Great green thumbs honoured

PETA Hose has been named Wellington Shire’s best overall garden in council’s inaugural Green Garden Awards.

Ms Hose’s garden surrounding her Longford home was also named best native garden.

Briagolong residents Belinda Cornwall and Rob Wetton were awarded best edible or productive garden, while Sheryl Garth’s shaded green retreat in Maffra scooped best ornamental garden category.

Runner-up for best edible or productive garden went to Andrew Young, Sale, best ornamental garden runner-up was Chris and Margaret Durrant, while Tanya Campigli, of Coongulla, took home the Andrew Laidlaw Encouragement Award.

The awards were introduced to highlight its benefits for residents and the environment.

Councillor Emilie Davine said gardening was an activity that could be enjoyed by everyone, whether it was a few pots of kitchen herbs on the window sill, a small urban garden or an extensive country garden, the benefits were equally rewarding.

“These benefits include improving health and wellbeing, food production, providing habitat for native wildlife, and importantly, making Wellington such a beautiful and vibrant place to live,” she said.

Ms Hose’s prize winning garden presented excellent use of materials and plants, balanced scale and spatial elements, simple lines and contrasting form, colour and texture.

From a blank canvas 14 years ago, she has created a habitat for native birds with carefully researched indigenous plants from the local area and some special ‘exotic’ Australian plants.

“Luckily we can also enjoy the garden from inside our home,” Ms Hose said.

“The large windows allow us to view the gardens from all rooms.

“The birds of course are an absolute delight. I just love gardening.”

Cr Davine thanked award judges, Royal Botanic Garden landscape architect Andrew Laidlaw, local gardening enthusiast Janet Glanville, and Wellington Shire Council natural environment and parks manager Tim Rowe, alongside guest presenter, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens horticulture manager John Arnott, for their support during the ceremony on December 14.

Twelve finalists were selected from a strong field across the three categories.

After a whirlwind tour judging gardens from Coongulla to Balook, Mr Laidlaw summed up the entries.

“Creating beautiful gardens is not about winning awards, and while it is nice to be recognised for all your hard work, it’s important to remember that the passion and love for gardening, and what people get out of gardening, is in itself reward enough,” he said.

“I would have liked everyone to receive a gold medal for their efforts.”