Piece of paradise opens in Alstonville

Peter and Barbara Swain relax by the pond in their beautiful 3.5 hectare garden at Alstonville, which is open to the public this long weekend.

Seven years ago it was a camphor laurel and lantana infested bit of scrubland in Alstonville. Now Peter and Barbara Swains 3.5 hectare garden is a thriving rainforest full of native plants and wildlife, including wallabies and a platypus or two who have inhabited the couples meandering creek.

You can see this amazing transformation for yourself this long weekend when Peter and Barbara put their garden on show as part of Australias Open Garden Scheme.

You can wander along the rainforest gully, sit by the pond, marvel at the prolific bird life attracted by the native garden and even visit a miniature Stonehenge.

Its just a hobby really, said Peter modestly of his piece of paradise.

But he admits there was a lot of sweat and toil involved, with the couple planting thousands of trees and shrubs to restore the rainforest.

Peter and Barbaras garden will be open this Sunday and Monday, October 1 and 2, at 26 Eden Valley Drive, Alstonville. There will be bush tucker teas and scones, plants for sale and a charity bric-a brac-stall, with all proceeds going to the local Mental Health Support Group.

The garden will open daily from 10am-4.30pm and entry is just $5. For more information phone 6628 7936.

If youre on the garden trail this weekend you can also visit the Dunbars property at 317 Koonorigan Road this Sunday, October 1, between 10am and 4pm. The event is a fundraiser for the Koonorigan Community Centre and refreshments will be served. For more information phone Gloria on 6689 9281.

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