Roger Riordan: My Bush Garden

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Adrian's Tree

In 1961 I married Sally Yeo (whom I had met on a trip to Kings Canyon). I was boarding in Middle Brighton, and liked the area, and we were working nearby, so we bought a little old weatherboard house on a 1/4 acre block in East Brighton, for 6,000 pounds (which was probably a bit high.)

The area had been market gardens, but had been subdivided in the 20's. There were not many trees in the area, but over the next 30 years a lot of trees were planted, but the houses remained relatively small, and the area became much more bird friendly. But now it is being re-developed, gardens are out of favour, and the large gardens are rapidly giving way to ostentatious MacMansions.

Most of the plants in our garden were English, but we gradually replaced them with natives. Sally loved growing things, and grew a lot of bonsais, and I had many native orchids, but many of the bonsais died when our watering system failed while we were overseas during a drought. We had a lot of lawn, but recently this has been getting beyond me, so in 2016 I converted the front lawn (which had never done well because it was overshadowed by the house) to a bush garden, and allowed the back lawn to grow into a 'Meadow'. Both are low maintenance, bird friendly & drought tolerant. Unfortunately the possums killed the Tristania in Photo 1, so I removed it in 2018.

When Adrian (my 2nd son) was a baby we went camping, & spent a few nights on the Wellington River flats, near Licola. There was a cute little Red Box seedling with a few round blue leaves growing by the tent, so we 'rescued' it & planted it in our front garden, where it thrived. Now, 50 years later, it is a local landmark.

There is a map of the garden in Nature > Local Birds > Tawny Frogmouths > TF 4

The Meadow


The Poppy Beds

Star Puffballs

Bush Garden


Flower head

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 © Roger Riordan 2004-2019

My Garden: The only bush garden in Brighton