A one acre Sub Tropical garden situated just east of Brisbane. We have opened our garden to the public for 14 years. We open in November to aid a specific charity. On this weekend get a lot of pleasure meeting fellow gardeners. Judy sells many rare plants and this helps us to do more projects and buy more plants. Judy and I are 'plants-people'and cannot resist buying something rare that we do not have. It has been very hard gardening as we seem to be in a severe drought most years.
I did not
write anything last month as we were just so very busy with Christmas and
looking after Grandchildren virtually full time.
I went to
the movies a lot though and was entertained by the ‘Trolls’ ‘Moana’ ‘Ballerina’
‘Monster Trucks’ and one other.
Some nice Vanda Orchids flowered.
As far as
gardening went December and most of January was a dead loss as straight after
our Agnes Water Grandchildren left I went to hard in the garden and sprained my
I am just
recovering now and the garden and house jobs are piling up.
Some vines also flowered.
Very proud of my Noong Nooch Vine which is very rare here in Australia.
We had some
rain in December, not enough to fill our tanks but good enough to make a
difference in the garden.
been a total disaster with temperature during the days mainly in the mid to
high 30 Celsius and NO rain.
only live a kilometre away received over 100 mills one day, crazy.
So we are
very dry and all moisture has disappeared and it’s back to hand watering.
are a lovely shade of brown and as crisp as toast to walk on.
prawning season has started and I am hoping my back will be well enough to let
me throw a cast net.
I have one
major project lined up in the garden this year and a few smaller ones.
will most likely be our last ‘Open Garden’, we have been doing it every year
since 2002 and all the work is starting to catch up with us, so hopefully we
can have a great attendance and go out with a bang.
nominated for a Redland City ‘Australia Day Award’ for ‘Local Hero’, had to do
with our garden and the $60,0000 approximately we have raised for charity,
anyway we won and it was a great feeling to be honoured by our local community.
have a number of bus trips visiting us in 2017 as well as a number of garden
presentations booked. My Facebook page is going well with over 1900 followers https://www.facebook.com/birkdalegarden/
for a break in the heat and of course to needed rain.
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.
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’.
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
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.
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.
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.
know what the weather will be like or how many visitors will show up, so much
depends on publicity and of course the weather.
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.
from radio 4BC was fantastic and so was Spencer Howson from ABC radio 612 great
also Kate Heffernan from Gold Coast ABC radio.
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
portable toilet to organise, roadside signs, tables, chairs ect, even going
around the garden making sure all the spider webs are down.
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.
Club had the sausage sizzle going and sandwiches for those that were worn out
Sapote fruit was for sale and the proceeds from that went to our Grandchildren.
loved the garden, a lot remarked on how much work had been done since they last
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.
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.
Saturday after the opening we had a great downpour of 74 mills of beautiful
rain, what a difference that has made.
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.
back home with a car load of new plants as we do.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.