WELL known Killabakh gardener, George Hoad, had his gardening year "capped off in style" with a recent visit from Channel 7's popular lifestyle TV show Better Homes and Gardens.
Presenter Graham Ross and the crew spent a day in mid-December filming George's quirky and whimsical country garden. With only two weeks notice to get the garden up to scratch, George was working 14 hour days weeding, pruning, raking and mowing in preparation for the visit. "After a four and a half month drought, severe windstorm and garden renovations underway, it was not the ideal time to film the garden - but I wasn't about to say no," he said. "It's amazing what a bit of caffeine, adrenaline and blood, sweat and tears can achieve!"
The shows producer was looking for a garden that was a bit quirky, interesting and unusual, not just "another pretty country garden." Hearing of Georges whimsical take on a garden, with old tools and objet d'art scattered throughout, statues, fountains, a giant's head, bottle tree, oriental, Islamic and jungle areas - they knew they had found it.
A special moment occurred when filming near the front steps - an eastern spinebill started feeding on the nectar of blue salvias, the camera zoomed in and they all fell silent. When the bird finished, the producer said, "did you get that shot," and luckily the answer was 'yes'. Graham Ross stated 'a pure gold moment' and said they had waited years for something like that. George immediately told them that the bird was on 10 per cent commission - payable to him! During lunch, Henry, the friendly king parrot made an appearance 'right on cue' and fed from Graham's hand - he was delighted!
The visit from Better Homes and Gardens caps off a very busy and exciting 2013 for George. On a local level he was re-elected for a 10th term as president of the Killabakh Garden Club and was also elected president of the Manning Winter Festival. Both these organisations keep him very busy especially with preparations for the biennial winter festival to be held in June this year. On a national level, George is equally busy, responsible for a number of portfolios on The Garden Clubs of Australia committee, and at the 2013 National Convention, held in Ballarat last September, he had the honour of being elected senior vice president.
Better Homes and Gardens' new season show goes back on air in February, with George's garden scheduled for late February/early March - keep watching so you don't miss it!
A feature story will also appear in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine.