My Garden Path – James Brincat – Fact Sheets – Gardening Australia

SERIES 31 | Episode 29

We meet James Brincat, who is Area Chief Ranger for Parks Victoria, looking after a number of sites on Wadawurrung, Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Boon Wurrung Country: his remit includes Point Cook Coastal Park, Werribee River Park and Werribee Park, all about 30km south-west of Melbourne.

But it’s the 25 hectares of formally laid-out gardens, parkland and productive areas around Werribee Mansion that is where the horticulture happens and that’s what he loves.

The Victorian State Rose Garden is a major feature – the 5,000 roses are tended by a dedicated team of about 60-70 volunteers who come out each week to prune, weed and care for the plants – as well as meeting up and having a cuppa. “This place is one of the largest community hubs in Werribee,” James says. That is due in no small part to his open, friendly leadership.

James admits as a kid he had ADHD and this hyperactivity and lack of focus meant he got into some mischief. But he always loved plants and his family encouraged this. “Horticulture changed everything for me,” he says.

He studied horticulture after school and worked at Fitzroy Gardens, in charge of the hydrangeas. Next he moved to the Dandenong Ranges Gardens for what was to become Parks Victoria.

At the newly restored glasshouse at Werribee Park a new display has been installed that cleverly creates a tropical look using large-leafed non-tropical plants and ferns.

At Werribee Park he has fostered a number of community projects, launching a language-learning program for Karen refugees that evolved into a huge community-garden-style vegetable patch. It also led to a traineeship program that has given a positive direction to the lives of several young people in the area, including refugees. “I do love to pass on that horticultural knowledge to the next generation,” he says.

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New Guinea Impatiens Impatiens hawkeri

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My Garden Path – Will Salter – Fact Sheets – Gardening Australia

SERIES 31 | Episode 28

We meet garden and landscape photographer Will Salter, whose love of capturing both natural and beautifully designed spaces has sparked an interest in creating his own garden on Boon Wurrung Country.

His images often reflect the patterns in nature as well as more evocative landscape shots,

“Nature is my passion in both my life and my work,” Will says. “Many people don’t have a connection to nature but I hope, if I can capture it in an image, they will resonate with that.”

His love of photography started with a small Instamatic camera that he took with him when he spent a year as a jackaroo. He started a course in horticulture but transferred mid-way to photography.

For many years he worked as an adventure travel and overseas aid photographer. After starting a family and moving to Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, his focus turned to his immediate backyard instead. This led him to Musk Cottage, the home of garden designer Rick Eckersley. The pair became friends and Will says he has borrowed some visions and ideas from Rick’s garden and emulated them at home.

His current garden contains mature trees but the border plantings are only a year old; it is the third he has created and includes a mix of native and exotic plants.

Another designer he works with is Nadette Cuming, who created the Yalambie garden in Merricks.

Will’s number one tip for garden photography is to put the camera down and look around first, for sight lines and try to evoke a feeling.

Filmed on Boon Wurrung Country

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