Harvest in the gardens

The first of the cooler mornings of February crept their way back in this week. These cooler mornings bring with them some relief, some excitement as well as some trepidation at Whistle Stop Gardens.

Relief comes from many sources. There is relief from the heat and the scorching sun. This has been a ridiculously humid and hot summer for Stanthorpe. Many of us are happy to see the end of whatever that was. There is relief from not having to water our garden by hand every day (thank you volunteers who helped us keep plants alive). In past years (many drought years) we have had to worry about diminishing tank levels. Not this year. There has been rain-a-plenty and for this, we are eternally grateful. And finally, the relief comes from knowing that the lawns and the weeds will stop growing so wildly. Honestly, there were moments when I felt like we were on the set of Jumanji. Thank you to the volunteers who mastered the mower and brush cutters.

Excitement comes for what the new season brings. It’s a time to collect seeds from those flowers that blossomed all summer long so bees could find the veggie patch and help us grow food. There is excitement knowing you won’t be picking the zucchini’s (always so many) for much longer. There is excitement because the new season in Stanthorpe brings with it glorious colourful changes in our landscape. There’s excitement as the change means a rest from most of the mowing (I’m sure everyone is excited about that). And finally, excitement because you have time to plan and prepare which are the critical ingredients for a beautiful garden.

And then there is trepidation. The trepidation comes mostly because of the cold in winter.

So very very cold. Sometimes it snows. Did I say it was cold? But cold means you can give the garden a proper haircut, manicure and waxing. There’s nowhere to hide in the garden in winter.

Winter is hibernation time for many plants. But for those plants that thrive in winter… those plants… well, they deserve a moment in the spotlight. It’s our little secret, if you want to have a beautiful garden all year round in Stanthorpe, on the Granite Belt, you have to visit Whistle Stop Gardens (open Thursday to Saturday 8-12noon). Better still, become a member ($5/year) and/or volunteer with us.

Whistle Stop Gardens will be open 8-12noon on both Saturdays through Apple and Grape Festival. If you park up at the railway precinct, pop your head in and say hello, check out our fabulous gardens and pick up a book from what’s been labelled ‘the best second-hand book shop’. We never clarified the region parameters of that comment but we’ll take it as a win! As a social enterprise, we are creating a self sufficient community space. Something for everyone. Come and see what everyone is talking about. You will not be disappointed.