New garden grand champion named
MOST households would have several wilted plants in the backyard thanks to the region's recent dry spell.
But that's not the case for the Hervey Bay Garden Club's spring garden competition winner Gavin Baldwin who used ingenuity to help secure the honour of grand champion garden at the weekend.
Along with 18 months of blood, sweat and tears to create his tropical wonderland, the former landscape gardener's clever use of about 10 44-gallon drums to collect and store rainwater has enabled his Kawungan garden to bloom.
Mr Baldwin said he was a regular customer at the Nikenbah Reuse and Recycle shop, which is where he found the drums, along with other ornaments and bits and bobs that take pride of place amongst a variety of gardenias, frangipanis, palms, bamboos and other tropical species.
"That's my favourite shop. I get a lot of good stuff out there," he said with a laugh.
"I got the drums from the tip and hooked them up to my downpipes. There's a bit over 200 litres in each one and they fill up quite quickly.
"If I can rely on the rainwater I'd rather use that any day of the week. They're getting a little bit dry now so I'm just waiting for some rain."
As a first-time entrant in the competition, Mr Baldwin said he was elated to find out he had been awarded the prestigious title.
"I can't believe I won. I thought even if I just got second or third I'd be happy but this is a really good feeling.
"Some days I walk out and I love it and sometimes I don't because I'm out there every day but to see the surprise on people's faces who see it for the first time is great.
"The garden does my soul really good. It's my passion."
Numbers were down on last year's competition but garden club spokeswoman Henny Hoff said entries were still of high quality.
"Considering we have had such a dry year the gardens were still apparently very nice," she said.
A presentation to all winners will be held at Torbay's Tavistock Crt this Friday from 9.30am.
All winning gardens will be open for public viewing this Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
Class 1: Under half acre, three years and over
- Barbara Bensen, 46 Fraser Dr, River Heads
- Wendy Caffyn, Alana Crt, Torquay
- Kim Buckspitt, 15 Hayworth St, Point Vernon
Class 2: Under half acre, under three years
- Gavin Baldwin, 12 Queben Crt, Kawangan
- Olive and Tom Phillips, 5 Moolyyir St, Urangan
- Christina Maynes, 36 Harrison Crt, Urangan
Class 3: Best pensioner garden
- R and L Gaunson, 65 Pulgul St, Urangan
- Equal 2: Andrew Nightingale, 64 North St, Point Vernon and Betty and Col Winney, 16 Craig Crt, Pialba
Class 4: Best frontal
- Ken and Annette Scurr, 95 Colyton St, Torquay
- Bob and Donna Cliff, 1 Lakeside Crt, Torquay
- Equal 3: Pamela Thomas, 163/100 Nissen St, Fraser Shores and Brigitta Schwary, 18 Cathy Place, Torquay
Class 5: Best Shade House
- Bob and Lyn Emslie, 180 Christensen St, Urraween;
- R & L Gaunsen, 65 Pulgul St, Urangan
- Col and Betty Winney, 16 Craig Crt, Pialba
Class 6: Best Institutional
- New Horizon Village, McNally St, Scarness
- Fraser Shores, 58 Nissen St, Urraween
- Fraser Shores, 100 Nissen St, Urraween
Class 7: Best Vegetable Garden
- Dawn Bryant & Family, 57 Rowley Rd, Booral
- Fraser Shores Retirement Village, 58 Nissen St, Urraween
- Fran and Jeff Amor, 23 Marlin Dr, Kawungan
Class 8: Best Small Garden
- Mr & Mrs Burgess, 162/100 Nissen St, Pialba
- Pamela Thomas, 163/100 Nissen St, Pialba
Class 9: Best Rural
- Penny Macaulay, 4 Agnes Crt, Craignish
- Rob and Corrie Blacker, 5 Jasmine Crt, Dundowran Beach
- Margo Lawton, 30 Bluewater Rd, Booral
- Reserve Champion: Penny Macauley, 4 Agnes Crt, Craignish
- Grand Champion: Gavin Baldwin. Phone 4191 4229 for address details