Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I am sorry but I will not have any free time this month to write a blog post as we are full time grandparents to two little girls for the next two weeks.
Just hope you all had a great Christmas and wishing you 'Happy Gardening' for 2017.
All the very best for 2017.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

November 2016 Open Garden

Well our 2016 ‘Open garden’ is over and we are now thinking about 2017s opening.
Yes we are going to open again health permitting as we enjoy the opening and the fact that we raise money for the ‘Lions Club’.
The last four openings have raised a total of $16,323 all of which went to aid disabled children, the beauty about the ‘Lions Club’ is that all money raised goes to worthwhile causes, none goes into administrative costs.
I think that was why the old ‘Open garden Scheme’ failed as so much (65% of gate takings) was going to administering the scheme and even that was not enough in the end and it folded.
I am starting to think of new projects I can do in the garden and Judy has already started to take summer cuttings ready to grow on.
The real work starts in August when I get the flyers printed then sent out to over 70 garden clubs and organisations then it’s setting up the tables, shelters, stocking with plants and a few months to get the garden ready.
Do not let anyone tell you that opening is easy; it’s not, in fact its dammed hard work.
You never know what the weather will be like or how many visitors will show up, so much depends on publicity and of course the weather.
Some well-known garden people refuse to even acknowledge we exist and even when asked will not support our opening while others are happy to help.
Graham Ross from radio 4BC was fantastic and so was Spencer Howson from ABC radio 612 great also Kate Heffernan from Gold Coast ABC radio.
We usually get a good burst in our local paper ‘Redland City Bulletin’ and that brings a lot of people to the garden, as for the bigger papers, well that’s a zero but I still send a letter with information and a CD with some really good garden photos.
There’s a portable toilet to organise, roadside signs, tables, chairs ect, even going around the garden making sure all the spider webs are down.
Saturday morning and it’s all hands on deck ready for the plant buyer rush and yes they arrived and scored some great Bromeliads and garden plants including some very rare hard to get plants.

The Lions Club had the sausage sizzle going and sandwiches for those that were worn out buying plants.
Black Sapote fruit was for sale and the proceeds from that went to our Grandchildren.

Everyone loved the garden, a lot remarked on how much work had been done since they last visited.

To think back to our first opening in 2002, what a difference, the garden would be unrecognisable as so much work has gone into it every year.
After it was all over and 700 plus people had visited it was time to clean up which is a three day job working very hard, then we need a really good rest to recover as we are to say the least a tad worn out.
On the Saturday after the opening we had a great downpour of 74 mills of beautiful rain, what a difference that has made.
This year we went for a short break to Mooloolaba and actually had a chance to read the new Michael Connelly and Lee Child books, we are both big fans of Harry Bosch and Jack Reacher.
We came back home with a car load of new plants as we do.
So, that’s it for another year, if you came we hope you enjoyed the garden and hope you will come again.
Judy and I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy gardening New Year.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Open Garden 2016

Only a few days until our 'Open Garden'.
The garden is looking good and all visitors should enjoy walking the garden.
So much work getting ready.
We had 20 mills of rain yesterday which helped the lawns turn a tad green.
Anyway, back to work.
Hope to see you here on the weekend.
happy gardening.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

October Garden News 2016

Just so busy at the moment, October has just flown and it’s only three weeks away from our ‘Open Garden’.

There are just not enough hours in the day.
Here we are in our 70s supposedly retired and working harder than ever, would I swop? Probably not.
We had ‘Ormeo Garden Club’ through in October and the 38 members enjoyed the garden and as a special treat our Jade Vine was in full flower.

We had on gardening presentation and that was for ‘Glebe Garden Club’ in Ipswich, a nice club and we are always happy to go there.

It has been a very dry October (what’s new) and our place is starting to dry up, just hope we can get some decent rain prior to our opening.
Judy has been very busy preparing lots of beautiful plants which we sell that weekend at very reasonable prices, in fact that is the reason why a lot of people keep on coming to our opening.
We have lost a couple of trees and that has necessitated building some shade structures, this is what I have done this month.

Some of the beautiful plants in flower this month.

Some of our visitors.

Below is our garden story.

Ian and Judy Wintle’s ‘Giving Garden’

You could be forgiven for believing you’re lost in a tropical paradise walking through our garden.
Our one acre labour of love is fondly called ‘The Giving Garden’ providing many years of satisfaction and solace to our family, friends, and visitors, not forgetting the wildlife.
After finishing Uni our eldest son Scott went backpacking in Europe for a year. Only a couple of weeks before he was due to return home we received news from Switzerland that he had broken his back in a motorbike accident and would never walk again.
The months that followed drew on our mental, financial, and physical strength. It was not for a further six months that he could finally return to his home. By that time not only he needed rehabilitation Mum and Dad also did.
Our garden gave us the ability to heal, it was our rehabilitation and two decades on; it has blossomed into a lush sub-tropical oasis, featuring some of the world’s most exotic and unusual plants and fruit trees.
The garden was part of ‘Australia’s Open Gardens’ from 2002 to 2013 and many thousands of visitors came to visit our garden.
For the last three years we have continued to open our garden and support a local Lions Club, we stipulated that all money raised assist disabled children. We have assisted the Lion’s Club by raising $12,523 in the last three openings.
Overall we have raised around $50,000 for charities through our 14 ‘Open Gardens’.
After 48 years of marriage Judy and I know that the time and love we have invested in our garden will continue to give us and our visitor’s joy for many years to come.
We plan to continue opening our garden for as long as we are able to as we enjoy the weekend and meeting so many fellow gardeners.
There is always something new to see in this garden and 2016 is no exception with big changes to the garden.
As usual there will be some great plants for sale, refreshments from the Lions Club and a raffle. Some visitors stay for up to four hours and they are welcome to bring their camera.
We have welcomed many bus tours through our garden and have given over 135 power point presentations to gardening and service clubs throughout South East Queensland.
Ian has his own website ‘garden product reviews.com’ and a garden blog at ‘ianjudy.blogspot.com’ over 250,000 people from over 100 countries around the world have seen our garden this way. The blog has been archived by the Queensland State Library as being of significant importance to the state of Queensland.
Ian also has a Facebook page called ‘The Giving Garden’ which has over 1650 followers and another Facebook page ‘Open Gardens and Events Queensland’ where people who intend to open their garden can post information. This was badly needed as the ‘Australia’s Open Gardens’ Scheme closed down in June 2015.
So, please come and enjoy our beautiful garden, we are sure you will not be disappointed.