A section of the garden of Sasha and Scott Murchison, 27 Main St, Clunes open this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
A section of the garden of Sasha and Scott Murchison, 27 Main St, Clunes open this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Jacklyn Wagner

Green thumb without a bad back

BEAUTIFUL gardens don't have to be hard work - just ask the Murchison family at Clunes.

With three children and a career as a landscaper, Scott Murchison doesn't have a lot of time to spend pottering about in his garden.

But it's still pretty special.

"We moved here about six years ago and there was a mango tree and a couple of other bits and pieces," he said.

"Since then we've been doing a lot of planting - I would say that 70% of the plants are new.

"I've put in rainforest and native species.

"We've also planted a tree for each of the kids.

"They know which one is theirs and they have a bit of competition to see which one is growing the fastest.

"I don't really have a plan for the garden.

"I just plant things that I find interesting, and hopefully other people find it interesting too."

The garden will be open to the public this weekend as part of the Open Gardens Australia scheme.

It is a fundraiser for the Clunes Community Preschool, which all three Murchison children attend or have attended in the past.

Mr Murchison said he decided to get involved with the scheme because he wanted to show that gardens didn't have to be huge, country-style projects that took up a lot of time.

"Ours is more of a family friendly, urban garden that looks after itself for the most part," he said.

"We also wanted to help out the preschool; as a community preschool they need all the help they can get.

"They will be having a cake stall at the garden on both days as well."

Another local garden, Maromdale at Wollongbar, will be open to the public over the weekend.

Owner Caroline Shepherd said she was raising money for the Ballina Red Cross.

"We've been here since 1994; we moved from Sydney," she said.

"I love being in the garden - we enjoy looking at it and the rest of the family loves it too.

"The amount of time I spend in the garden varies a lot. This is also a macadamia farm, so that keeps us pretty busy as well."



  • The Murchison garden is located at 27 Main St, Clunes and it is raising money for Clunes Community Preschool.
  • Maromdale is at 25 Chesworths La, Wollongbar and will raise money for the Ballina Red Cross.
  • Both gardens are open from 10am until 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The cost to enter each garden is $6.
  • Tea, a cake stall and plant sales will be available at the Clunes garden; while tea and lunch will be available at Maromdale.
  • Visit www.opengarden.org.au for more information or directions.