Sue's garden on show for cancer
WHEN Sue and Rob Valentine first laid eyes on their Rosenthal Heights property 14 years ago, it was a bare block.
Aside from a medium-sized tree near the access road, not a single thing occupied the 4000sq m, not even a shed - now, that scene is difficult to picture.
The first stage in their plan was to build their dream home, a task that was largely performed by Mr Valentine himself and his youngest son, a former carpenter.
When the pair had settled in, they turned their attention to planting their garden.
Next month, the home and garden in all its grandeur will be open to the public as part of the Australian Open Garden Scheme.
Mr Valentine said the development of the garden was a step by step process.
"We wanted it so that when you stood on the veranda, your eye could see the whole garden," he said.
"Then it travels around in a circular motion - we wanted it to be fluid like that."
In the centre of the front garden stands a romantic weeping mulberry tree, surrounded by roses, geraniums, daylilies and other colourful flowers.
All the rooms in the house have also been primed for the view outside, with the windows at a low height so visitors can see the view out, even when they're seated indoors.
The elevation of the block also means the gardeners miss out on most of the winter frosts.
The pair both enjoy their time spent outside, with Mr Valentine joking he knows who's boss.
"We don't have fixed times when we spend time in the garden," he said.
"Rob's the gardener, I just like to tidy up and do weeding and pruning," Mrs Valentine adds.
As well as a colourful front garden, Mrs Valentine grows her own vegetable garden which currently has leeks, beetroots, lettuces, silver beet and spinach.
"At the moment we're trying to fend off the rabbits and wallabies," she said.
Mr and Mrs Valentine have already clocked up various awards, winning last year's large garden category in the Warwick Horticultural Society's garden competition and best new garden in 1998.
When the pair opens their gates October 8 and 9, they will donate a percentage of the money raised through gate entry to the Leukaemia Foundation.
- Rob and Sue Valentine 'Achnashee' property, Scottish Gaelic for 'field of fairies'.
- Everest Rd Rosenthal Heights.
- $6 entry fee at gate (under 18 free).
- Proceeds to go to the Leukaemia Foundation.
- Open October 8-9, between 10am-4.30pm.