Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

This Report has been written by Becky, thank you so much. 

Firstly I want to say a big thank you to Gayle, it's member like you who keep our GV's going. 2 GV's in one year you are wonderful. I'm sorry we couldn't make it but this nasty flu has not gone away. It has turned around and I have it even worse now. But even of my troubles, please enjoy Becky's Report. If any one has photos please share them with us.


Thank-you Ken and Gayle for opening your house and heart for a second Garden Visit this year.  For all the souls who braved the typical windy Ekka- August day, you are to be commended! It was wonderful to see some of our founders, THE ELAINES.  Welcome to our new members, Dean and Kerrie; we hope you had a fabulous first visit and we congratulate you on winning the raffle!


Adopting a little piece of the streetscape as their own, THE VERGE was created to bring garden to community on the public land in front of their property.  Gayle was delighted to bring life to her foot path whilst beaming over with pride that THE VERGE was government compliant surrounding her council donated tree.


Following the path of least resistant (a.k.a. the garden path), in BLF style, we revelled in the banquet spread before us followed by a leisurely tour through the garden.


When Ken and Gayle originally bought the property, they pondered what to do with the burden of the swimming pool and the 2 gates it took to enter each side of the garden.  Each garden retreat emerged as Gayle and Ken rested, meditated and absorbed the views to produce lovely places for our garden visit where everyone had a place to rest, reflect and enjoy.


Although the star attraction was not to be seen, we entered the Ringtail Possum’s dining room where a Queensland Arrowroot stood proud surrounded by edibles for the possum and bees of chickpeas and lots of pigeon pea. 


Placed on top of the concrete lid of the Pool (now, extremely large water tank) along with an outdoor settee, sat several beautiful urn/vases with Narra native turf (bought recently from the Nambour Show), cut into square tiles, and sitting on a raised bed of soil.  Gayle lovingly recreated this multipurpose garden feature which was inspired by reminiscing her special day at the Art gallery.


As we passed the pomegranates (Possum’s dessert), a variety of vegetables and flowers peppered such as Tommy toe tomatoes (thanks VALERIE for suggesting the kefir fruitfly trap), eggplants, zucchinis, native senna (for bees).  Plenty of worm farms creating fertile soil around a patch of garden where plenty of nursticians (Ken’s not a fan of), sorrel and illysiums flourished.


Generous citrus blossoms were flowering from the lime and lemon trees.  It was a bit of touch and go with the Lots-of-lemons tree after it withstood the challenges of life when the wind blew it back and forth; it triumphed and has grown even stronger roots.


The avocado tree took pride and place in the centre of the back garden.  It struggled at some point in the pots and has continued to grow for 5yrs.  Our fingers and toes are crossed for you in anticipation of your desire that this year will be The Year of the Avocado.


Continuing on the garden tour, the left corner of the front garden was forged into a native reserve for wildlife (lizards and fairy wrens).  Panning to the middle of front yard, lettuce were sprouting stoically as it had seeded itself and provided the best lettuce compared to collecting and re-sowing.  Encouraging the bees, all manner of flowering plants were blooming including ostiospurnum allysum rosemary wattle daisies and snapdragons.  Nematodes and Madagascar Beans had its function, as a nitrogen fix.

What garden would be without the busy native bees.  Their hive was safely harboured behind the tree to the right side of the house where it was not only protected but had the advantage of the warmth reflecting from the house walls.


The little shed, near the Possum’s living room and Pool, used to be the bain of life.  Now it is an open shed, utilising the ex-pool gates as a plant holder.  Lots of sweet peas and daisies and strawberries and pansies.  Lots of salad greens.  Dill, lettuce, Italian parsley, etc. 


Every aspect of the garden had a purpose from flowers for the bees, plants and trees for the wildlife including the Bottle brush Tree preparing for spring next to the bird bath oasis.  Even  the aloe vera that started as a lone plant had a special area where it had multiplied by propagation.  It certainly is welcomed when the odd sting or two occur.

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Thank you Gayle, for sharing your garden again.  So many new things to see and learn.  The pots of grass look very artistic and inviting to sit on. It is literally a patch of grass.The bees are multiplying and living on plenty of native nectar. 

We had a lovely chat and cuppa with our BLF friends, new and old.  My fig cuttings are planted and my fingers are crossed. Still looking for the name of that tubular  flowering shrub near your roller-door.  Thanks Becky for putting a great report in for us, it helps those that cannot make the visit. You did well Becky, and we missed our Dianne and Graham, we hope you recover from your double flu. 

Thx Christa , No worries.  I feel awful for having missed Dianne and Graham from the apologies and possibly others.  D&G your presence was missed and hope you get well soon.  Loved reading your reports from previous GVs to help me take a leaf from.  Your ease with words breathe life into the reports and I hope I did you proud.

Christa, the shrub is Eremophila oppositifolia “Moonlight” white form of the oppositifolia emu bush

I found I'd taken a record of the tag (phew!)  Countless times I've planted something, and think I'll remember, but never do.


How remiss of me but I forgot about our wonderful Hosts husband Ken. Thank you Ken for always being beside Gayle to lend a hand to prepare your GV's, somethings we really don't give the husband's enough credit. So a big thank you not only to Ken but to all Partner's and Spouses for your support.

We are now looking for someone to the November & December Spots for GV's so please everyone give it some thought and get back to me...

Dean and Kerrie receiving Raffle prize

Sorry I missed it! Nice report Becky. Gayle, your garden sounds delightful! I also have fingers and toes crossed for your that it is The Year of The Avocado! :D


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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

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