The mild winter climate is an enjoyable time to get out in your garden


During July in South-East Queensland, the mild winter climate is an enjoyable time to get out in your garden in anticipation for spring.

Indoor plants can be a welcome addition to any living or working space and provide a healthy relaxing atmosphere in our busy lives.

In earlier times, most Sunshine Coast households grew scented flowers and many homes boasted a productive vegetable garden.

Cuttings of prized geraniums or bulbs were exchanged between avid gardeners and seeds were gathered and kept for the next sowing period.

Early memories and images of family gardens being a place to relax and unwind are captured in stories of our region.

Architecture in years gone by featured timber stumped homes, some with double doors opening onto wide verandahs that provided cool shady spots for ferns and other plants.

Garden beds were bordered by rocks or timber edges, some with wire to keep the chooks and other pests away from the flowers or vegetable gardens.

Watering was a chore as tank water was precious and reticulated water was not often available.

Often waste water from baths and washing clothes was saved and bucketed onto the gardens.

Schoolchildren tended their school gardens in class, as many children do today using modern watering and growing methods such as permaculture.

Many homes had a choko vine growing over the water tank stand.

The choko was often judged to be a vegetable without much flavour.

During the Great Depression, when many were out of work, the choko became a staple diet for many families.

It was dished up in every possible way, as a vegetable, with sweet apple or even made into choko pickles.

Homes surrounded by pretty cottage gardens, generally had a mulberry tree close to the house.

A mulberry tree had many uses, apart from its flavoursome, if messy, fruit.

It provided plenty of shade in the middle of the day and stout branches to build a cubby.

Dressed up in their oldest clothes, youngsters climbed the trees armed with containers to pick mulberries for jams, pies and sweets for their mother to cook.

Whilst up in those tall branches, kids filled up on the sweet berries, covering themselves and their mouths with purple juice.

Mulberry season memories often include eating sweet berries fresh, with cream and your mother’s homemade ice-cream.

The precious leaves were also required when it was silk worm season.

  • Buderim House was built in 1913 and the house and small acreage was then sold to the Murphy family in the late 1920s. New owner Harold Murphy served as a Maroochy Shire councillor from 1932-1936. During his tenure, the Duke of Gloucester stayed at his house for a weekend in 1934 and enjoyed the picturesque scenery, wildflowers and gardens.
  • In 1915, Robert Bulcock Junior built “Grandige” in Queen Street, on a site where the Caloundra water tower was later constructed. The home was bought by Orlando Verney and renamed “Linga Longa” with gardens facing towards Kings Beach. Orlando Verney later subdivided and marketed the acreage in 1936.
  • Kunda House, with its terraced gardens, was situated at the junction of Maleny-Landsborough Road and Upper Mount Mellum Road, in Rowan Lane. The three-level dwelling was built for the Kerr family between 1939 -1940. The residence, with its abundant gardens, provided a restful spot with views overlooking the coast. The Kerrs sold their property in 1951 and the home was later renamed “Rowan House” after the lane way.
  • The Nambour Chelsea Flower Show Committee held its first show in 1957. The event subsequently grew to become one of the highlights of the year in South-East Queensland. Held in the Nambour Civic Hall, the show included a Red Cross stall and vast displays created using all kinds of flora by the region's floral art groups, garden clubs and orchid societies.
  • Nambour’s Goong' Gal' Ba garden, featuring Indigenous culture and a bush medicine /heritage food trail, was named by reclaiming the traditional name for Petrie Creek, Goong' Gal' Ba meaning “drinkable water place”. This project commenced in Quota Memorial Park in 1999 with the construction of the stage one of the Nambour Adventure Playground. The garden design and artwork included a talking circle which provides a place for dancing, meeting, storytelling and learning about indigenous heritage and culture. To mark the completion of the Quota Park project, it was officially opened during celebrations held on December 10, 2002.
  • The pristine environment of Buderim’s Foote Sanctuary developed by many volunteers provides walking paths, bridges and seating for all to enjoy. Since the 1960s, volunteers have kept the grounds free of weeds and exotic plants, displaying a true example of the original Buderim fauna. There are more than 82 species of birds identified in the reserve.
  • Over the next couple of months, while the weather is mild, be sure to take a walk through the Sunshine Coast reserves and parks. It will soon be time to look out for our coastal wildflowers in places like Crummunda Park, a 2.4 hectare park located on the northern bank of Currimundi Lake.