What Do You Love Most About Brisbane’s Parks Alive?

Red Cotton tree, Ceiba bombax. Roma Street Parkland.

Red Cotton tree, Ceiba bombax. Roma Street Parkland.

What do you love most about Brisbane’s Parks Alive? “For me, it is a joyful event, a celebration of spring. I love seeing so many subtropical spring flowers looking their best at Roma Street Parkland. I love the Vireya rhododendrons, poinsettias and bedding plants”.

Hi Jerry,

Parks Alive would like to record vox pops for use on social media. Can you please reply?

What do you love most about Brisbane’s Parks Alive?

“For me, it is a joyful event, a celebration of spring. I love seeing so many subtropical spring flowers looking their best. I love the Vireya rhododendons, poinsettia and bedding plants.

When tree waratahs and the red cotton tree are blooming in Roma Street, they attract nectar-drinkin birds. Watching these birds drinking up their nectarg these things bring joy into my heart”.

What kind of benefits do you think it is having an event like this that is free and welcome to everyone in the community?

For most gardeners, spring is traditionally a time of renewal, but our warm, dry and often breezy spring weather can be challenging for those who are new to gardening in the subtropics.

Parks Alive brings the regions’ gardeners together to celebrate our best spring flowers. It gently educates too, fostering a greater awareness of how best to succeed in our climate zone. Gardeners who have recently moved to SE Queensland should definitely visit. There’s a lot of friendly, skilled people. Ask an expert to help solve your gardening problems!”

What’s great about having Parks Alive at Roma Street Parkland?

“Roma Street Parkland is Brisbane’s horticultural showroom. Gardeners should be prepared to be wowed with colour, inspired to lift our game and to be outside, experiencing the sights, fragrances and joy of spring in the subtropics.”

What makes Roma Street Parkland unique to other city parks or green spaces in Australia?

“I think the spectacle garden has no equal in Australia. In terms of variety, there’s a good balance between traditional and modern garden plants. People appreciate colourful flowers and interesting plants. Seeing them growing well, and having the displays regularly changed, means a visit is always a pleasure.

Why is it so important for the local community to adopt more sustainable gardening practices at home?

Planting trees, growing food, mulching bare soil and controlling weeds are humble but vital ways to enhancing  community pride and also support our environment.

When I moved to Brisbane in 2003, Brisbane City Council encouraged residents to garden more sustainably: to use water and fertilisers wisely; to conserve energy; and to learn how we can garden well and enhance the natural biodiversity of our region”.

What would be your top tip for our gardeners in Brisbane to be more sustainable?

“We garden in a continually surprising climate. It’s not just about gardening through our wet and our dry seasons, gardening in the subtropics requires a degree of awareness of how to design and to cope with the bushfire season and the storm season.

I keep bees, and I grow fruit, herbs, spice, vegetables and flowers that attract beneficial biodiversity. I have eliminated the need for conventional garden chemicals.

Install as big a rainwater tank as you can; make compost whatever the weather; and explore the benefits of water sensitive gardening and design for your garden. You’ll never look back.”

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Jerry Coleby-Williams RHS, Dip. Hort. (Kew), NEBSM
Bellis, Brisbane’s award-winning sustainable house and garden
Director, Seed Saver’s Network Inc.
Patron, National Toxics Network Inc.