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Rangeville’s “Stirling” was officially announced as the Toowoomba Camellia Show and Garden Expo’s “Winter Garden” at a ceremony on Friday, 30th June.

Group at Winter Garden Announcement -l to r Hospice chairman, Graham Barron, Greg Johnson. Kevin Cotterell, garden co-owner Colin Fitzgerald, Jan Johnson (Heritage Bank, Cr Nancy Sommerfield, Rusell Campbell, and Cr Joe Ramia

 “Stirling” is the proud home of popular gardeners Dr Viola Nicolson and Colin Fitzgerald and sits at 32 Leslie Street, Rangeville. It was previously known as “Manooka” however Viola and Colin renamed it in honour of the Stirling family who lived there for many years.

The garden comprises two acres of magnificent flora including, naturally, 100 camellia plants, 300 rose bushes and 100 trees of the world. Mr Fitzgerald said, “Viola and I are honoured to open our garden to garden lovers from across Australia on the weekend of 15 and 16 July.

“We’ve been working on the garden for months trying to get it in the very best shape we can despite the dry conditions we’ve faced.

Nevertheless, we are sure visitors will love it as we do particularly if we’re lucky enough to strike the warm winter weather Toowoomba’s experienced in the last few weeks.”

“Stirling” is a maze of nature’s beauty with long winding bluestone paths, manicured lawns, lavender walkways as well as features including sundials, natural walls and relaxing places.

Show President Kevin Cotterell said, “Talking to Colin and Viola is like listening to an audio encyclopaedia on flora as they rattle off a never ending list of precious trees including English Oaks, Pin Oaks, Red Oaks, Magnolia Denudata, Silver and Golden Elms, Japanese Keyaki and the piece de resistance, a legendary Golden Camellia. This is one special place.”

View from “Stirling” – Table Top is at left

Committee member Greg Johnson, who promises again to be at his floral best, said, “For me the striking feature of “Stirling” was the way in which Colin and Viola had effectively “framed” Table Top Mountain with two towering gums – it’s like one giant painting hanging from the sky.”

Toowoomba Hospice’s Mark Munro added, “”Stirling” is a gift from two dedicated gardeners and at only $5 to enter, or just $10 to include both the garden and the Camellia Show, attendance records are in sight. The Hospice sincerely appreciates this magic event. It brings together people who love nature and people who care – the beneficiaries are those people who have come to the end of life’s journey and can do so in a place full of love and caring.

“Sadly this will be the first Winter Garden announcement without our beloved Committee member Rod Hultgren who passed away on Sunday, 25th June. We’ll use the occasion to reflect on Rod’s wonderful, lifelong dedication to gardens and the Camellia Show and Garden Expo.”

Submitted by:
Greg Johnson,
Johnson.gj@bigpond.com

 

 

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