Community & Business

12 July, 2022

Bloomin’ success for garden comp

SPECTACULAR displays of flowers, trees and succulents were showcased for a board of expert judges this year for the Mareeba Rodeo’s annual Garden Competition.

By Ellie Fink

OVERALL WINNERS: John and Kathryn of Kuranda are excited to win the best garden in the Mareeba Rodeo’s Garden Competition for 2022.
OVERALL WINNERS: John and Kathryn of Kuranda are excited to win the best garden in the Mareeba Rodeo’s Garden Competition for 2022.

Avid gardeners from across the Mareeba Shire touched up their beds of roses and scrubs for Mareeba Garden Centre’s Joy Patterson and Kathryn Murray to judge. 

At the awards ceremony, Ms Patterson expressed how difficult it was to choose a winner, with every garden she visited exceeding her expectations. 

In the end, it was Kuranda gardeners Kathryn and John who stood out amongst them all, taking out the Best Rural Residential Garden category. 

The couple has spent 40 years creating their perfect “Raintree Pocket” on their four acres of unique forest, ferns and fruits, beginning with just a simple raintree on vacant cattle fields. 

Expanding from just the raintrees, the couple planted flowerbeds called “rooms” which showcase different combinations of plants, with an endless corridor between the rooms to walk through. 

“Gardening has been a lifelong enjoyment which has been shared with friends, family and experienced mentors who have helped us along the way,” Kathryn said. 

“We had lots of help and advice from experienced gardeners who have shared seeds and cuttings to help our garden grow and we have tried to pay it forward by sharing our growing experience and spare plants with other gardeners who have shared with us. 

“Lots of mistakes were made along the way with inappropriate plantings of trees which grew too big, bushes that created too much work or fast-growing vines or ground covers that needed their enthusiasm curtailed.” 

Their love for creating something bold and colourful in their garden rooms led them to experiment with a variety of shades, patterns, shapes, sizes, and textures. 

Kathryn and John often challenge each other over breakfast to count every different shape and form the leaves take on within a single garden bed.

Biboohra State School also had great success in the garden competition this year, taking our first place for Best School Garden, Facebook People’s Choice Award and second place for Best Vegetable Garden. 

The small school prides itself on its variety of garden beds placed around the school grounds, with students Luana Kim-Imbony, Zahrah Bajramovic and Daya Kim-Imbony excited to attend the ceremony last week. 

The young gardeners accepted the three awards on behalf of their school and couldn’t wait to show them off to their classmates this week when school resumes. 

“We grow lots of vegetables and the ones I like growing the most are the corn and the tomatoes,” Daya said. 

“I have been working in (the garden) for one year now and it feels very good that we won. 

“I am proud of my friends who helped, and I am thankful for our parents who liked and shared our (garden photo) on Facebook so we could win the award.”

With the help of the community, Biboohra State School has managed to grow enough vegetables to sell for fundraisers. 

Currently, students are giving their veggie patch some extra TLC so they can sell them to raise money for new tables and chairs in the schoolyard. 

“We are trying to get money to buy new tables and chairs so we are selling our vegetables and plants at school, and we are really hoping we can get some,” Luana said. 

Everyone who entered their gardens into the competition was commended by the judges and the Mareeba Rodeo Association.


  • Best Front Garden including footpath: Milyana Berardi of Yarabee Close

  • Mareeba Best Town Garden: Milyana Berardi of Yarabee Close

  • Mareeba Best Rural Residential Garden: Kathryn and John of Kuranda 

  • Best Seniors Garden: Maria Savaglio of Constance Street

  • Mareeba Best New Garden: Julie Ciranni of Riverlands Drive

  • Mareeba Best Outdoor Living Area: Julie Ciranni of Riverlands Drive

  • Mareeba Best Vegetable Garden: Steve Gould of Chewko Road

  • Mareeba Best Commercial Garden: Mareeba Police Station 

  • Best Native Garden: Peter Brown of Santowski Street, Mount Molloy 

  • Most Sustainable Garden: Mount Molloy Coffee Shop 

  • Best School Garden: Biboohra State School 

  • Facebook People’s Choice Award: Biboohra State School 

  • Encouragement award: Leanne Trevisol of Elisa Avenue, Mareeba


Most Popular