Couple plot top garden

By David Kavanagh | posted on November 21, 2019

COLIN and Anne Buckingham’s front garden at 4 Shapcott Street in Bayonet Head is an ever-evolving spectacle.

Since first purchasing the then four-year-old property in 1987, their half-acre lot has cycled through housing hundreds of shrubs, fruit trees and other unique plants.

The Albany couple last week had their decades of toil recognised when they received the Best Private Garden award at the annual Keep Albany Beautiful showcase.

“We were gobsmacked. We know it’s a good garden but we didn’t think it would be a winner,” Mr Buckingham said.

“But we did meet the criteria which was to try hard and develop the verge right down to the road so it presents well.”

Scattered around the lawn and near the road verge, clusters of recently pruned roses, azaleas, agapanthus, camellias and deciduous trees add colour and flair to the large property.

While Mr Buckingham is mostly responsible for the “bigger, heavier stuff” like planting, lawn maintenance and pruning, Ms Buckingham works to maintain the neat “details” of the garden through weeding and spraying.

“It’s a release, you get out there and it calms you down,” Ms Buckingham said.

“It’s an enjoyment to see the beautiful plants flourishing. My roses now are just about to come out in their first flush.”

The Buckinghams topped the list of a total 23 residential gardens nominated for last Wednesday’s ceremony.

A garden at 7 Callistemon View in Yakamia took home the Best Water Wise Garden award over 12 others, while Amity Village RAAFA won the Best Commercial Garden award and Great Southern Grammar claimed the prize for Best School Garden.

Keep Albany Beautiful President Lynley Harrison and the Buckinghams thanked the event’s sponsors and coordinators, including Keep Albany Beautiful founder Alice Rule.