A call for Bundaberg Botanic Gardens lovers to express their appreciation for the location in poetic style has unearthed some talented poets within the region.
Winner of the event was Nicola Phillips whose poem, simply titled ‘Bundaberg Botanic Gardens’ detailed her passion for the gardens and its foliage, during more than 20 years of regularly visiting the botanic collection.
Nicola said she had long dabbled in poetry, writing only for herself and family, but when spotting a notice promoting the competition while having lunch with her husband at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens, she decided to “give it a go.”
So had she written poetry about the gardens before?
“No actually, but I have written poems about plants before,” Nicola confided.
“I did a little bit of research and reading before I did the poem just to find out what type of plants are in here.
“But I've always enjoyed coming to the garden, so (that provided) a bit of an inspiration.”
Nicola said she had enjoyed bringing her four children to the gardens over the course of more than 20 years and still regularly visited with her youngest child.
“The oldest child is now 24,” she said.
“We would come here and go on the train when he was a little boy because he was train mad.
“I enjoy coming here and walking and going to the café.”
Nicola said her regular visits to the gardens had included her three eldest children’s high school formals, and she was impressed with how the venue had flourished over the years.
“You can see all the improvements to the gardens from the (formal) photography, and particularly last year, when the formal changed from the middle of the year to the end of the year, there was a different variety of plants and trees that were flowering,” she said.
“The jacarandas were all out in November as opposed to May (when they haven’t flowered yet).”
Nicola said different areas of the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens, including the bromeliad and succulent collections, the open grasslands and the Japanese and Chinese gardens provided inspiration for her home garden.
She was pleased that she was able to include most of her favourite parts of the gardens in her poem.
“I tried to cover a fair amount of the plants, but of course there's so many different varieties here,” she said.
“But I did get the ones that I like, which are the succulents, in the poem – the giant red, the heliconia.
But, as I said, there are so many plant varieties here. You could write lots of poems or just focus on one plant if it's your favourite.”
Nicola was delighted to accept her prize for being judged as having written the best poem – a new succulent for her home garden.
“The prize was something I didn’t expect,” she said. “It’s a lovely bromeliad and I promise I’ll try to keep it alive!”
Also impressing judges were two poems supplied by Rod Hingston who lives nearby to the gardens and whose works suggest he is also a plant and gardens enthusiast.
A budding young poet, Pippa Warren, aged 7, exercised her love of writing poetry and was presented with a Mr Fothergill's Little Gardeners Mini Sunflower Grow and Create Kit.
Pippa said the poem had been written as a song, inspired by her school studies of rhythm and melody, and had entered the competition when seeing it advertised while visiting the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens with her grandparents.
Bundaberg Botanic Gardens
The Bundaberg Botanic Gardens welcomes you!
To experience nature no matter your view.
From the Figtree chapel to the Bunya pine,
You will find something quite ordinary or exquisitely sublime.
If bromeliads float your boat,
Giant Red, the Heliconia, will seal your vote.
Jade vine, rare fruit orchard, the Ylang Ylang tree,
Wow! So much to see.
Isis tamarind, Fraser Island vine, Bismarck palms;
Stroll through the woodland to appreciate its sclerophyll charms.
Banksia, bamboo, birds nest fern,
So many, many plant species to discern.
Succulent, fern, palm and pine,
Tree, shrub, fruit and vine.
The Bundaberg Botanic Gardens has it all,
Plan a visit soon, you’ll have a ball!
Botanic Gardens Botanic Gardens
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