December 20, 2018
Helen with Junction CEO, Maria
When Helen walked into her Mitchell Park home for the first time, it was overgrown with weeds and needed a lot of work.
But as soon as she spotted a native frangipani in the front yard, she knew it was the perfect home for her.
“My mum passed away not long before I moved. I had been living with her and caring for her and one of the things she always said was she’d like a frangipani. When I saw it (the frangipani) near the front window I knew it was meant to be.”
That was 14 years ago. Today, Helen is among the winners of Junction’s 2018 Tenant Garden Competition claiming the prize for best rear garden.
“When I arrived, I used to walk around the streets to familiarise myself with the neighbourhood,” she said. “As I walked I would grab a few clippings here and there. My whole garden is made of those cuttings. I haven’t spent a cent on plants or mulch.
“In fact, I wanted to plant a garden bed over some old grass so I used old newspapers to cover the ground until it died. It has turned out the newspaper has been the best type of mulch because the flowers in that bed are now blooming.”
Helen, who was nominated for this year’s competition by a friend, said gardening gave her energy and “a lot of enjoyment”. It was also a haven for others.
“My neighbours come over and we sit and talk here and have birthdays here. It’s very peaceful.
“My mum had also liked bougainvilleas. We’d try to grow them where we previously lived but it hadn’t worked. When I moved to Mitchell Park I brought a pot which had a geranium and a bougainvillea but the bougainvillea had never grown. Eventually I took it out of the pot and put it in my new backyard.
“It went berserk. Every time I look at it now, I think that’s mum.
“I think the garden loves me. It’s been my saviour.”
Other winners of the 2018 Garden Competition included:
Peter & Shirley H
Winner Best Vegetable Garden
Chris & Christine P
Winner Most Creative Garden/Feature
Winner Best Rear Garden
Winner Attractive/Low/Maintenance Category
Winner Most Helpful Award
Runner Up Most Creative Garden/Feature
Craig & Linda
Runner Up Best Front Garden
Runner Up Attractive/Low/Maintenance Category
Runner Up Most Helpful Award
Runner Up Best Rear Garden