Middle Earth Gardens Ewingsdale
Middle Earth Gardens Ewingsdale Helen Hawkes

Middle Earth is a ‘place of healing’ in Ewingsdale

SOME gardens are all about love.

That's certainly the case with the magnificent Middle Earth Gardens to be found at the home of Judy and Barry Baxter in Ewingsdale.

This is a garden on steroids, staghorns, bromeliads, heliconias, Chinese palms and the myriad of other ornamental plants, as well as those in the veggie garden, have grown to gargantuan proportions. Even the cucumbers and chokos next to the chook pen could feed a family of six for a week.

According to Mrs Baxter, the couple don't do anything too special with the soil. What they do add, however, is a tenderness about both creating spaces and encouraging growth that is reflected in the size and health of the plants. No poisons are used, "just lots of love".

"When we got here three and a half years ago, there were only big trees," she said. "We removed some of the gums and, of course, used the wood to build barriers for other parts of the garden.

"What we have created here is a place of healing. Those who visit say it has restorative powers. A lot of friends just come and sit."

Poodles Bella and Puppet trot happily along the myriad of paths, all laid by the couple with most of the walkways created using recycled pavers or tiles. There's no lawn to mow.

Be quiet and you will hear whip birds and wompoo pigeons and, of course, the nightly serenade of green frogs. Look upwards and you'll see dozens of butterflies.

All sections of the gardens have a name. There's The Oasis, the Rose Walkway (containing 72 rose plants) and Pedro's Garden (in memory of friend and well-known local Peter Hughes).

A Hills Hoist is now overgrown with a passionfruit vine and, nearby, coffee trees, as well as avocados and bananas, are going wild. An igloo is used for striking seeds for flowers, especially one of Mr Baxter's favourites - marigolds.

In the veggie garden, where some very happy hens and a rooster strut nearby, you'll find corn, lemon balm, pumpkin, cucumbers, grapes, hyssop, sage, lemon myrtle, comfrey, rosemary and more.

The Baxters are members of the Byron Bay Garden Club and are proud to say they have won first prize for Best Country Garden two years in a row.

If you have a garden you would like to share with readers, email helen.hawkes@northernstar.com.au

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