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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Osborne

Romancing the Stone garden visit

As the easterly breeze was chilly, we headed straight for the undercover area for morning tea; the urn was boiling, the heater was on and the table was laden with hot pies, sandwiches and cakes! Tom, the architect of this wonderous place, told us that in 2000 when he purchased the property it was a tangle of weedy shrubs and creepers and in winter the creek inundated the lower half of the property. 2000 tons of rock and 19 years of hard labour has transformed the area; the creek has been tamed, the grounds terraced, a small waterfall tinkles and cascades gently down the slope, there are fountains, and garden rooms - romance, fragrance and fairy - a grotto and a small amphitheatre where concerts are held in summer. Large and small 3 figurines, gnomes and fairies were secreted amongst the plants, many with motivating bon mots attached. Apart from half a day help from a front-end loader to clear the growth along the creek line, Tom has done all the work with crowbar, pick, shovel and barrow - he is on his fourth cement mixer! In his spare time Tom is an accomplished painter and his goal in his 80th year is to paint 80, 80 x 80 cm pictures before his birthday in October. Over the years Tom and his garden has raised thousands of dollars for charity, particularly for Meningococcal disease. Having walked up and down and roundabout, sampling fruit on the way, some two hours later we left with a huge armful of Iresine (blood leaf plant) cuttings, more than enough for the 10 Spokes who enjoyed and were amazed at Tom's vision and handiwork. We headed to the High Wycombe Tavern for lunch.

Talking to Tom

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