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Spring is in the air at Botanic Gardens

Nigel Ruck

CELEBRITY landscaping guru Nigel Ruck is just one of the drawcards to Wollongong Botanic Gardens’ inaugural Our Backyard Festival in September.

The family-friendly event celebrates our love of outdoor living and focuses on using our backyards in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.

Ruck, of Backyard Blitz fame, will be on hand to provide expert landscaping tips. The day will also include workshops on growing veggies, chook keeping and backyard gardening.

More than 50 stall holders have signed up to sell their environmentally friendly wares at an onsite market. Locally-made honey, children’s baby clothes and homemade jams and chutneys are among the items available to buy.

Companies specialising in solar energy and water harvesting will also be at the market to offer advice. Plus, people looking for a picnic lunch or snack will be able to choose from a range food stalls selling fresh salads, ice cream and Turkish gozleme.

Wollongong Botanic Gardens Curator Paul Tracey said the event was shaping up to be a great day out for the whole family.

“We’ve got a little something for everyone,’’ he says.

“The event is based on providing people with simple sustainable solutions for their homes. This might be growing local native plants, composting and landfill waste avoidance, or growing your own vegetables.

“The day isn’t all serious though. We will have some terrific live entertainment, the kids will love the sculpture and scarecrow-making competitions, and our horticulturists will host guided tours of the garden’s woodlands, rainforest and bush tucker garden.’’

Our Backyard Festival at the Wollongong Botanic Garden will be held on Saturday, September, 29 from 11am to 4pm. For more information visit the Wollongong Botanic Garden’s webpage.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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