Winter is the most glorious time of year for the Burdekin’s public parks and gardens – so residents are being encouraged to get outdoors this July.
Burdekin Shire Council’s Parks and Gardens department has teams responsible for maintaining the many urban and regional gardens across the Shire.
Parks and Gardens leading hand Michael Clive heads up a team of three who look after Ayr’s urban gardens and roundabouts.
They oversee thousands of plants, more than 15 roundabouts and other streetscapes.
“For every garden there’s a lot of work that goes into maintaining them, weeding, mulching, fertilizing, keeping them hedged and looking nice,” Mr Clive said.
“It’s a great feeling when people come past and do say the gardens look very nice – both visitors and locals.
“People like to see the town with a bit of colour and greenery. This is the time of year to really see our gardens at their best.”
Council crews make the most of the Burdekin’s winter, when plant growth slows, by conducting mulching and extra maintenance activities in preparation for the summer.
“In summer everything grows quickly – the plants and the grass. We are flat out just keeping up with the growth and keeping everything neat and tidy,” Mr Clive said.
Across the Shire, Council provides a diverse range of parks and gardens.
Some have barbecue and picnic facilities and playgrounds, others include half basketball courts, skate parks and open areas where people can play other sports.
Parks and Gardens Coordinator Tano Buono said different areas had different needs, so Council utilised a wide range of plants, from low ground covers and small and medium exotics to turf and trees.
“On the roundabouts we tend to use low ground covers most of the time and slower growing, low maintenance varieties,” he said.
“Over the years we’ve had a variety of plantings in our parks. We look for trees and plants that give a good show of flowers.
“Our crews take pride and ownership in the areas they are assigned to maintain. They do get discouraged sometimes when gardens are needlessly vandalised, given the amount of work that goes into maintaining them.”
Council maintains parks, gardens, playgrounds and entry statements across the Shire including in Ayr, Home Hill, Giru, Brandon, Alva Beach and Clare.
Mr Buono encouraged residents and visitors alike to get out and about this winter to enjoy the Burdekin’s gardens at their best.