By Jessica Micallef
Kylie Swain has taken her love of gardening to a new level. The Woodend resident has created a Facebook page for the community to share plants and gardening knowledge. She spoke with Jessica Micallef.
What is your connection to Sunbury and/or Macedon Ranges?
I grew up in Sunbury and moved to Woodend three years ago and work part time in Gisborne at a local real estate.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about gardening and the joy it brings to one another. I also think it is important for our younger generations to learn the knowledge of gardening, most people I speak to would love to get into gardening, just don’t know anything about it or where to even start.
You recently started a new Facebook group – tell me what it’s for?
I recently started Macedon Ranges Plant, Cutting & Seed Swap and Give Away. It’s a friendly space for likeminded people to share plants, cuttings, seeds and knowledge with each other.
How has it been received by the community?
It has been so positive, everyone loves what it is bringing to the community. Three weeks in and we have 964 members and over 160 posts, with so many members already sharing and meeting likeminded individuals. Even Woodend Library is on board. They are happy to help set up a seed library. Two lovely members Lee Dingle and David Sparks are happy to hold propagating workshops at affordable prices so members can learn how to propagate successfully and have products to swap and share.
What inspired you to create the group?
When I moved to Woodend I decided to create a memorial garden for my daughter Zara. At this point I was a hopeless gardener. But with the help of so many locals’ knowledge and kindness, I started a garden. I grown mainly flowers that I cut. I give visitors a bunch of flowers to take home from Zara’s Garden. This has been very therapeutic for me and I have also made some lovely friends along the way.
What are some of our favourite local spots?
There are so many beautiful places in the Macedon Ranges, so many beautiful gardens. My favourite would be The Gardens of Tieve Tara. I also love the Woodend Park and Kyneton Botanic Gardens Park My kids love to explore these places.
What would people be most surprised to know about you?
Three years ago I couldn’t grow a thing – everything I planted died. So I have come a long way since then.