ReGrowth Garden Recovery program hands out hundreds of fruit trees on Kangaroo Island

Sophie Thomson with Phil and Carolyn Herrmann from Balhannah Nurseries behind her and the other local helpers in the Mays' big shed. Photo: Darren Clements Photography
Sophie Thomson with Phil and Carolyn Herrmann from Balhannah Nurseries behind her and the other local helpers in the Mays' big shed. Photo: Darren Clements Photography

Gardening Australia presenter Sophie Thomson mounted a successful mission to bring fruit trees to those who lost their gardens in the bushfires.

It's all part of her ReGrowth Garden Recovery program that has also seen the construction of a new community garden at Parndana and rejuvenation of the garden at Kingscote.

The exercise, to bring over 320 fruit trees and 100 ornamental pears donated by Balhannah Nurseries, hit a minor snag when the early ferry on Saturday, June 6 was delayed because of weather.

The trees eventually made it over and team of local helpers assisted Ms Thomson in handing out the trees to residents who had registered for the program. Phil and Carolyn Herrmann from Balhannah Nurseries also came over despite losing their own property in the Adelaide Hills. This was Phil's first weekend away from fencing.

A huge load of compost donated by Jeffries soil company was brought over by Ugly Dog Transport. An additional 200 trees will be brought out next year once displaced residents had moved back to their properties. While on KI Ms Thomson also gave a series of talks on planning and maintaining a new garden at both Parndana and Kingscote, bringing along a supply of home-baked treats.

She thanked everyone involved and who donated, in particular KI Garden Club president Anne Morrison, who coordinated fruit tree requests, and will do the same for bare-rooted roses still to come.

Ms Thomson also thanked Madelyn Kelly, her "compost angel" and coordinator of the Parndana talks, and recognised Denis and Maree Perkins and Meaghan May for being such great "garden guardians".

She further thanked Cheryl and Terry May for the use of their shed and also Maree Baldwin at Junction Australia.

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