Spring Day 2021 was a great success despite threats of bad weather and last minute lockdowns with Covid19. The weather was perfect and the Garden was showing plenty of signs of recovery from the drought of 2019 and prior.
The day began with a very well organised Fun Run. Thanks to Meg Cau the track was well marked and registration was all sorted through Trybooking. The first run was an 8.5 kilometre run and a second a 3.5 kilometre run.
The Fun Runs celebrate the memory of Janine Pechey who was a staunch supporter of the Garden and a well loved member of the community. This year we also celebrated an 80 year milestone. It was exactly 80 years ago that Dave Gordon planted the first of many plants to begin the creation of this botanic garden which celebrates the beauty and uniqueness of Australian native plants from the drier parts of Australia.
When the Fun Runs were completed and a generous Morning Tea was enjoyed by all, the medals were presented to all of the winners and runner-ups.
After the official Opening of Spring Day by Ann Leahy, the local member of the Queensland Parliament, a new edition of “One Man’s Dream” was launched. This book tells the story of Dave Gordon and his family settling in the area and establishing a sheep farm here. Dave’s real passion lay with the fascinating plants of inland Australia and so during the early 1940’s, when wool prices were very high, Dave began to create a botanic garden to show-case the plants he loved so much. He hired nursery men and sent them around Australia collecting seeds and cuttings to enlarge his collection. By milling local timbers he was able to build houses for the nursery men and their families and propagation sheds, potting sheds and a seed storage room. Meanwhile his wife, Dorothy, who was an established botanical artist began to paint her favourite plants from the garden. Other artists joined her and soon an Art Group was established. These supporters were able to help Dave as he aged and after his wife was tragically killed in a car accident. Dave created a trust to ensure that the garden would remain open to all and it is this trust which now manages the garden and continues to keep Dave’s dream alive. The book tells the whole story. It is available to purchase from the Garden.
The crowd was then able to enjoy the rendition of a wonderful radio play “Queen Bea”, performed by the Regional Arts Council drama group from Miles.
The smell of sausages wafted over the crowd and the local volunteers running the BBQ were kept very busy. There were six stalls managed by local community groups with products ranging from plants, garden ornaments, large pots, preserves and jams, cakes, wonderful creatures created from gum nuts and seeds, children’s clothes and succulent gardens.
For those visitors interested in the history of the garden, there was a garden history display set up in the seed room, built to house the seeds collected locally and from far afield.