Australia’s favourite green thumb Costa Georgiadis didn’t need to dig too deep for accolades to describe the inspiring efforts of participants in the inaugural “Let It Grow” Douglas Garden Awards.
The popular host of ABC’s Gardening Australia visited 16 of the most spectacular gardens from Port Douglas to Wonga Beach last week alongside fellow “Let It Grow” judges, Mayor Julia Leu and Council’s Open Spaces Coordinator Pete Logan.
With a smile from ear to ear, Costa said the quality of the gardens judges visited and the passion of the green thumbs responsible for their creation made him “beyond happy”.
“Each entrant displayed a passion and enthusiasm for their own unique garden that was infectious,” Costa said.
“The environmental knowledge of sustainability and the use of recycled materials was most impressive and I loved meeting so many people who are as passionate about their gardens as I am.”
Mayor Julia Leu said it was a privilege to have a guest judge of the calibre of Costa to share his knowledge of all things gardening for the inaugural “Let It Grow” Douglas Garden Awards, which culminated with a presentation ceremony at the Port Douglas Community Centre last Friday.
“Our aim with the ‘Let It Grow’ Douglas Garden Awards was to showcase the amazing efforts of local gardeners and encourage sustainable gardening practices in the tropics and we certainly achieved that,” Mayor Leu said.
“Costa’s generosity to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for gardening rubbed off on everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him and I’m sure inspired even more local gardeners to get involved in the awards or get their hands dirty to create their own sustainable green spaces in the future.
“I’d also like to thank all our local sponsors who helped Douglas Shire Council stage the inaugural ‘Let It Grow’ Douglas Garden Awards – Raw & More, Papillon Landscapes, Ghost Gum Gardening & Irrigation, the Mossman Botanic Garden, Newsport and All Figured Out.”
Gardens were assessed on design and general layout; environmental initiatives such as being water-wise, pest management and use of recycled materials; use of plants including their balance, health and colour; as well as originality and creativity.
Category winners and feedback from judges to inspire fellow gardeners is detailed below:
- Raw & More Residential Garden Award – Frahn Family – Stunning and unique garden. High level of presentation and plant selection. Beautiful edging, well presented with hidden gardens including a fairy tea garden. The highlight was an outdoor bathroom and a most impressive king fern.
- Papillon Landscapes Acreage Garden Award – Elizabeth Showniruk – Plenty of tropical fruit trees and bug attractant plants with good use of recycled soil for the nursery housed a great variety of vegetables. Impressive stone terrace, rock stairs and waterfall. What stood out was the diverse species of plants such the Jade Vine and the rare Amherstia Nobilus.
- Mossman Botanic Garden Sustainable Garden Award – Louise Stayte – Good use of plants for screening of fences, at the same time creating windows for views. Good native plant content and garden practices with use if compost, mulch and organic chicken manure. Sound knowledge of sustainability stood out.
- Ghost Gums Gardening & Irrigation Edible Garden Award – Monika Prins – Very colourful garden with some awesome herbs and variety food plants, plenty of fruit trees – mangosteens, strawberry tree, dragon fruit. Overall plant health was impressive. Trialling lots of different species.
- Douglas Shire Council Professional Gardener Award – Papillon Landscapes – great use of flowing space and plant selection. Beautiful combinations of natives. Amazing display of tree ferns and screening plants such as the Indian Mast Tree.
- Newsport School & Childcare Centre Garden Award – Wonga Beach State School – Unique labyrinth in the shape of a turtle. Excellent use of hay bales as structure for their plants and vegetables to retain moisture in their raised garden beds because of the sandy soil beds. All foods used for the school tuckshop.
Costa’s own Silver Shovel Awards:
- C&K Mossman Kindergarten – Grew a variety of fruit and vegetables all labelled – bananas, brazil cherry, zucchini, passion fruit and paw paw, basil, cucumber. Had a worm farm, rock paintings to celebrate NAIDOC Week and a ‘Costa scarecrow’.
- Evelyn Davey – Mossman Hospital – Award for recognition of dedication to voluntary services for the hospital nursery. Aspects of the gardens have a great community feel and the dedicated area outside the children’s ward was full of colour and delightful windmills.
Media contact: Kerrie Hawkes – CEO Unit Executive Officer – 07-4099 9411