Barry Beetham picks oranges from one of his many citrus trees. Barry's fuit and vegetable garden is in the finals of the Trevellan Garden Centre's garden competition.
Barry Beetham picks oranges from one of his many citrus trees. Barry's fuit and vegetable garden is in the finals of the Trevellan Garden Centre's garden competition. Claudia Baxter

Hidden garden a healthy delight

HIDDEN within the confines of his backyard fence, Brassall resident Barry Beetham has formed a self-sufficient garden most would crave.

To the untrained eye his garden may seem untidy, but underneath the layers of foliage are 60 varieties of fruit and vegetables.

They are scattered among the yard, growing in disused plastic containers and old tyres and pot plants.

Mr Beetham estimates that more than 90% of his garden is edible.

The retired self-employed gardener is proud of his creation, which has organically evolved for more than 24 years.

It caught the judge's eye in the Trevallan's Best Ipswich Garden Competition, taking one of the finalist's positions, along with five other gardeners.

Mr Beetham is barely reliant on any outside factors, even from the water which helps his plants grow.

Rainwater is collected from the roof and is delivered directly to each plant via an irrigation system.

It is a secret he has kept well protected from his neighbours, some of whom are surprised by what they find.

"They can't believe it. They shake their heads and they can't believe there's so much here. They can't believe there's somebody in this street doing it," Mr Beetham said.

Initially he started with small plans, which grew with his ambition over the years.

"It was something to do when I retired. I have a lot more time for this sort of thing," he said.

"It can take a couple of hours a day to maintain, sometimes it's longer and sometimes it's shorter."

Mr Beetham said harbouring a vegetable garden, no matter how small, was something everyone is capable of.

With so many plants producing so much fruit and veg, Mr Beetham often finds himself sharing his produce with his neighbours.

They are only too happy to help take the extra veggies off Mr Beetham's hands.

To vote for Ipswich's best garden go to the Trevallan Lifestyle Centre on Fernvale Rd or go to Trevallan's blog - trevallan.blogspot.com and 'like' the post that has your favourite garden.



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