John Davis’ garden is named Dingo’s Run. It was started in 2008 and covers 6 acres of a twenty acre property. He bought his land in 2007. At the time it was being used for cattle and was almost devoid of trees, except for the summer creek area. Over the last 6 years, it has been transformed into different themed gardens including Asian style, a rose garden, courtyard cottage garden, orchards and vegetable gardens, a secret forest and large parkland.
First of all how would you describe your garden? (What do you grow? What is your climate like? )
Climate is sub tropical to temperate as I live in the foothills of the New England Range, Northern Rivers. Garden is a large range of different plants , shrubs and trees spread over 6 acres.
How did you get started in gardening?
My Grandfather was a landscape gardener and growing up I watched him grow many things and I learnt the love of propagation and gardening from him.
What motivates you to get up and garden?
I enjoy the outdoors and get a great thrill in watching my plants development from seed and cuttings to full maturity.
What were some of the unexpected hurdles in your garden? How did you deal with them?
The drastic changes in weather extremes (freezing winters below zero to very hot summers over 40) made plant selection difficult. I observed which plants would survive these conditions and which plants wouldn’t – an interesting learning curve.
What were some of the unexpected benefits from gardening?
My own peace of mind would be the biggest benefit as I am a Vietnam Veteran who suffered from PTSD. Gardening puts me in a better place.
Is there a gardening moment that stands out for you?
Every time a seed germinates and comes to life.
What has your garden taught you?
Serenity. Also to stop stressing over things I can’t control.
If you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be?
An orange. A good way to start the day as I do every day with fresh squeezed orange juice.
What tips would you offer first time gardeners?
Be patient and listen to local advice. Never give up and enjoy it.
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