Ann’s abundant garden just keeps growing

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Pick of the bunch . . . Ann Thornley of Pukerau admiring her Dahlias, her favourite flower.

Twenty years in the making, Ann Thornley’s garden in Pukerau was not always so colourful and full of food.

What started with just a single tree, her garden now consists of hundreds of flowers, potted fruit trees, vegetable patches and even an orchard.

Mrs Thornley said she had added to the garden each year.

“I moved the fence several times.”

She loved colour which was why she had planted flowers in almost every corner of her property.

“They’re even creeping into the vege garden.

“The bees just love it.”

Dahlias were her favourite flower and she had planted a variety of colours outside her home in front of her window.

“I can sit in the lounge and look out at this lovely display,” she said.

She also enjoyed being able to grow her own food instead of buying it from the supermarket.

Her orchard began with just an apple tree but now contains about 40 different varieties of apples and pears.

“Had a good section when we moved here so thought it’d make a good orchard.”

One tree even grew a hybrid of the two fruits called a Johnny Papple, she said.

“I eat them, give them away, cook them, make lovely apple shortcake.”

Apples and pears are not the only fruits she grows.

Feijoas, grapes and a wide variety of berries also grow in her garden and potted fruit trees on her porch offer a quick snack.

Plenty of vegetables also grow at the back of her property including potatoes, onions, lettuces and peas.

“It’s satisfying picking your own stuff or giving it away,” Mrs Thornley said.

It was good knowing where her food came from and that it had not been sprayed with chemicals and pesticides.

Caring for such an extensive garden was not too difficult, she said.

“I use a lot of pea straw.”

The straw helps smother weeds and stop them from growing.

“Just wait until they come up, then put down the pea straw to stop the weeds.”