Ian Wintle

About Ian Wintle

I retired to the garden in 2010 after 20 years in the RAAF and 22 years with the Queensland Probation and Parole Service. Judy and I have been married for almost 45 years and we have 2 sons, 3 granddaughters and a grandson, plus 2 grand-dogs. We're passionate about our subtropical garden and open it through Open Gardens Australia and for special charities. It's a great weekend and you get to meet and talk to some wonderful people. We were proud to receive a Golden Trowel in ABC Gardening Australia's 2009 'Gardener of the Year' competition and have 2 blogs - SubTropical Queensland Open Garden and Garden Product Reviews.

How to open your garden

It’s sad news that ‘Open Gardens Australia’ ends in June 2015, after over 25 years of garden openings. You may wish to continue opening your garden as Judy and I do. This guide/story may assist you to continue opening your garden to the public, or to open for the first time. Here is our story. Continue reading

Our journey, from rehab to ‘Giving Garden’

Serious gardening started for us as rehabilitation after our eldest son became a paraplegic as a result of a motor bike accident in Switzerland. This then changed over the years to become an all encompassing passion. Our one-acre Birkdale property is themed as a ‘giving garden’ where tropical fruit trees and vegetables thrive and supply the household with a constant supply of food. Continue reading

Garden tool advice

At my age, and as an experienced gardener and a man who loves his tools, I think I am reasonably well qualified to give advice on what are the best garden tools to purchase. I certainly have made mistakes in the past but have learnt from those, some have been expensive failures and some have been terrific purchases. Continue reading

How to aerate a large compost heap

I love manure, the older and smellier the better. The odour is a gardener’s delight. I am lucky as there is a stable just down the road and I can fill up a trailer anytime for $10.00. It’s hard work shovelling, especially if it’s a bit wet, and my boots tend to make a bit of a mess inside the car after I have finished. My wife loves the smell, I think not. Continue reading

How to make a water feature

Water features are always an interesting and attractive addition to your garden. They are easy to set up once you have chosen the pot that suits you and your garden. Don’t worry if the pot has holes in it as they can easily be filled with waterproof filler. Obviously you must have a large enough clay pot that will keep the water cool enough during the hot summer so the fish do not boil. My smallest pot contains about 150 litres of water. Continue reading

Marriage garden counselling

In the few rare moments when I get time to sit under our back patio to relax and enjoy the view of the garden my mind usually starts to wander, and this is the time my wife Judy dreads. This is where I come up with the ideas of what I can do next in the garden and this means time, money and loss of some lawn area. Continue reading