Promoting the enjoyment, knowledge and benefits of gardens and gardening Open Gardens Australia Welcomes you to MIKABILL Our garden is about 10 years old. In 2004 we bought our property, earlier called “ABITOFBUSH’ and later renamed it ‘MIKABILL’ after our daughter, Mikaela and our son Billy. Our property is about 100 acres; our garden comprising about 2 acres. When we first arrived, the house was just sitting in the middle of a grassed paddock. I had never had a major garden before as we had always rented. Our first home was in the town of Braidwood and only had a small garden. This is where my interest in gardening took on a different meaning, as beforehand I was only an indoor plant person. So MIKABILL started out as an experiment of a green thumb philosophy I had of myself, and also as a dream of having a garden we could all enjoy, and mostly so my husband did not have to mow the grass! So there I begin, my first step was to mark out where I wanted each garden bed, which I did with a spray can. Then between my husband Michael and son Billy, the digging began. Next was the soil; out here it was just sand, sand and more sand. I had to have a few truckloads of soil delivered to fill the 27 garden beds I had created and then the planting could begin. The front of the house garden is the oldest, whereas the rear garden is relatively new. I worked on a philosophy, that when planted, if plants needed too much water and died, they were never to return. So it went from there; I never really decided what type of garden to plant, just went ahead, hence the higgledy-piggledy type the garden is today, comprising mostly of natives, which I love, and in between deciduous trees, and so on. I never really liked roses, but I have a singe rose garden and the rest are scattered around the place, because that’s how I like it. My husband’s input was a lot of the intense labour, and some advice, which was, when planting to remember how big things grow! As he didn’t want to have to dig things up and replant! When it came to the weather, I found out we are on a bit of a coastal belt; the sandy soil was a great indicator of course. And where the strong winds came from, so was the compass that I planted my garden around. There were already small pine trees on the western side which I nearly pulled out as I do not like pines very much, but I ended up leaving them there and I’m so glad I did now, as they are a saviour when the wild westerlies hit. I feel I have created a micro-climate in my garden as I can grow a lot of plants that cannot be grown in the Braidwood Township. We also do not get such severe frosts out here as in Braidwood. Open Gardens Australia is a self-funding, not for profit organisation dedicated to promoting the enjoyment, knowledge and benefits of gardens and gardening in the Australian community. To encourage the gardeners of the future, children under 18 are admitted free of charge. Most of our income comes from the entry fee you pay to visit the gardens and part of this is dedicated to funding community garden projects. Since 1987 over $1,100,000 has been given to projects across Australia. Our garden owners also raise funds for charities and $5,000,000 has been given to worthwhile causes. Copies of the Open Gardens Guide are available from www.opengarden.org.au, all good bookstores & newsagents, or by phoning (03) 5427 1488 Promoting the enjoyment, knowledge and benefits of gardens and gardening Most of my plants, I bought online, through Garden Xpress; some gifts from friends and some from cuttings that my girlfriend did for me, from my established plants, and some from the local nurseries. I also love my herbs and vegetables so there is a fairly big herb garden which has spread around the place of its own accord! And a fairly big vegetable patch which at first we did not have covered, but soon learnt this was a mistake, with all the different bird species that visit our garden throughout the year. So we now have it covered and are now able to enjoy our harvest each year. During the 10 years of our garden, I have also had a lot of helpers along the way; planting, weeding and generally helping to keep my garden in the shape it is today. So many thanks go out to my helpers. We have one Horse, eight sheep, eleven chooks, one rooster, two dogs, two cats and the gold fish in the pond. Here’s hoping you all enjoy my experiment; my family and I certainly do! ALSO OPEN THIS WEEKEND: BRIMAR: 9455 Nerriga Rd, Braidwood Open Gardens Australia is aiming to significantly reduce its impact on the environment and we hope you support us in this endeavour. Please return your garden notes as you leave so they can be reused and recycled. These notes are also available online at www.opengarden.org.au The gardens that open for us are chosen to reflect a great diversity of styles and may even challenge the conventional view of what constitutes a garden. While aspects of a garden may not be to your taste, we urge you to celebrate this diversity. Please remember you are visiting a private home and show respect and sensitivity for the owners who have so generously shared their garden with you.
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