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Sunday, 9 November 2008

Inspiration and Tranquility in this Garden Centre

It's amazing how a space can feel tranquil even though traffic roars on an artierial road only metres over the fence.

That's the experience many customers speak about at my daughter and son-in-law's business, Endless Summer Garden Centre at Tweed Heads on the North Coast of New South Wales in Australia.

Many come to the small garden centre simply to 'chill out' or wander around gathering ideas for their own gardens. A while back a merchant seaman used to come regularly to sit by the centre ponds with their tinkling water features, relaxing after six months at sea.

Lynne and her husband John and staff arrange the garden centre into small 'rooms' which act as a type of demonstration for home gardeners.

These are miniature gardens in their own right, often complete with garden art, plants, paths, pots and other features.

Here Lynne is speaking to a customer about a garden problem, perhaps likely ideas for a design, how to combat a pest or disease, or adjust the pH of her soil.

Lynne and John and their staff also offer home consultations, full computerised tailor made garden designs and landscaping.

A few years ago they won the national industry title for the year in their size category, bringing fame and visitors from all over Australia.

They have always advocated sustainable environmental techniques, encouraging their clients to avoid chemicals as much as possible, and to establish their own productive gardens.

There are many frogs, lizards and other small wild life among the plants.

Here's John giving some TLC to some of his plants.

This demonstration high rise garden bed is extremely popular, always filled with veggies and we often see visitors trying out a bean or a radish as they pass by.

These beds make veggie growing so easy, avoiding back aches for all ages. They are for sale.

Lynne is very artistic and takes great care to source stock that other retailers do not sell in her area.

The centre displays really inspire ...

People come to the garden centre to choose gifts throughout the year. This is one view of the small gift shoppe.

There are always elements of fun in the place. Wander around a corner to an unexpected meeting with this designer garden gnome, called Ben Doone for obvious reasons!

These display bicycles may be stocked with the latest spring flowers ...

The international judge called the garden centre 'an excellent example of how to display a large stock in a small space'. You can see why ...

I very much enjoy visiting this little garden gem myself!


  1. Your daughter and son-in-law run such a beautiful business. :D

    I noticed the pictures of your garden. Does your daughter help with your garden at home, or did she get her green thumb from you?

  2. Jeannie
    I've definitely learned everything I know about gardening from Lynne and John. Lynne designed my home garden and John and his team constructed it for me. It's very easy to look after so that's up to me.
    My garden is now a beautiful haven and I send them subliminal thanks every day.
    I will take some credit for my big part in marketing the garden centre since they began twelve years ago ...

  3. June - I LOVE garden centres and your daughter and son in law's centre looks amazing. I love those bicycles a whole lot. Everything looks beautifully presented. I also love the purple walls in the shop. Yes, I can see you have done a great job on the marketing side of things just from reading your post. I imagine you are the perfect person to do that. I really enjoyed seeing the photos June. I wish I lived a bit closer to the garden centre though as it looks superb!!

  4. If someone had asked me Lilly I'd have said I just KNEW you were a purple girl!
    You can visit the garden centre when you finally make the break north - and then we can have our cuppa.

  5. Hi June, I've just spent some time having a decco at the Garden Centre. Your daughter and her husband have done a brilliant job in organising their centre,it looks fantastic. I wish I could just click me fingers and land slap dang in the middle of it... I suppose that would cause a bit of a sensation though... Do they have a wee cafe where folk can admire the views and have a cuppa ? That would really be the cherry on the top as far as I'm concerned... One of the garden centres in Rhu near Helensburgh has a tearoom and I always make sure I can spend an hour or so having a look see at their layout and plants etc. Oh and I 'love' Ben Doone... how cute is that ! would love to get one for here - it would cause a lot of hilarity! The only thing is, it would need to be carried indoors at night as anything like that would be snatched by someone while they were passing. I have already lost a metal scraper at the side of my outside door and also a bench seat - which 'walked' from the garden bit at the side of the building.... Your daughter and her husband have made a fantastic job in the layout of their Centre - Goodonthem ! Cheers Kate x.

  6. Oh, my, June, what a beautiful and tranquil looking place to visit. I would be going there all the time just to hang out. I love that gnome! They have to be so talented in what they do because they are so successful. I am going to show my son the way they are growing veggies in the high rise garden bed.

  7. Kate
    Ben Doone would certainly be a hit on your stoop!
    I think you would be a hit in the garden centre - although I think the fun metre would go higher and the tranquility measure way down!
    Thanks for the kind words about the centre. It IS lovely.

  8. Judy
    Endless Summer GC is just your sort of place Judy, I just know you'd really love it.
    About Ben Doone - would you believe that there have been one of two people who objected to his bottom?
    It makes all sorts ...
    The high rise veggie patch. If the corrugated iron ones aren't available there (Lynne and John get them made up) your son could make one out of treated timbers or railway sleepers ...

  9. Kate again
    No they don't have a tea room as such but you can still have a cup of coffee while sitting at tables and chairs set beneath a tree beside a garden pool. The centre isn't big enough to justify a full blown facility.

  10. The photos do a great job of capturing the ambiance of this place. If I lived closer, I would amble on over to have a browse. I love the colors, the arrangements of water features and flower displays -- it's all good.

  11. Thanks Tropigal
    Coming from Florida, it's quite likely that some of the plants would be familiar to you as well. We're sub-tropical here.

  12. June what wonderful pictures and you are living in a beautiful country. Thank you for visiting "W&RW", I look forward to your post.


  13. Yes A.J. Australia is beautiful often and 'ugly/beautiful' in others. All of it compelling I think.
    I enjoyed my visit to your blog - especially your art work.

  14. Thanks for being a follower on my blogs A.J. See you around eh?

  15. June, your daughter and son-in-law have created an incredibly beautiful place where so many can benefit! I love all the pictures! I'm so happy that they've had such success, it's well deserved! Have to admit I wish I could wander through their display gardens! I know you're very proud of all they've accomplished.

  16. June,

    I am thinking of setting up a list of places I want to visit (when I finally win a lottery and decide to travel around the world everywhere, without having to count), and I just added this garden place to the list. Of course, I dont need a tea place there; i will simply come over to your place and share a cuppa with you, and maybe Lilly can join us with Des, though I havent the faintest idea how far she is from you.....

  17. Sylvia
    I am proud of them of course - I just wish it wasn't such hard work. They deserve for something to come more easily ...

  18. Hi Suranga ...
    What a lovely something to aim for!
    I'm pretty sure Lilly is in Canberra which is quite a way in this wide brown land of ours. Still, she keeps threatening to move up here away from the cold.
    There wouldn't be a word in edgewise with all of us.
    We'll work on her. And you keep buying lottery tickets.

  19. Oh, I want to see it in person! What a beautiful place. I love Ben Doone. That certainly would caused a lot of smiles. Thanks for sharing your daughter and son-in-laws gardens with us. I loved it!

  20. Drop in next time you're passing Oz (!) Clara and we'll give you the red carpet treatment. Lynne and John have sold a lot of Ben Doones over the years and one day one was chipped slightly and I claimed him. You'll see that he is installed in my garden in the slide show on my sidebar. He's become quite a mate.


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