People ask, 'What can I do to make my garden better?' but I always think that if you like it, that's all you need and it doesn't have to be a prize-winning garden.

Zena Clout, Glenroi Avenue

Zena Clout has gardened at Glenroi Avenue since 1965 where her extensive garden has won many prizes and awards. She loves flowers and roses. She was a foundation member of the Orange Garden Club and is a garden and flower judge.
Image Courtesy: Elisabeth Edwards

My mother was a very good gardener in Millthorpe. I learnt by observing what plants were, when to plant things and also the names of plants. I learnt the value of the garden from Mum, but later I got caught up with my husband Norm's enthusiasm for gardening. We were both in the Horticultural Society and we would compete in flower shows. There was also the comradeship and you'd also get a lot of information from other members.

Norm always said he did all his thinking in the garden, but I realise now, that although it's hard work, it's also the most leisurely thing you can do. You can while away the hours happily and you see results from the work that you've done. The weather and drought makes gardening more challenging today.

I learnt from being a garden judge a fair bit about the design of a garden. You look for the first impressions, but when you look at it in more detail you get to be a bit more critical. I don't say I'm an expert, but I don't like an over-abundance of ornaments in a garden. Having been a judge, I think they can detract, but a few strategically placed ornaments are all right.