A Birkdale couple with a passion for plants will open their garden to the public again this year.
Ian and Judy Wintle's 'giving garden' will be open on November 23 and 24 for the 18th consecutive year at 5 Carlton Court.
Interested people will be able to wander through the sub-tropical oasis between 8.30am and 4pm each day, checking out the more than 50 fruit and nut trees, and the rare and colourful plants in the understory.
The couple, 74, call it their giving garden because of the pleasure it gives their family, friends and visitors. They enjoy showing people around.
"We love meeting so many gardeners who have similar interests to us and people just love the atmosphere here which is relaxing and interesting," Ian said.
The garden has also given them a reprieve from the stresses of life. The couple began opening the garden when tragedy struck the family two decades ago.
Son Scott broke his back in a motorcycling accident and was told he would never walk again.
"The months that followed drew on our mental, financial, and physical strength," Ian said.
"It was not for a further six months that he could finally return to his home. By that time not only he needed rehabilitation, his mum and dad also did.
"Our garden gave us the ability to heal, it was our rehabilitation and two decades on, it has blossomed into a lush sub-tropical oasis, featuring some of the world's most exotic unusual plants and fruit trees.
Entry will cost $7. The money will go towards disabled athletes. "We always donate to a charity," Judy said.
In 2001, the couple opened for the first time through the Open Garden Scheme, which has since folded.
They sank a bore about 10 years ago to help with water, but found only saltwater. Now, they hold more than 100,000 litres of water in seven tanks. The garden has solar power and heating.
There are worm farms, native bee hives and composting areas. The couple uses about 150 bales of sugar cane mulch ever year.
Ian said the garden would be unrecognisable from its infancy.
"Every year we complete garden related projects and this year has seen more work done to improve the garden," he said. "We have done all the work ourselves, with the help of a trusty wheelbarrow and shovel."
A coffee van will serve visitors and homemade cakes will be on sale.
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