Green Genes

Image source: IN Noosa Magazine

Some of us love to garden, some can take it or leaf it! When it comes to loving gardening, Pete Goodlet believes it’s in the family greens (genes). He can’t help himself, but he’ll try to weed out the puns.

Instilling a love of gardening in the young is something they will treasure forever. Never before have we appreciated just how nurturing our garden spaces can be – they fire the imagination and offer unlimited creative possibilities. Start with little projects, maybe a herb patch or flower garden. Whatever you do, don’t just pass off chores that you’d rather not do yourself… like weeding! 

You want to instil a love of all things green in your children and not have them seeking a restraining order for child labour. Buy your kids or grandkids a worm farm so they can turn green kitchen waste into a dynamic fertilizer for their plants. Giving back to our natural world is a true gift.

I love to garden; well, I like planning and planting. If someone offered to do my weeding, I certainly wouldn’t say no! 

There are limits to all passions though. My dad and I loved to garden together. Of course, when I was younger he would guide and I would follow. I was happy to learn and loved our trips to the nurseries, especially the one with display gardens, waterfalls and ducks. My childhood idea of Nirvana. One stand-out local plant place is Manawee Garden Centre in Buderim which is led by mother and son team Marjorie and Simon Van Roy. Simon and Marjorie (Marj) both take great pleasure in passing on horticultural tips to the next generation of gardeners and have fabulous examples of successful plant combinations in their expansive display gardens. 

I have brought home many a plant to add to my garden in the foothills of Noosa. Our lush climate lets me fill the garden with exotic beauty – my dad would have loved it.

Dad and I evolved as gardeners as fashions changed. Thankfully gardeners like Edna Walling led the way with wild, natural gardens with no bare earth. Layered gardens with ground covers, shrubs, and an upper story of trees. Did I mention I didn’t like weeding? The chore of weeding the baked earth under the rose bushes that bordered each side of our front path scarred me for life – that seemed like the longest path in the world. I was so grateful when dad and I moved on to mulched gardens, smothered in ground covers that in turn, smothered the weeds. 

Gardening together enriches life’s journey. 

For Stuart of Earth Creation Landscapes, his love of gardening stemmed from working alongside his mum Judy. A tenacious gardener, Judy created an English style garden where roses, camelias, rhododendron, bulbs and other classical plants grew to perfection. This was no easy task as the garden was spread over two acres in the centre of the family’s Western District sheep farm! Water supplies were short, and the summers were long and scorching. 

Stuart matched Judy’s passion with enthusiasm and muscle. Together they built up the soil, created windbreaks, garden beds and rooms within the garden itself. It was the joy of creating something beautiful from raw earth and sheep poo that captured Stuart’s heart. He was hooked. He was a gardener.

On leaving school Stuart continued his studies at Burnley Horticultural College, now a part of Melbourne University, and went on to work with one of Melbourne’s top landscapers. The seed had been planted and I’m sure Stuart will be passing on his love of all things green to his son. It was this blossoming bond between mother and son that has seen Stuart create a host of beautiful gardens with his award-winning team at Earth Creation Landscapes; Judy is bloomin’ proud of her green-thumbed son.

Gardening is an art and a skill. It also brings people together in a fabulous healthy outdoor pursuit. As gardeners we continue to honour the gardeners that have gone before us. I have planted lots of Tibouchinas in honour of my dad. They were one of his favourites and the butterflies love the big purple flowers. Stuart honours his mum by creating beautiful gardens and always experimenting with finding new plants that thrive in our climate. At the moment he is trialling Pleiostachya pruinosa Wheat which is proving to be quite a beauty. Get out in your garden with the next generation and give them a gift that will continue to grow.

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