Lying within the shade, the garden is fitted out for all social occasions.
Lying within the shade, the garden is fitted out for all social occasions.

Frost takes its toll on the plants

THE colder months of the year have well and truly set in for the winter, and gardens all around the South Burnett are suffering.

Along with a lack of rain, the dry conditions bring on the frost, which effectively burns a garden by taking the moisture out of plants wanting to grow.

Nanango gardener Jill Handley said this had been one of the worst winters in a decade for frost in her garden.

She's a member of the Nanango District Garden Club, and said most other gardens had suffered the same fate.

"I haven't had frost in my garden for 10 years, so this year has certainly hit hard," Jill said.

"I think you would find that almost everybody is in the same situation, and they haven't had such awful frosts in a long time."

The cold is always a problem around this time of year, but this year has been particularly bad because of the dry conditions giving no moisture in the ground.

"And we get such awful frosts here because it's dry, and because usually you get a little bit of rain and it doesn't do as much damage.

"It's been a terrible year here."

Despite the colder months Mrs Handley said she had looked to maintain her pride and joy through daily work around the yard.

She is making the most of the bad situation, thinking of how she will change the setup of her garden.

"The frost gives you a chance to take out a few things that die, and look to plant something new.

"You have to be optimistic in a garden," she said.

Mrs Handley turns 75 this week and spends a good amount of time in the garden with her cat Archie dedicating up to an hour every day.

As well as the plants, Mrs Handley also enjoys the setup of tables and chairs in the backyard.

She said it is a great place to enjoy a little bit of shade and have company over for tea, while enjoying the serenity of the surroundings.

With her garden a work in progress during winter, all Mrs Handley can do is wait for spring when the temperature will rise and the plants once covered in frost will blossom again.

She will then pick and choose what she thinks will grow well and keep planting throughout spring.

Mrs Handley has been gardening since she was a child.

 

She started helping her mother in the garden and it seems it has stuck with her for life and become embedded into her daily routine.

"I just love it," she said.

"You get to bring something to life and it's great.

"It's also lovely buying a little plant and watching it grow to be something wonderful."

When she first moved into this house, the garden was non-existent and offered a terrific challenge to create something special.

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