Garden award given to dedicated locals

GREEN AS CAN BE: Penola's Neville and Jo Dixon receive the annual Garden of the Year Award.

Charlotte Varcoe

TWO decades of hard work has paid off for Penola’s Neville and Jo Dixon as they recently received the annual Garden of the Year award.

Recognised under the Penola Pastoral, Agricultural and Horticultural Show Society umbrella, the award recognises the best gardens throughout the town with judges viewing gardens from the footpath.

Mr and Ms Dixon said they were honoured to receive the award, following endless effort and determination put into their large garden.

“I never thought our efforts would be recognised like this,” Mr Dixon said.

“We have been working on this garden since the house was built and previously it was used just as a woodblock which had a lot of rubble around here.

“It was a challenge to get it started but we eventually got there after a lot of persistence.”

Highlights of the garden included a multitude of roses strewn throughout the area and plenty of shade for the summer months with a number of trees planted.

“My favourite section of the garden is the front area with all its colour and the back in the summer is fantastic,” Mr Dixon said.

“Over the years it has been challenging putting it together and it has been a lot of trial and error but we have found out what survives and what does not.”

He said the couple decided to move into town from their dairy farm following retirement and have since become proud of their efforts.

“Gardening has helped me relax.

“I find it quite therapeutic and with the vegetable patch out the back too it makes it all the better,” he said.

“We had a vision when we bought the block but it has changed along the way which was very challenging but it was worth it.

“I have always enjoyed gardening but having a dairy farm beforehand we never had the time as much as we would have liked but the overall project really is a joint effort between myself and Jo.”

Another category of the awards for the best new or renovated garden was won by John Ferguson with a $500 prize.