Sowing the seeds for new growth

5 min
06 March 2022

As an avid gardener with more than 40 years experience designing and displaying cottage gardens, Barb Wickes was excited to create a masterpiece at her new home at B by Halcyon (QLD).

For 23 years, Barb and her husband, Rex, created and tended to a stunning garden in Buderim, complete with a Monet-inspired bridge and waterlily-covered lake, which featured on the ABC’s ‘Gardening Australia’ in 2016.

Read more of Barb's story which appeared in the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courier Mail and Adelaide Advertiser. 

The duo sold their Mediterranean-style home and moved into B by Halcyon in January 2021, downsizing from their 7,500sqm subtropical garden oasis to a 500sqm plot.

“I am enjoying the maintenance of a small garden, which is much more manageable and is pretty to look at from all areas,” she explained.

“I’m finding my time spent in the garden is more productive as I can keep an eye on the plants, prune as needed and move plants around to fit the space.”

Her tranquil back garden contains a considered selection of polyantha and Australian roses, salvias, camellia and hydrangea bushes, shrubs with burgundy foliage and perennial varieties such as agapanthus, asters, daylilies, dwarf grasses and begonias, to name a few.

One of the first Australian gardeners to champion herbs, Barb is also passionate about growing edibles in her garden.

“I like to go out to my garden and pick a salad, adding colour and various tastes from subtropical vegetables and herbs,” she said.

Barb co-founded The Perennial Poppies Group in 2000, which has members from around South East Queensland, and she is keen to establish a gardening club at B by Halcyon.

“I’m looking forward to getting involved in the new community plot when we have access to the site, which will expand to include rose and food gardens,” she said.

“Sharing is important too, and I hope this is what the gardening club will do. I’m very happy to share cuttings from my garden and interest others to grow plants.”

“It’s nice to be able to pick a posy of flowers from your garden for your neighbour.”

“I was a rather reluctant mover initially, but once we arrived at B by Halcyon, I’ve realised it was the best thing we could have ever done,” Barb enthused.

Garden maintenance for smaller blocks:

•    Research what is being grown in the area, particularly if you have moved from other regions or larger properties.

•    Source plants that can be hedged or trimmed to fit the block.

•    Build the soil with organic matter and fertiliser, making sure the soil does not pack down and absorb water.

•    Control pests by cutting the areas damaged by insects instead of using pesticides.

•    Use a compost worm farm to use up kitchen scraps and grow herbs within pots.

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