Poet-tree in the Garden

At our last Kandos Gardens Fair in 2011 local poet Leanne Wicks invited
visitors to partake of poetry in the garden. She was in Margaret Casley’s
Whimsical Garden at Kandos. Throughout the day Leanne invited visitors to
enjoy poetry as she read poems, wrote poems and sold poems. 

This year Leanne has been working with Lue Public School students to create
a “Poet-tree”. In two of the gardens at the Kandos Gardens Fair visitors
will probably discover poems hanging in branches. They are invited to take
home a poem. 

Local poet Terry Yates will also be sharing poetry in the gardens. He had
two popular poetry reading sessions in a 2010 garden. The KGF program, now
in the planning, will have details about the time and place to enjoy some
poetry readings.

Gunnadoo – A colourful Garden at Clandulla

Not just a pretty garden, it is famous for its strawberries and produce.

Not just a pretty garden, it is famous for its strawberries and produce.

I saw this Clandulla Garden in 2010 when we held our first and only “2848
Garden Awards”.  It was those awards which gave us the idea of holding the
Kandos Gardens Fair.

In the awards Fay and Colin Burchell took out first prize for a new garden.
And if you visit their garden you will see why.

Each year under Fay’s imagination and green thumbs and Colin’s handyman
skills their garden increases in colour, luxuriance and produce. Even if you
saw it in 2011 you will see many changes this year.

Fay and Colin have taken to the country life-style completely. Their farm,
four kilometres from Kandos, started as a country getaway but it soon turned
into a permanent home.

They built their house on a windy, rocky paddock of poor soil. Not the type
of ground most people would envisage a garden. But Fay and Colin have
performed miracles. It is a cheerful, abundant garden with a profusion of
colour. Roses, geraniums, perennials and vegetables thrive amongst
drought-tolerant plants. Fruit trees and well-chosen specimen trees are
getting established. Archways, trellises, fountains, found objects, old
machinery and ponds provide structural features while Fay makes clever use
of pots and rockeries to showcase her plants.

She also tells me home-made compost is what makes her garden grow.

As usual this year she will be selling plants (strawberry and honeysuckle, I
believe) and jams etc (her strawberry jam is to die for). Pat Tilling who
creates marvellous wall hangings and table tops with mosaics will also have
a stall there. There will be other activities but we are still working on
the program which should be out by the end of the month.

by Colleen O’Sullivan

The Convent Gardens

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An early photo of the Convent gardens with formal hedges and garden beds.

Built in Spanish Mission style in the 1930s and home for many years to the Good Samaritan nuns, the Convent is a landmark in Kandos. The building was constructed with great care to detail and specifically built as a Convent with nun “cells”, a Chapel and Sacristy. A Grotto was added in the 1950’s. After the departure of the nuns in the 1970s, the building became a Presbytery for local priests until being privately sold in the last year.

A dated low maintenance canvas to build upon

A dated low maintenance canvas to build upon

The gardens, which were formal and well-tended by the nuns, became low maintenance over the last few decades and the new owner is now keen that the gardens do justice to the stately building and the Convent continues to play an important role in the community.

Whilst still finding its feet, the Convent gardens intend to balance productivity and industry with a relaxed country atmosphere and a long-standing heritage of roses. Very little of the original gardens are still in place, other than some old rose bushes. At the Kandos Gardens Fair, visitors will be able to view photos of the gardens throughout the Convent’s life. The new owner has inherited a blank canvas to build upon.

Baby steps to redesign the garden

Baby steps to redesign the garden

So far, raised vegetable beds have been incorporated to support a keen cook, herbs have been added, which are a passion for the new owner, and the rose garden has been substantially supplemented. The Grotto has also been restored.

All these activities are understandably very new and will take some time to reap rewards. And much more is planned for the future.

The new owner is excited to be part of the community and participate in the Kandos Gardens Fair. Please say “Hi” when you visit and feel free to give feedback on the gardens as they begin to evolve.

The owner has a blog that you are welcome to visit or follow

http://conventandchapel.com

The new raised veggie beds

The new raised veggie beds

The BIG KGF Raffle – Coming Soon!

So many great prizes for gardeners! And thanks to our generous local sponsors.

So many great prizes for gardeners! And thanks to our generous local sponsors.

September is our raffle month. We will be sitting inside IGA at Kandos on three Fridays in September – 6th , 13th and 20th. Hopefully we will get good warm Spring days because it can be a bit miserable in front of the opening and closing doors. However we can’t complain – the more IGA customers that come through the doors, the more tickets we will sell!

We are lucky to have such a good business like IGA in town who supports local volunteer groups to hold raffles. Just imagine if we had to sit outside! We will also be selling tickets at Rylstone Markets on 14th September so please drop by.

We have found the raffle is a good money-raiser and also an opportunity to promote the Kandos Gardens Fair. Our cork-boards will have a poster, photos of past KGF events, a list of our wonderful sponsors and a list of prizes. And there will be a whole bunch of orange flyers to hand out.

Support from local businesses in supplying raffle prizes has been gratifying. As an example Bruce’s Garden Centre in Dabee Road, Kandos, donated the wine barrel planter and three bags of fertiliser as part of our first prize. Bruce has a wonderful selection of plants, mulches, fertilisers, pots, barrels and garden art, as well as firewood (see below). Prices are good too. A number of his wine barrels and pots have been rehomed at the Convent and many other gardens in the area. It’s worth spending a bit of time at Bruce’s looking around as he has some treasures not readily found in many of the bigger commercial nurseries.

Rylstone Agricultural Supplies donated the four packs of mulch for the first prize. Colleen’s chooks (sadly no longer with us) would highly recommend the chook food from there.

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Spend some time investigating Bruce’s Garden Centre and you’re sure to come away with a treasure.

A Focus on Sustainability

A theme for the 2013 gardens is sustainability. All gardens on show will highlight various aspects of sustainable gardening practices, which is so important to our environment and particularly in rural areas.

Features of gardens will include:

  • efficient use of water
  • incorporation of  native plants
  • recycling of materials
  • use of non-toxic pesticides
  • use of organic fertilisers
  • composting
  • mulching
  • dry weather tolerant plants
  • worm farms
  • vegetable gardens
  • fruit trees
  • herbs for cooking and medicinal use
  • chickens and coops
  • native birdlife
  • weed control
  • animal and insect life
  • plant reproduction
Drawings by Bev Duff

Drawings by Bev Duff