The garden – a place for quiet reflection, mundane work, play, escape or healing – is ever changing. Those of you who have your own plot know that a garden is an extension of the home. The garden owners possess their own individual style, hard work and willingness to create a personal, serene place. Friends and homeowners, Catherine and Max Standage have designed a beautiful home with an equally beautiful garden. Located at the end of a cul de sac with spectacular ocean views of the Sunshine Coast beaches, this property shows that in a short time with careful planning, hard work and motivation, a garden paradise can be achieved.
Of her garden, Catherine says,” I like to look out on my Mapleton garden and stroll around it, enjoying the form of the plants I have chosen to grow in the interesting and ever changing landscape that surrounds us. That I have designed and created this interesting place that was previously a cow paddock brings me great satisfaction.”
Catherine and Max’s garden is essentially an Australian garden filled with banksias, grevillias, golden kangaroo paws, grasses, fruit trees and healthy herbs. It is obvious that any visitor sees the pride in what they have achieved. Inspiration comes from gardening books and from visiting established gardens. Making the garden sit comfortably in the landscape is like easing back into a comfy chair to watch a film – the view, balance and position are all good.
Creative, child friendly, relaxed and well kept, The Standage’s garden demands a closer look.
There’s a seat designed and built by Max to take in the views. What can he see?
Favourite flavouring shrubs are the varieties of vireyas that grow well and picked to bring into the house for floral arrangements. Transformative.
One of the delights for Catherine and Max of having grand children is when they visit and see the excitement as they discover tadpoles and frogs, butterflies and many other insects, monitor lizards and wildlife. The lawn is important for playing bolle, badminton, kicking a soccer ball, flying kites. Even the kids can pick the cherry tomatoes, beans or watch the eggplants ripen. Limes are abundant. Nectar feeding birds are plentiful.
As the owners harvest seasonal vegetables or watch as different birds visit the garden, all the seasons offer something to appreciate.
When I asked Catherine about any obstacles they encountered, she mentioned how challenging it was to get rid of the many weeds including thickets of lantana and strangling thorny vines like cockspur which infest the perimeter of their land. Protection of the fruit trees is vital too and the slope of the land keeps them both fit.
Up in the Blackall Ranges, heavy periods of rain come, but also managing the dry times that go on for months can be challenging. The colours of the sky – stormy, indigo grey and azure blue always a contrast.
As I wander through my friend’s garden, I really appreciate a measure of peace and wonder. What a joy to share in this pleasurable landscape. And like any keen gardener, I ask Catherine what is her most essential garden tip and tool?
She says, ” recognise weeds when they are small and pull them out. Be observant. I always have my secateurs with me when I work in the garden.”
And to finish off with someone’s else’s wisdom, ” every leaf on every tree you see out there represents the opportunities you will have in life.” Some words are like seeds.