TRANSFORMATION: Annette Baker in her garden at Junction Hill – getting ready for garden displays. Photo Adam Hourigan
TRANSFORMATION: Annette Baker in her garden at Junction Hill – getting ready for garden displays. Photo Adam Hourigan

Green thumbs run in the Baker family

SITTING on the back deck of Annette Baker's home in Junction Hill, you'd never guess that five years ago the only plants on the property were a couple of palm trees.

An expanse of tropical garden -with some plants reaching more than four metres high -- now edges the manicured lawn and Mrs Baker proudly points out some of her more unusual pieces.

The newest addition is a young green bat plant; a rarely offered variety produces dusky green blooms with bat-like, long green tentacles.

"It's the most incredible plant, it's one of my mum's favourites," she said.

"I think everything has its own beauty.

"My son and I go to open gardens and nurseries everywhere we go and try to have different things all the time."

A love of gardening runs deep in the Baker family; the fourth generation gardener still uses her father's gardening equipment, and has passed on her knowledge and passion to her son, Scott.

For last year's Jacaranda Festival the mother-son team went all out, planting about 3500 annuals -- short-lived plants that flower for the season and then die - for the open garden display.

It was an expensive feat; the water bill alone went well into the hundreds.

Mrs Baker will nominate to open her gates to the public for the Jacaranda Festival Open Garden Display again this year, but said she would keep things simple this time.

A maximum of six residential gardens will be open for display, and the festival committee is calling for anyone who would like to show their gardens to register their interest.

Gardens will be required to be open from 9am-5pm over the nine days of the Jacaranda Festival.

For details, phone Wendy Taylor on 0421 328 846 by 5pm, Friday, April 25.



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