MIKABILL Open Gardens Australia Welcomes you to

Promoting the enjoyment, knowledge and benefits of gardens and gardening
Open Gardens Australia
Welcomes you to
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
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
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!
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.