Spring in Toowoomba is always a bit of a magical time, our parks simply glow with colour and the green haven that is Toowoomba is alive with outdoor activity. This year the parks seemed even more patronised than ever, nice to see so many families, so many people enjoying this magical space.

I have to confess to a fondness for what is the most impractical of gardens in the Australian climate; the English country garden or what in a recent ABC article was referred to as the “nanna” garden. Laurel Bank Park, perhaps our most beautiful park, is the absolute epitome of the English country garden or the “nanna” garden, it is an extended display of gorgeous colour and traditional water hungry, fragile flowers, things like foxglove, delphinium, pansies, poppies, snapdragons, hollyhocks and dozens of others similar delicate gems. Our spring is becoming increasingly short but at least for the month of September we can enjoy this joyous, carnival of colour.

I read with interest this article on the ABC: Climate change is changing the gardening game in Queensland’s flower capital. I have to confess, I have long since given up on trying to grow such a garden at home for a number of reasons, but the two big ones are the water issue and digging dogs. I kind of surrendered my little patch of flowers as a space not to get upset about if the dogs dug, and dig they did! Cassie especially is a digger and she has a bit of an issue with any plant in a pot. She likes to give then their freedom, so I often find plants carefully excavated and potting mix spread across the back landing. In a moment of spring madness I have started resurrecting the pot garden with some selective re-planting. Lets hope with a bit more maturity I can convince Cass to leave the plants in the pots!

I have a strict rule about my little vegie patches though, they are not to be touched and with a bit of help from chicken wire, so far so good. Our yard is a much more native space these days with a bottle brush, a grevilia and a banksia in the front yard keeping the birds happy. I still have nasturtiums down the side of the house and the driveway. They are indestructible, thrive with no love and bring bees to the yard, along with some lavender in pots and the occasional marigold planted amongst the herbs and vegies.

Every spring I get this gardening madness, usually after visiting our glorious parks and become a bit of a sucker for pretty things in punnets and pots. Trying to remain practical and stick to things that are indestructible and useful. Common sense tells me to be practical and natives have their own special beauty but sometimes it is easy to be seduced by the romance of all those glorious flowers. At least I can go for a picnic in the park to appreciate their beauty, get a coffee and sit under a tree and read a book.

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