Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Gardens Promise Sustainable Future

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Gardens Promise Sustainable Future

Article excerpt

secret garden

with Justin Russell

TODAY is the biggest day of the year in Toowoomba and for the first time in a decade the Garden City is truly living up to its name.

Thank goodness for summer rain. There was always going to be long-term benefits from last January's floods, and its fair to say they've arrived.

The annual flowers appear to be brighter than ever and the new foliage on deciduous trees is the most exciting shade of lime green I've ever seen. Such a magnificent display is largely due to good soil moisture, flowing creeks and rivers, and full dams.

This year I'm hoping to get out to lots of local gardens to take it all in. I'd encourage you to do the same. So many people put in such a huge amount of work to get Toowoomba ready for Carnival that it would be a shame to see their efforts go to waste.

Have a picnic in one of the city's parks. Tour some of the prize-winning gardens. Have a wander through some of the outstanding exhibition gardens, open for charity.

A spring like this doesn't come around often so my advice is to breathe it all in and give thanks for nature's beauty and abundance.

Then, once the parade floats are back in storage and the annuals are starting to fade in the summer heat, I'd urge you to do something else Co take some time to reflect on what you'd like Toowoomba to be in the future. I know it's an odd suggestion, especially on a day when we're supposed to be celebrating everything great about Toowoomba, but the way I see it, the city is at a crossroads.

Toowoomba can go in one of two directions in the current decade: it can become the support centre for a vast extractive industry based around the mining of coal, and coal seam gas; or it can become the sustainable food and farming capital of Australia. …

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