Garden in Queensland’s arid zone is not ‘safe’ to visit

Posted October 13, 2019 12:58:23A garden in Queensland is not “safe” to visit because it is in an arid region, according to a local farmer.

Key points:The Garden of the Desert was first planted by a farmer in the mid 1800sThe area has been dry for decadesThe owner of the garden says the area needs more rainThe garden, near Mudgee, has been a popular destination for people visiting the remote region for the past 30 years.

Its owner, Mike, said the garden had been “cancelled” several times because of the drought.

“It was in an area that was a bit dry for 30 years, so it was like the arid land in general was not safe for anyone,” he said.

“People were coming there, and then they just left.”

And it’s very disappointing, because I’ve been around here for 40 years.

“I just wanted to do something different.

I don’t think I’ll be going back.”

Mike’s wife, Anne, said they had not seen any sign of the waterlogged land since they bought it.

“We’ve just been here, and I just feel like there’s nothing there,” she said.

“It’s just like nothing.”

“We’re all looking forward to the coming rain, but we haven’t had the water that we’ve needed.”

The Garden was originally planted by farmer Bill Smith, who owned the estate, and later sold it to the community for $1.50 a year.

The property sits about 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of the remote town of Mudgeee, and is in the central part of the Queensland bush.

“A few years ago, the area was just pretty much dry and then a lot of the land got destroyed by the floods,” Mr Smith said.

“There were lots of trees uprooted, but that’s nothing like what we have now.”

The couple bought the property in 2003, and Mr Smith described the area as being “slightly” arid.

“In the aridity, there’s no vegetation that’s ever been on the land.

There’s a bit of a marshland here, but I’ve never seen anything like this in the past,” he told ABC Rural.”

The water is always there, but it’s not as frequent as in the arids.”

Mr Smith said they hoped the garden would provide “a safe and beautiful place to visit for the rest of the year”.

“We just want to do what we can to keep it alive for the next 30 years and hopefully it’ll be able to provide a place for people to come and have a place to come back to,” he added.

“As a farmer, I can’t see how that’s going to happen, but hopefully the drought can go away.”

Ms Smith said the family had been to the garden many times before, and had not had any problems.

They hoped it would “help us out”, she said, and hoped the water would “continue to come in”.

“It has been there since the mid 1960s, so we’ve been here for decades,” she told ABC Radio Brisbane.

But she was not optimistic about the future.

“There’s no water, there is a lot more water coming in,” she added.

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