Gardening – a hobby that pays off!

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So father, so daughter!

Just a week or so ago I mentioned that I had many different interests. One of those things is gardening.

My father, who was born in 1920, was a gardener by profession and I believe he would have been a garden architect if times were different. I can remember large rolls of paper with garden designs beautifully rendered in the softest colours. Apparently he designed a large local cemetery for Canadian soldiers who died in the Second World War. I can also remember that he had a second job on Saturday mornings and designed and developed private gardens.

Years ago I tackled the garden of our house in Brisbane. I say ‘tackle’ because this project required a lot of action with a crowbar. Bit by bit I created a low maintenance lush tropical but very hardy paradise because at the time Brisbane was having a serious drought.

Front garden re-created!


Getting paid for a hobby

After we sold the house I convinced the next owners that I would be a perfect candidate to maintain this garden because I knew it so well. The result was getting paid for something I love to do for two full years.

In the end I gave it up because the plants and trees were getting too large for me to handle and I would need ‘real’ garden equipment to be able to keep it under control. We still are friends with our old neighbours and occasionally I have the opportunity to have a peek in ‘my’ old garden.

The tenants who live in the house have recently mentioned that there used to be a lady who came and worked in the garden. They wondered what happened to her. I still maintain local gardens and my neighbour joked she was going to give them one of my flyers. I screamed NO!

A garden on the cheap!

One of my favourite gardens is a project that started in 2012. This garden was overgrown with Lilipillies, palms and weeds. I had to clear it several times because the owner of the house had a budget that grew slower than the weeds. Over years I have created a beautiful low maintenance garden using mainly cuttings and ‘hand me down’ plants from others.

This way of gardening appeals to me. It is amazing how you can create something out of virtually nothing. My client likes a native Australian look combined with sub-tropical plants.

Left View
Lilli Pillies to create a ‘bush’ look

Her Lilipilies grow like weeds and constantly sprout new little trees. She was given a couple of Frangipanes by a local who likes breaking off bits of her trees and sticking them in pots. A friend gave her Agaves and just recently she got hold of a pile of rejected Bromeliads.

We trimmed unruly Draceanas and Yuccas and used the green head as new plants while new growth appeared on the stumps. On birthdays and mothers days she asks for plants and the result is an ‘instant’ garden for very little money. Not really instant off course as I started this years ago!

Trash for one, treasure for the other!

Now some years further we can trim and re-use many plants again and it won’t be long before we can pass them on to others. As a matter of fact I am starting all over again with the garden of her daughter who is my latest client.

Plant exchange is thriving…..

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Marijke at sea

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