My Garden: Lush garden oasis

By Tara Whitsed

When Kate Dwyer moved to Shepparton she knew she wanted a property with an established garden.

The keen gardener had left her beautiful garden in Melbourne and secured a house with a low maintenance yet luscious garden.

‘‘I moved here two years ago and it had the bones to it,’’ she said.

Ms Dwyer has jam-packed the small front yard with several striking features, including a garden-bed along the fence line filled with flourishing succulents, birds of paradise and agaves.

‘‘Some were already here and some of them I transplanted,’’ she said.

Ms Dwyer noted just how easy it was to transplant and grow succulents and highlighted the fact they did well in the heat.

‘‘All of this garden is pretty well drought-proof,’’ she said.

Ms Dwyer said she needed to water her plants only twice each month and trimmed things back every couple of weeks.

Her front carport is adorned with a beautiful creeping wisteria which Ms Dwyer said she trimmed along the right-hand side to enhance its characteristics.

‘‘You can get lovely knots and twists in it,’’ she said.

Walking underneath the canopy provided by the plant and through to Ms Dwyer’s backyard, there is much more for the garden-lover to feast their eyes on.

Three large, solid planter boxes provide the space for a vegetable patch which has slowed down since the summer months but still has several plump tomatoes to enjoy.

‘‘The veggie garden is nearly finished now,’’ she said.

Just metres from the veggie garden is an established fernery, complete with a wooden walking bridge.

The popular monstera deliciosa (or swiss cheese plant) dominating the fernery has leaves that are larger than life.

The backyard features two ferneries with the other attached to Ms Dwyer’s large deck which she has also adorned with several pot plants.

‘‘There’s so much concrete out here,’’ she said.

Ms Dwyer has played around with different textures, pots and heights around her deck and has cleverly decorated an old electrical wire wheel with a collection of pot plants.

Many plants, according to Ms Dwyer, were either at the property to begin with or cuttings she brought from her plants in Melbourne including some from a gigantic yucca which yielded about 50 cuttings during her time in Melbourne.

Ms Dwyer has also shared her love of gardening and plants with her neighbour Lesley Collis, helping her put in new garden beds and giving her baby plants.

‘‘Gardens don’t need to take a lot of work as long as you’ve mulched it properly,’’ Ms Dwyer said.