On Black Saturday, 7 February 2009, uncontrollable bushfires in the state of Victoria, Australia burnt hundreds of thousands of hectares. Over a hundred and fifty lives were lost, more than 1,500 houses were destroyed, entire towns were left unrecognisable.
As Tambreet hosts and avid gardeners Sean and Esther Leahy rebuilt their devastated six acre garden, Esther Leahy documented and photographed this remarkable story of fire and recovery. Vivid photographs accompany a highly readable and botanically accurate text.
There is almost nothing about gardens and fire recovery available anywhere in the world. This book has the authority of a gardening text and offers valuable information for anyone interested in bushfires and garden recovery. From the beginning to the end it is a ‘good read’ for gardeners and non-gardeners alike.
A delightful and evocative book for gardeners and non-gardeners alike.
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‘The Gardener, my husband and writer’s assistant added Latin names, botanic words and phrases to my diary entries over the four years we analysed our returning garden'.
Esther Leahy Round the bend
The book is divided into three sections.
Section one covers the development of Tambreet Gardens and includes a graphic fighting-the-fire story. With the assistance of friend, Peter Dell, the Leahys saved their house but most of their six acre garden was destroyed.
Section two is comprised of stories of the heartache and joy of post-fire recovery. Intriguing tales of returning birds and animals are included.
Section three, the largest section of the book, includes comprehensive information about plant recovery. At the time, February 2009, so much was said about ‘burnt soil’ and doomed plants. People removed whole gardens – bulldozed decades-old fruit trees which may have returned.
Over one hundred and fifty individual tree or plant stories from their garden and surrounding areas, illustrated with their own beautiful photographs, form the core of this section. Each vignette includes accurate botanic information including Latin names, whether the trees or plants are Australian or non-Australian, and the trees’ and plants’ survival and regrowth strategies. Exotic versus native plant analysis may surprise many gardeners.
Read the full story of Tambreet' creation, destruction and recreation in Round the bend.