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A garden for all seasons

A garden for all seasons

Linda Blencowe says gardening is an ever-unfolding adventure and an opportunity to hone her skills throughout each season.

Linda Blencowe says that although she grew up in Sydney, she always wanted to live in the country and one day buy a farm and grow food. 

“Even as a teenager, I was interested in pure food and eating well,” Linda says.

“At 18, I travelled to Europe and visited lots of rural areas and even did some grape picking in France. I came back to Australia and worked in the fruit and vegie picking and packing industry in the Riverina region, Orange (NSW) and tropical, far-north Queensland. As I worked, I was learning about different crops while growing my own produce and selling it at local markets.”

Linda finally discovered Tumbarumba in 1984 and bought some land there in 1989. 

“I was amazed how like Europe the landscape and climate was, and loving the cold and distinctive seasons, I fell in love. I had a large organic fruit, vegetable and ornamental garden on the farm.” 

Around 20 years ago, Linda sold the farm and moved to the current large town block.

“This property was just grass with a massive conifer dominating the garden and sucking the life out of all the soil,” Linda says.

“I loved that it was a blank canvas, and I set about landscaping with rocks and railway sleepers to take best advantage of the sloping ground.”

Linda never formally trained in horticulture but just loves gardening, perhaps drawn from her Maltese background.

“None of it has felt like work. It’s been an ever-unfolding adventure and opportunity to hone my skills throughout each season. I’ve been able to raise a family on good wholesome food on a budget, and learn the best recipes to deal with large quantities of produce at different times of year. I absolutely love the progression of feeding chooks garden scraps and then harvesting manure to put back into the garden. 

“Treading lightly on the planet has always been close to my heart.”

Every time I visit Linda, I feel inspired and learn something. I walk home with many new ideas and solutions, sometimes with a wheelbarrow full of divided plants and extra produce! Thanks to Linda, my garden is also slowly becoming a little food forest. 

She’s also taught me to be open to new ways of doing things.

“See what works best in your climate, soil and particular microclimate – this will make every garden unique and help you create an intimate relationship with it,” Linda says.

Her advice is to just keep gardening, make the most of each day and moment, and embrace the seasons, one at a time. 

For more growing ideas and inspiration subscribe to ABC Organic Gardener magazine and get it delivered to your door.

This article first appeared in our Winter 2024 issue (OG 150).