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Antoni & Jo's Garden - Transcript

My name is Jo and I’m part of the Gardens for Wildlife Program. Initially I wanted pretty flowers like roses and stuff like that, that were very colourful for my garden and Yvonne informed me about the native gardens that do have a lot of colour, so every single plant that she wrote on my list for us had beautiful flowers and in Spring this place is just magnificent with colour, all different types of colour.

For us, Gardens for Wildlife really helped us by giving us more of an idea on what we needed to do. We’ve got a sustainable house and we wanted to have a sustainable garden that went with that and something that fitted into the natural surroundings, so to be able to call the Council and ask them to come out and give us some assistance - have them do that - and not just once, but three or four times was fantastic, wasn’t it? It really allowed us to do what we’ve done. Without Gardens for Wildlife we wouldn’t be able to do anything that we’ve done.

I think another thing that has helped us too was the motivation of having the category. You put a category in your mind that you want to achieve and then you work towards that. And then when you think you’re there you ask someone to come out and have a look and they tell you if you are, or aren’t, so I think that’s a really good part of the Program too. So, it doesn’t just drop the information with you and then walk away, it carries you through the journey and at the end of it, when you think you’ve finally made it, you get a tick and they tell you if you have or haven’t and, if you haven’t, what you need to do to finally get to where you want to be.

I like a natural bush setting myself and one that I can have in the backyard and the kids can help me with. It’s really rewarding especially during Spring.

The initial report was fantastic. From our point of view, we didn’t know what to do, which plants to use. We knew we wanted something colourful. When we told the Council what we were after, they sent someone out. She did a fantastic job and she actually listened to us about what we wanted, how we were going to use the backyard, what we wanted to do with it. She looked at where the shadows were going to be, what kind of plants will grow where, what kind of plants we were going to put in each spot, she just gave us a full list. The initial report was the masterplan really. It gave the all the information we used to actually select and plant all the plants that we put in. So that initial report was invaluable. It was absolutely incredible.

The kids learn from the backyard, and this is the reason why we have a backyard, so our kids can have somewhere to play. Our garden gives our family a sense of home. It’s our backyard, we’ve made this backyard and it’s somewhere for us to come and just chill out, be together and to appreciate. We don’t have to go up to the mountains to get to the Australian bush, we’ve got a little piece of it here in our backyard. And from my point of view anyway, it’s somewhere to come home. I’ve got a bit of a stressful job sometimes, so to be able to come home and wander into the backyard and see Jo and the kids enjoying themselves, laughing and playing in the backyard as soon as I walk in the door, it’s probably my favourite part of the day.

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