BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS: Grafton gardener Geoff Hiatt admires the flowers of a golden shrimp plant in his garden.
BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS: Grafton gardener Geoff Hiatt admires the flowers of a golden shrimp plant in his garden. Clair Morton

Festival brings Geoff's garden to life

THERE'S a story behind every plant in Geoff Hiatt's Grafton garden.

That's because when he moved into the riverfront home half a decade ago, two well-established Jacaranda trees and a well-kept lawn were the only features at the front of the house.

Now, with towering Davidson plums from Dorrigo, greens of all shades and pops of colour from golden shrimp plants, delphiniums and Brazilian plume flowers that fill the space with life and character, it's hard to believe.

In other corners of the property; parsley, silver-beet and more traditional roses.

But it's the retired doctor's inconspicuous Eucharist Lily that has one of the better tales behind it.

"A patient gave me the bulbs of that 30 to 40 years ago and said they were precious," he said.

"One of the people visiting (this year) said 'my father gave you some bulbs, have you still got them?' And I said 'I certainly have, just over here'."

This is the second year the keen gardener has opened his passion up to the public as part of the Jacaranda Festival's Open Gardens Competition, which has involved plant enthusiasts from South Grafton to Waterview Heights.

"I was invited last year to open it and didn't take much talking into it," he said.

"It shows off your work I guess. I don't count them but there were a lot of people through on (the weekend); probably 100 people each day."

Mr Hiatt said every four in five people that came through seemed to be from out of town.

"You talk to them about where they come from, and a lot of them are from Brisbane and the Gold Coast and some as far south as Kiama," he said.

Mr Hiatt added it was a lovely change sitting down in the garden and appreciating it.

"I'm usually working in it," he laughed.

"(The thing I love about gardening is) you can put your personality or your own self into it. A lot of people wouldn't like this type of garden, but I like it, and a lot of people who come through do too."

Mr Hiatt's garden, at 18 McHugh St, Grafton, is open to the public from 9am-5pm every day during the Jacaranda Festival.

Click here for more information and a full list of gardens involved in the Jacaranda Festival Open Gardens.

<< Check out the full list of key dates for the 82nd Jacaranda Festival >>



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