Docklands’ “prettiest” garden

Docklands’ “prettiest” garden

By Spencer Fowler Steen

Docklands may have found its “prettiest” garden after almost 14 years of dedication by an artistic local.

Annette Lockyer has amassed a mighty collection of plants on the fourth floor of the Nolan building, showcasing everything from Mexican blossom to “whirling butterflies”.

Back in 2007, shortly after she moved in with her husband, Ian, their building manager suggested they could help tend the existing gardens on the mezzanine floor.

Ms Lockyer said she pounced at the opportunity.

“Of course, he didn’t have to ask twice as shovel in hand I was in the garden like a flash,” she said.

“Well 14 years and more than 30 roses later, we now have what I would consider, the prettiest garden in the Docklands.”

“We have managed to grow many plants that were always considered not suitable for Docklands due to the salty air.”

The garden showcases a wide variety of plants, including roses, azaleas, herbs, ginger lily, hibiscus, hydrangea, Mexican blossom, and banksia just to name a few.

The variety of colours and shapes on displays has also helped Ms Lockyer hone her ability in botanical drawing.

Now retired, the Lockyers moved from England to Sydney, then Sunbury and finally Docklands once all their children had moved out of home.

Ms Lockyer said the garden was “very English” but blended in native plants along with whatever was “on sale” at the plant shop – given everything in the garden came out of her own pocket.

“It’s all been so successful that we are now revamping two more garden beds at the front of the mezzanine garden,” she said.

Asked what the secret to her green-thumb success was, Ms Lockyer said it all came down to the occasional bug spray, water, “Miracle Growth” for the roses, and “Seasol” for the rest.

“We’ve just been really lucky to have everything work,” she said.

When it comes to Docklands, Ms Lockyer and her husband cannot get enough of it.

“I enjoy the whole lifestyle here. We’re so close to the city. It’s like you never turn back, it’s too nice!”

Although Ms Lockyer wasn’t aware of any local gardening competitions, she said she wouldn’t hesitate to enter at the drop of a hat.

“Why not!” she said •

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