her rainforest area was a dream come true.
“We chose the property, so we had plenty of water because my goal was to have a rainforest garden,” she said.
“We had kept all this vacant for many years so that we had a river view when we finally built our home, where we could sit and look over the river and our garden.”
The Bundaberg green thumb said she loved working away in the garden as it was a place for tranquillity and relaxation.
“I love it because it has gotten me through some very sad, hard times.” Val said.
“It's like I go down in there and it's therapy for me.
“Different people say to me, gosh, it's hard work. Well, some of it is hard work, but I love what I do.
“I just lose myself in my own little thoughts when I get down there in the garden.”
Val said she joined gardening clubs to expand her knowledge, along with her plant collection, which led to the need for two shade houses.
Val’s husband John built two shade houses that are now home to her plant collection and the plants she has for sale.
“The sale shade house started and then a bit later, I said to him, I need another shade house because I haven't got enough room for my plants that I want to keep.
“After a lot of whinging he built my second shade house that I've got my collection of plants in.”
Val Johnson’s plant collection has grown so much that two shade houses are just the beginning, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.
“The fellow that worked at the Wholesale Palms and Plants reckoned I had more plants in my garden than the Botanic Gardens,” Val said.
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