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Cucamunga Street garden-
er Kris Smart is entering the
Renmark Rose Festival for
the first time this year, after
some gentle encouragement.
Sally Litton, of Go Potti on
Plants Nursery, convinced Kris to
enter the festival after seeing her
garden for the first time.
Sally often wondered where
Kris put all the plants she bought
from the nursery, until she saw
Kris's half-acre back garden, hid-
den away from view at the back
of the property.
"I just went... 'wow, it is
amazing, it is beautiful'," Sally
Kris has a simple philosophy
for gardening, and she is happy
to break the rules.
"Initially I had a design, but I
also had two big dogs, so when I
planted things they dug them all
up," she said.
"So then it was, 'well if I like it, I
buy it, I plant it, simple'."
"I don't think 'oh that's not
going to go with that, and that's
not going to go with that'."
Sally said many people find
plants such as pittosporums
(screen masters) and red cor-
dylines difficult to grow in the
sunny Riverland climate, but
they are thriving in Kris's garden.
"Kris will try it, and nine times
out of 10 it works," Sally said.
However, the recent frosty
conditions have impacted some
of Kris's plants.
"I was really proud of my
monstera until the frost got it,"
The garden, run on a dripper
system, is low-maintenance but
well cared for.
"I spend as many hours as I
want," Kris said.
"I can leave it for a couple of
weeks and it's fine but then if I
feel like gardening then I'll potter
around and do things."
"It's an enjoyment for me, it's
not a chore."
Inside a secret garden
Sally Litton, from Go Potti on Plants Nursery (left), encouraged Cucamunga Street gardener Kris Smart (right) to enter the Rose
Festival for the first time this year.
PHOTO: Will Slee
garden is low
well cared for.
A nation of renovators
Tradies are expected to become a lot
busier over the next year, according to a
The National Australia Bank (NAB) survey of
home owners has revealed that almost seven in
10 Australians plan to renovate their property
in the next 12 months and intend on spending
an average $25,000 on home improvements.
According to the survey:
Almost seven in 10 (68 per cent) of cur-
rent home loan holders intend to renovate
their property within the next 12 months. This
includes painting and decorating.
Increasing the value of the property and
making the property more liveable were the
main reasons given for renovating.
More than half of those renovating intend
to update a bathroom or kitchen.
The average amount that renovators
claim they will spend is about $25,000.
About three in four renovators (72 per
cent) say that they have been putting off their
renovations because of financial constraints. On
average, the renovations have been put off for
about 18 months.
"People have been cautious about their
spending and keeping a close eye on their
household budgets in recent years," said NAB's
"Despite rising consumer anxiety as fears
over job security continue to grow, our research
suggests that they are becoming more keen to
renovate their homes.
"With house prices growing across most
markets home owners are becoming more
confident about investing in their single great-
est asset. We've also seen that the number of
people looking to build new homes has risen
sharply over the past year which is great news
for tradies as they will become a lot busier over
the next 12 months."
The River News, Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 13
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