Joanne’s coastal garden a tropical retreat

Joanne Whitby has transformed her Coral Cove garden into a tropical haven after moving to the Bundaberg Region from Lancashire, England nine years ago.

Chasing warmer weather, Joanne moved to Coral Cove with the hope of creating a tranquil retreat in her own backyard.

After years of hard work, her dream has come true.

“What really stuck out to us was the palm trees, as you can imagine coming from England, we didn’t see many palm trees, if any at all,” Joanne said.

“We’ve finally ended up with three and love them to bits!

“The back garden was large bushes around the edge and lawn to which we found out was hard yakka in the glorious Queensland heat keeping it trimmed.”

A trip to Bali pre COVID-19 had inspired the design of the garden as Joanne said they wanted to bring a piece of it home with the vision coming to fruition once the pool was installed. 

“We just knew we needed to bring some interesting plants and reduce the lawned areas,” she said. 

“We couldn’t believe that with many plants you can take cuttings and they grow.

“It was exciting to see our little ideas come to life as we put our individual stamp on the gardens.”

Joanne said she enjoys the calming nature of the garden, especially after a busy day of working at the hospital.

“I am totally at peace in my garden, I find it so calming around 5 pm as the birds are settling down,” she said.

“I would wonder out into the garden with my coffee and that’s just magical.”

When something doesn’t go to plan Joanne said it doesn’t change her plans, she has learnt to be innovative and try new ideas.

“I cannot tell you the number of plants that just gave up on life when I planted them!” she said.

“When I first started gardening in Queensland, I didn’t realise just how dry and hot the summer sun is but have now learnt from many mistakes.”

The passionate green thumb said there’s always new and exciting ideas to take on along with finding new places to sit back and enjoy the view.

“At present my favourite plant are the two palm trees,” Joanne said.

“I just cannot believe we have them and when you sit out the back garden and can see them towering high over the roof and realist how tall they are.”

Last week's garden: Creatures and creativity flourish in Cordalba garden

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