Shirley Broad 28 years Volunteering
Shirley Broad can be seen every Tuesday with her merry bunch of gardeners down on the Burra Creek hard at work maintaining the Burra Creek Garden.
Shirley has been Volunteering in the garden since 1987. Along with The Senior Citizens Shirley Started the Garden Group and when Senior Citizens Folded Shirley continued on with the project.
With money raised from collecting cans for recycle Shirley has funded all the plants off her own back.
The pictures above show you what can be done with a bit of grit and determination. Far right is Burra Creek in the early days, and left is how it now looks. Go and see for yourself what a huge achievement this is, and make sure you have a chat to Shirley on Saturday morning of open weekend.
Volunteers do so much to enhance the quality of our lives, but unfortunately so few us realise just how much they give.
Thank You Shirley Broad
Every Tuesday her group gathers, winter and summer to beautify the creek for the locals and tourists to enjoy. They start early and then break for a cuppa and a chat at the BBQ site south of the bridge, weather permitting, sometimes they can be seen huddling under the BBQ bay for shelter. When it was Senior Citizens gardening they won Kesab Awards and Shirley is very proud of this acknowledgement
The area was a couch ridden creek bank when gardening started and now boasts a beautiful garden full of natives and ornamentals. When Senior Citizens folded Shirley had few helpers and has maintained the garden as a low maintenance venture. Only recently have Volunteer Numbers swelled to 7 in you can hear them laughing and joking while they plant new trees and shrubs and trim the ones that are there.
Shirley has been doing it for 28 years now and she is determined to make 30 yrs. She is a testament to commitment and determination, when she started the watering system was all manual and she would have to go down several times a day to switch hoses over…Today there is an automatic system for watering
We as a town owe Shirley a big thank you for the lovely garden that is there for us to enjoy today. Thankyou Shirley
Just recently a bunch of new plants have been planted and moved, and garden paths rejigged, so why not wonder along the creek when the weather fines up and take it all in. The garden will feature in this year’s Open gardens event on the Sat and Shirley will be down there between 11.30 and 12.30 to share her experiences with you.
WHITE CEDARS CAFE
Ten years in the making, White Cedars Cafe garden has evolved from a bare backyard into a mature oasis with spillover plants softening the paths and others self-seeding in "just the right places".
A mix of exotics and natives has been used in a quest to find the right species to survive the minus 7C frosts & 45C heatwaves, still an on-going evolution. Removal of an old barn has provided a lovely setting for al fresco dining. Hopefully our beautiful white wisteria will be in full bloom for the open days.
We also take care of the street garden which features some delightful eremophilas.
This is the most beautiful time of the year, apart from winter, autumn and summer that is- and preparations are continuing on improving the gardens at the Gallery. I have had intentions to drought proof by raising and isolating garden beds with basic stone walling in the style of gardens I saw in Wales.
Have finished one bed, and done a path which serves a dual purpose of raising the beds and retaining water, as well as fighting back kikuyu. Hopefully it will look more settled by October. I have also started growing some more herbs and some were a bit doubtful given our dramatic temperature range- especially frosts. But just noticed the Houttuynia cordite coming up- revered in Japan as a tonic tea, the woad is flowering and many of the salvias are starting to awake.
A lot is being both written and spoken about on this subject. Organic Gardener magazine had a big write which you may like to read, and this link is also informative and may help you to decide
We are busy in the garden (weeding, spraying & mowing) with the lead up to Open Garden Time.
At the moment the Blossom trees are stealing the show so I'm not getting a lot done!! I've included some photos to share. The first photo is of 'Prunus Elvins', my absolute favourite!
The blossoms are an explosion of white on long branches eventually turning pale pink.
We also have lots of pretty pink, some call the little flower, 'London's Pride' or '1 o'clocks'. Lots of calendulas that self replace every year and pretty bulbs.
Also loving the new growth on ash trees, rosemary and lavender. (Lavender was previously frosted!) The Grevillea and other wattles are flowering and wattles just finishing. Some succulents are also flowering. The kids are busy with sour sobs and Daisy chains.
COW DUNG HILL
We came to Burra 6 years ago after falling in love with a little cottage on a hill, and realizing that our early twenty something sons were not leaving home anytime soon, so we left them. Initially we being my husband Fred and I were weekenders. We both have a love of gardening and wanted to create a cottage style garden.
Great in theory! After removing overgrown weeds and a huge saltbush, we found paths and a layout for the garden. A previous owner had spent a lot of time constructing stone walls and terraces as we are on a hillside. We madly went ahead not realizing that we could not get a wheelbarrow easily from the bottom level to the top, or that under the soil was VERY HARD ROCK!!!!
Many weekends later after aches and pains we finally had what we thought was a garden.
We decided to enter our garden in the Open Gardens in 2013, and it was then that after many hours convincing me, we decided to call our place Cow Dung Hill. This was not our idea as when the locals asked us where we lived, they all referred to our hill above the showgrounds as Cow Dung Hill. There are various stories of why our little plot has this name. My favorite and the one I tell others is of the pastoralist Sir Sidney Kidman used to wait on our hill with his cattle after travelling from Qld, for the train to Adelaide.
After 6 years it has been a steep learning curve and still remains so, with dealing with gusting winds, frosts and digging with a crowbar we now have a garden that I can happily pot around
We have learnt many lessons.
Get to know the locals, even if this means your husband spends a lot of time at the pub, they are happy for you to take some sheep manure.
Join a garden group, invaluable knowledge and exchanging of plants and cuttings.
Salvias, iris and agapanthus are still the best plants that grow anywhere.
Learn to be patient as plants do not grow faster if you stare at them.