Station Life: Raelene Hall says her garden grows with the toughest of the tough

Raelene HallMidwest Times
Osteospermum (African Daisy) thriving at Neds Creek Station.
Camera IconOsteospermum (African Daisy) thriving at Neds Creek Station.

I have flowers. Growing. In my garden. Not a big deal one would think given we have space, water and good soil.

About 37 years ago, when we moved into our new transportable home, the yard was a blank canvas. I have no idea who decided what went where but we ended up with garden beds and lawns at the front, with vegetable beds and fruit trees at the back.

That was pre-children, before School of Air teaching and summers killing me. I started off with a rose bush and various other plants I cannot recall.

I do know I had colourful flowers over many years.

The Diggers Garden Club became my best friend because you could order seeds and plants via the mail.

With no idea what I was doing I bought anything and everything. Today the only remainders of those plants are the “evening primrose” which, if it were a crop, would make us a fortune.

Vincas are also tough enough to withstand my neglect and lack of a green thumb.

As life got busier, my gardening interest waned. If it wasn’t for my husband we’d probably be back to that blank canvas, but he has greener thumbs, more energy and enthusiasm to divest garden beds of weeds.

I have, however, kept up my love of roses and now have a dozen or so.

So, what’s the big deal about flowers? I’ve been inspired by gardeners on Instagram like @jane.marwick, @outbacklarder, @kiftsgate and @yelvertonproteafarm.

This led me to go plant shopping on my last trip to Perth. I browsed for ages, finally choosing some plants that I felt I had some hope of keeping alive and adding some colour to my garden.

One of the priorities was height. They had to be low enough that the cows couldn’t reach them over the fence. An ability to survive stinking heat and the odd frost along with howling winds and dust storms meant they had to be the toughest of the tough.

I came home with a miniature pig face, two pots of Marguerite Daisy and two pots of Osteospermum (African Daisy). They survived the trip home, the days in pots, my black thumb planting them into a bed and a miracle occurred. They not only survived, they have thrived.

Each time I look at them I feel like a little kid who has experienced the magic of gardening for the first time.

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