Spring has sprung in Karen’s cottage garden

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In four short months Karen Messitt has landscaped her blank canvas yard into a colourful work of art.

Sprouting from a long line of gardeners, starting from scratch was no challenge for Karen, who took to the untouched soil with open arms.

“I have a vision of a cottage garden, Queensland style,” she said.

“The front garden is a mixture of perennial flowering shrubs, Australian natives and some feature ornamentals.

“They have all been chosen with a view to always having something in flower all year round and always choosing plants that bring the birds, bees and butterflies.”

The garden is an ongoing process for Karen who said the focus has now moved to the backyard after getting the front section planted.  

“I want to have most things in as soon as possible so they can get established before the hot weather comes,” Karen said.

“We planted some trees straight away and have reused a load of pavers, sleepers and hardwood to create garden beds and paths.”

A new addition is Murray the standard Mulberry tree who Karen said is a favourite of hers along with Salvias that also feature in the garden.

“The act of gardening is deeply satisfying and great exercise,” Karen said. 

“Watching a garden bed come to life, and bloom is delightful.”

Karen said she loves a garden that looks a little let go, her goal is to create a natural space, pairing plants that mesh well together and intertwine as time goes on.

“The overall plan is to keep a much smaller circle of lawn and to plant deep, cooling garden beds with the long term in mind,” she said.

“Natives to give colour and scent now while some slower, long term trees and shrubs grow in the background.”

The green thumb said her mother used to work in a plant nursery in Toowoomba, where Karen helped on the till each day after school.

It was no surprise a love for plants flourished for Karen.  

“Mum was and still is a great gardener, and both of my grandmothers loved gardening,” she said.

“The first thing we always did during a visit was to walk around their garden and have a look at what had grown and changed since the last visit.”

Last week's garden: Garden facelift fills the Youngs with joy

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