Jan’s green garden flourishes on low maintenance

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After buying her Walkervale property sight unseen 19 years ago, Jan De Mattia has used her artistic flair to transform the space into a colourful garden, embellished with handcrafted art.

With no plants in place, Jan set about making many changes to her outdoor space from refurbishing her studio, building the tea room and creating a connecting garden between the two. 

With 30 years of experience in leadlight craft Jan said her Studio 166 had regular visitors, all greeted by the plant filled entrance.

“They walk in and say ‘oh wow’ and ‘I love that’,” Jan said

“I love seeing others enjoy the garden.”

Keeping everything in pots has led to Jan’s freestyle planting method, granting her the self-proclaimed title of a professional "plonker".

“My sister goes ‘oh you’re such a good plonker’,” Jan said.

“I just plonk everything anywhere.

“It’ll be right, just plonk it!”

The garden is filled with many upcycled items, including painted bikes, mosaic shovels and chairs featuring succulents.

Jan said with her busy lifestyle a low-maintenance garden was a must and with hearty foliage that thrived on neglect, beauty was provided all year round.

“It’s got to maintain and look after itself, as long as it looks pretty because I’m in the studio 24/7,” Jan said.

“A favourite of mine would have to be the bromeliads, they’re just so easy!

“I decided to remove all the grass because well, I just don’t need it.

“I don’t want to mow and strive for maintenance free.”

Jan said nature was welcome in her garden with frogs, birds and a possum calling the bright garden home.

“The birds are here which is quite nice, and I have a lot of bees at the moment, which is lovely,” she said.

I water the garden and that gives me pleasure, watering and relaxing because I don't relax much.”

Last week's garden: Lenzie's practical garden one with nature

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