Local green thumbs win big in ABC Gardener of the Year Awards

Posted on 10 October 2018

 
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Hazelwood North couple, Denise and Athol Brand, have been named as state finalists in the 2018 ABC Gardener of the Year Awards.  Their property was winner of the Mayor’s Award and the Large Garden category in the 2017 Latrobe City Garden Competition.

Latrobe City Council’s mayor, Councillor Darrell White, said the garden exemplified community heart and pride.

“Our annual garden competition has grown to symbolise the spirit of our city. We have community gardens, school gardens, edible gardens, rental properties, small urban gardens and everything in between. We know that people put a huge effort into making their patch beautiful or fruitful, whatever the size of scale of the property. That’s what we are aiming to recognise with the competition. And to see a winning garden achieve such success is a real boost to our community pride.

“Denise and Athol’s property was an outstanding entrant last year and to be in the running for the prestigious ABC Gardener of the Year Award is testament to their creativity, hard work and innovation,” Cr White said.

Denise said she was still processing the news of the win in the Victoria and Tasmania category.

“I’m surprised to think that our garden has been selected from all the entrants across the two states. Being shortlisted was a thrill. When I received the call to say that we’d progressed to the interview stage, that felt like a win. A week later I received a further phone call and at the end of that one, we found out we have won the Victoria and Tasmania Gardener of the Year award. I was pretty shocked!”

“Our garden is special to us. We haven’t built it to be judged, we have built it for ourselves and our friends and family. But to receive this recognition – last year in the Latrobe City Garden Competition and now the ABC competition – is such an honour,” Denise said.

“We garden from the heart and we have a continuous canvas to add to. It also gives us great pride and pleasure to radiate a sunny success story coming out of Morwell and the Latrobe Valley instead of the recent doom and gloom. Whatever the outcome of the final vote, we know we will continue to put our passion and creativity into our garden and know that others love it as much as we do,” Denise said.

Cr White added that the public could vote for the ABC Gardener of the Year overall winners.

“We would encourage you to take a look at the Brand’s garden in the ABC Gardening magazine or on the website and vote. It’s a vote for a local garden and a vote for Latrobe City,” Cr White concluded.


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