Herb and Val Vidler in their garden which received joint first place in the Best Small Garden category of the Gympie Garden Competition.
Herb and Val Vidler in their garden which received joint first place in the Best Small Garden category of the Gympie Garden Competition. Renee Pilcher

Southside couple join gardening elite

LONG-TIME Southside residents Herb and Val Vidler are no strangers to Gympie's gardening elite.

As members of the Gympie Horticulture Society, their garden comes under scrutiny and receives much praise whenever it is their turn to hold a meeting.

No doubt this experience set them in good standing for their garden at Julienne St to be named joint winner of the Best Small Garden in the Gympie Garden competition.

Herb's and Val's mums were both keen gardeners and the couple shares familiar stories of the women in their families constantly working in the garden.

"Herb always said if you threw a pick over my mother's shoulder she'd plant a plant," Val laughed.

More than 20 years in this home has produced some remarkable plant specimens. Just like Gloria Hibbert, they began with a bare yard and built it up from nothing.

While Herb's hobbies include restoring antique furniture, he has been in charge of the garden's infrastructure since the beginning.

Allowing Val to focus mostly on her garden, Herb looks after the grey water system for watering plants and has built a new trellis in the front yard.

The fully established yard needs little maintenance, especially since they changed the type of mulch used. Swapping hay for macadamia husks has drastically reduced the amount of watering and weeding needed.

"We've tried to make it low maintenance," they said.

Judges were Chelsea Van Rijn from Trevallyn Lifestyle Centre, Brassals, Kevin Thornley from Wallu Nursery and Landscaping, as well as Marie Hensley and Graham Chapman from Gympie, shared the two days of judging. Competition organiser Essie Bird thanked them for donating their time.

"They were very professional in their opinion and judgements," she said.

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