Bob Marshall at his garden in Currumbin Valley.
Bob Marshall at his garden in Currumbin Valley. Blainey Woodham

Japanese touch in the valley

CURRUMBIN Valley residents Bob and Evelyn Marshall are not defined by their garden but it is their passion.

As part of Australia’s Open Garden Scheme, Bob and Evelyn will open their property, Tani Tei En, which means Valley Garden, to the public this weekend.

Part of the proceeds will go to the Currumbin Community Special School.

“School students from the Currumbin Community Special School will help out on the day with tea, coffee, cakes and sushi,” Mr Marshall said. “The rest of the proceeds go back into the open garden scheme.”

Mr Marshall is a retired solicitor and along with his wife Evelyn, a horticulturalist, they have devoted almost 13 years to their Japanese inspired garden.

Mrs Marshall has always loved gardening but only formally studied horticulture about eight years ago.

In 2000 they bought an extra four acres of private land next to their seven-acre property and built a Japanese garden.

“It was all flat land and when we dug out the lake we used the soil to build up other areas, like the waterfall,” Mr Marshall said.

“We only went to visit Japan after we had finished the garden at our place.

“Ours is very young compared to gardens in Japan but when we showed people photos over there they were impressed with what we have done.”

With a unique coat of arms standing on a bird’s eye view representation of Uluru Mr Marshall said they usually kept the garden to themselves.

He said they preferred to open their property to the public once a year for charity.

“You can walk over Uluru at our place any time without any restrictions,” Mr Marshall said.

“We have been asked about having weddings here in the past but we don’t have the facilities and it would be too much organising.”

When they bought their Currumbin Valley property 12 years ago seven acres of flat ground and eight or nine pine trees existed.

Now the property features a 2000 square metre Japanese garden with a cantilevered tea house on the lake and a waterfall surrounded by Japanese style plants.

There is also a raised sandstone garden, an old dairy milk shed and areas of dense rainforest.

  • Tani Tei En is located at 519 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Valley and will be open to the public on Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15 from 10am to 4.30pm.
  • Entry fee is $6 for adults and free under 18.
  • Australia’s Open Garden Scheme began as a non-profit organisation in 1987 to promote gardening in Australia. The scheme has about 10,000 gardens on its books Australia-wide but only four on the southern Gold Coast.
  • Private gardens usually open to the public one weekend throughout the year
  • 35 per cent of proceeds go to the owner or are donated to a nominated charity.



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