Creatures and creativity flourish in Cordalba garden

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Dream duo Leanne and Neil Edwards have combined their love of gardening with a passion for hand-crafted sculptures to create a haven for animals big and small.

The journey started 14 years ago when the pair moved into their large Cordalba property, using the garden to create themed areas and wildlife habitats.

“We had no specific plans for our garden when we came here so it has just evolved over the years,” Leanne said.

“I've tried to create different areas in the garden, so you can't just walk out the back door and see it all from where you stand.”

Handyman Neil and gardener Leanne love to come together and get creative in the garden, making a bird aviary out of an old trampoline and a frog habitat to protect the amphibians from predators.

“We've got a dreadful cane toad problem, but we wanted ponds for the frogs,” Leanne said.  

“You've got to enclose it to keep the toads out, but to allow the frogs to breed and be happy.”

Both inside and out has been completely transformed and Neil said  it was Leanne who saw the potential from the beginning more so than he did.

Leanne said she took a step back from her career to focus on the garden and the gardening duo have never looked back.

“If we’re both working you can't come home to this,” Neil said.

“You can have an extra few hundred thousand dollars in the bank and none of this or you can enjoy every day of your life and have this.”

Leanne said that their grandchildren helped with the garden sculptures and fantasy areas, thanks to Neil for being handy with the welder.

Remington, a statue in the garden, was built with random pieces of scrap metal and while he was originally meant to be a gangster, he had a career change to a chef.

“You've just got to get started and then the finish will find itself,” Neil said.

“I think it's really important to involve kids in the garden and have gardens that are fun and interesting and begging to be explored,” Leanne said.

To create an outdoor space inviting to native fauna, Leanne said they tried to stick with planting natives in the garden.

“We try to create little habitats for the wildlife,” Leanne said

“I use a lot of mulch around the gardens to help with moisture retention as well as habitat for bugs, lizards, etc.”

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