The front and rear yards of Bill and Alana Baar’s Goldfields home show two different approaches.

At the front is an ordered and attractive yard to match any in the neighbourhood — neat grass, a fern patch, trimmed bushes bordering paths and flowers at just the right intervals.

In the rear however, think garden meets forest.

Abundant natives mingle with fruit trees, numerous eucalypts reach skyward and there are sunflowers, arches, bamboo and snapdragons.

A large pond, complete with a bridge, holds goldfish as well as a solitary frog, and geraniums and ferns have their patches, as do vegetables and citrus trees.

About the only thing you won’t find are palms.

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An early addition when they moved in six years ago was planting more gum trees.

Alana is a regular attendee at the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Urban Landcare Group’s propagating lessons on the first Sunday of each month.

“We learn about plant seeds and cutting,” she said. “I am trying to propagate some rosemary at the moment.”

The Baars’ rear yard is home to red cattle dog Saxon, two ducks and six chooks.

Herbs and vegetables, include rosemary, spinach, chives and purple-flowered salvia have their areas.

Natives are given free rein and the passing birds make use of this oasis.

Lemon, orange and mandarin trees provide plenty of tasty produce.

Coming from Brisbane, Bill and Alana are used to healthy gardens.

Growing anything is easy there.

Queensland’s abundant sunshine, moisture-filled air and healthy rainfall creates a paradise for plants.

Brisbane receives a healthy 1158mm of rainfall a year, nearly twice as much as Perth’s 725mm.

“There is a country bush atmosphere, a rustic garden,” says Alana.

“We have a lot of old machinery like mining carts and old railway line.

“One of our gates started life as a bedhead.”

© Kalgoorlie Miner

Pictures: Louise White

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