SPRING is in the air and The Chronicle wants you to celebrate Toowoomba's incredible gardens and generous community spirit with our Garden For Good showcase.

COVID-19 has made it difficult for many businesses and event organisers this year.

It left no event untouched, including the much-loved annual Chronicle Garden Competition which was thrown into doubt.

With government restrictions dictating visitor numbers to our region's gardens, as well as health and safety concerns of residents, organisers had to come up with another way to celebrate our dazzling gardens.

Garden For Good was announced in July with the region's avid gardeners asked to submit photos and information about their garden and list a charity close to their hearts.

Organisers entrusted the help of industry expert, horticultural and sustainability writer, speaker and educator, Claire Bickle to select 10 featured gardens which fostered a feeling of community and wellbeing.

Ten gardens have now been chosen and are featuring in the Garden For Good 2020 Souvenir Guide inside today's Chronicle newspaper.

From community-led veggie gardens to artistic pots and plants, tranquil spaces for reflection and multisensorial masterpieces, our featured gardens are as diverse as the green thumbs behind them.

There is also a digital display online at www.thechronicle.com.au/gardenforgood where readers will gain a further insight into the gardens with extra photos and video footage.

The program allows the public to participate by donating funds to the featured gardener's charity of choice.

The showcased gardens were chosen for their generosity, sustainability, and other forms of "good".

Ms Bickle said she chose the 10 gardens with the underlying 'Garden for Good' ethos.

"Gowrie State School's ethos is that gardens bring calm and joy, especially during COVID," she said.

"Sheryl Lothian believes a garden is to share with family and friends and other gardeners; while the curbside appeal of Sandra Norris's garden creates a real connection to the community."

"I think gardening plays such a huge role in the community."

The Garden For Good launch coincides with the start of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers which runs from Friday, September 18 to Sunday, September 27. Check out our ultimate guide here.

Noela and Paul Rubb.
Noela and Paul Rubb.

Paul and Noela Rubb

WHEN Paul and Noela Rubb retired in 2005 they moved to Haden where they settled down on a 60 acre property and spent their days working on their garden.

Like many successful gardeners, Paul and Noela had no grand design for their magnificent garden. They just made a start and things gradually came together.

Charmaine and Peter Williamson.
Charmaine and Peter Williamson.

Charmaine and Peter Williamson

CHARMAINE and Peter Williamson have spent 25 years creating their unique Mounty Lofty garden.

At every turn, there is an example of science meeting art in perfect unison; creating a beautiful and artistic, yet pragmatic, and quirky, garden.

With Mr Williamson's PHD in microbiology ongoing maintenance of the garden is the easiest job, with automatically irrigated hanging baskets.

The couple has long embraced the now-fashionable concept of sustainability.

Les and Fae Stephson.
Les and Fae Stephson.

Les and Fae Stephson

GARDENING gurus Les and Fae Stephson have spent more than 30 years perfecting their patch of paradise.

With its vibrant flowers, wall of succulents and hand-built nooks and crannies, it's more of a botanical garden than a residential backyard.

Bob and Val Ford.
Bob and Val Ford.

Val and Bob Ford

FROM TV stars to expert gardeners, locals and international visitors, Bob and Val Ford's colourful and pristine garden has a legion of loyal fans.

Mrs Ford describes their garden as free flowing, with lots of different little pockets.

Garden For Good featured gardeners Caitlyn Mason and Sam Clothier.
Garden For Good featured gardeners Caitlyn Mason and Sam Clothier.

Caitlyn Mason and Sam Clothier

CAITLYN Mason and Samuel Clothier have spent the past four years transforming their home, Norwood Roses, from a dilapidated corner shop into a beautiful cottage and garden.

It all started with a historic corner shop in central Toowoomba. It had fallen into disrepair when Ms Mason bought it in 2016.

Garden For Good featured gardener Richard and Anne-Maree Lindeman.
Garden For Good featured gardener Richard and Anne-Maree Lindeman.

Richard and Ann-Maree Lindeman

BRIMMING with native Australian plants and flowers, Richard and Ann-Maree Lindeman's country garden provides a welcome sanctuary for people and wildlife alike.

The couple moved to Toowoomba from Cairns three years ago, having often made the pilgrimage south for the Carnival of Flowers, prompting a long-held ambition to be part of the action.

Garden For Good featured garden at Gowrie State School.
Garden For Good featured garden at Gowrie State School.

Gowrie State School

FOR a group of Toowoomba primary school students, digital distractions are no match for the hands-on appeal of gardening.

Melinda Hewson, 39, has been a Year 5 teacher at Gowrie State School for five years.

She started the Environment Club early in her time at the school and has seen it thrive along with the school's flourishing gardens.

Garden For Good garden The Mulberry Project.
Garden For Good garden The Mulberry Project.

The Mulberry Project

THE Mulberry Project is more than a luscious vegetable patch.

Started by Louise Noble it's a place where members of Toowoomba's growing migrant community can reconnect with the foods they miss, gain valuable skills and share stories of their distant homelands.

Garden For Good featured gardeners Ninian and Ann Stewart-Moore of Bunnyconnellen.
Garden For Good featured gardeners Ninian and Ann Stewart-Moore of Bunnyconnellen.

Bunnyconnellen

SITUATED in a secluded little valley an hour's drive from Toowoomba, Bunnyconnellen is the perfect place to escape and unwind.

The property's abundant edible garden and extensive lawns are the result of these husband and wife gardeners' passion, creativity and teamwork.

Garden For Good featured gardener Janice Canning.
Garden For Good featured gardener Janice Canning.

Janice Canning

WITH five children and nine grandchildren, Janice Canning is just the woman to create the ultimate family garden.

Indeed, the ethos of her garden is very much to entertain and delight families.

There is a child's zone at the back of the house with a cubby house that her husband Paul Canning built 32 years ago.

For full profiles on the gardens take a look inside the Garden For Good 2020 Souvenir Guide in today's paper and head to www.thechronicle.com.au/gardenforgood for extra photos and videos.



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