Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 5, 2012

In my mother’s garden


My mother lives not far from the city on a fairly large block of land. Before I left for Italy I wandered around her garden with my camera. She has some amazing plants, mostly bromeliads. My brother grows them in a hot house and I find them fascinating.
















There is a large lagoon and birds like to make their home nearby.




When my father was alive he fed a large flock of wild ducks that would follow him around every afternoon. Jabirus and other wild birds occasionally made an appearance. Dad loved them and he felt it made up for his duck shooting days in his youth.

It is hard to believe the house is only 20 minutes from Brisbane city centre.


My sister sent me this photo of Dad in his favourite place…in his golf buggy in his garden. He mowed a 3 hole golf course in his, and 2 of the neighbours’ back yards.  This was his idea of heaven.

Dad took up golf quite late in life, but he was very good at it and once hit a ball further than Greg Norman. Wherever he is now, I hope he has a golf club in his hand.


  1. So beautiful, so beautiful… They are amazing photographs. Thank you dear Deb, with my love, nia

    • Bromeliads are strangely beautiful.

  2. Love the photos! Wonderful detail and what a lovely garden you have ^^

    • Thank you. The plants are very beautiful.

  3. those plants are certainly unusual and enchanting in a way, but I had to laugh when i saw the birds, they were lined up as though they were going to break into song! So stunning. fabulous! c

    • What a pity ibis can’t sing, it would be fun.

  4. Beautiful pics … the red/green combo works well. Love the closeups!

    • I think the colours are amazing in the centres of these plants.

  5. Such ‘exotics’ Deb. Would the extremely humid and wet summer we have had in Queensland this past season have brought on such prolifc growth and gogeous colours? Glad to see your Dad’s lovely garden thriving.

    • I took these photos in January and it was very hot and steamy that day. Bromeliads love Mum’s place.

  6. I agree, Debra, they are strangely beautiful. What a beautiful property as well.

    • Dad loved looking after his yard. He spent most of his time there mowing, clearing and taking care of things.

  7. Lovely exotic garden!

    • My brother does a great job growing bromeliads. Some of those plants are huge.

  8. I love bromeliads too and have many in my garden. The frogs love them and the big huntsman spiders. They surprise you with exotic blooms that look otherworldly and are so easy to grow here in Brisbane. Love you pictures Deb. x

    • As long as you have the right conditions they are easy to grow and look great massed in a garden. Anything that attracts frogs has to be good.

  9. Farf lives on in the garden and forever in our hearts. Thanks for showing us the sanctuary. Nifta

    • He loved it there, with his ducks and his golf.

  10. That’s so lovely about your Dad, Debra. He sounds a gorgeous fellow. Lovely too that your mother can enjoy their beautiful garden still.

    • Dad was great fun, we miss him a lot. He died 5 years ago, but he will never be forgotten.
      The house is for sale now. I hope somebody loves it as much as Dad did.

  11. The garden is beautiful. But that picture of your father is priceless. It says so much. What joy! I love that!

    • Dad loved nothing more than being outside in his garden. He was a builder who could turn his hand to anything.

      • My father was like that too. It’s amazing, isn’t it, how they leave a hole…the longing for my father never diminishes. I talk to him all the time.

  12. Gorgeous photos Debra. The plants are so complex and exotic. Lots of them look sticky! I love the pics of the birds by the water and your dad on his golf cart – he looks like a lovely man. Anyone who likes golf is a friend of ours!

    • Dad loved his golf, he was a natural athlete…something I did not inherit.

  13. That’s a lovely story about your Dad feeding the wild ducks and them following him about all afternoon and your wish for him to have a golf club in his hand (wherever he is) is a lovely thought.

    • One of the last things he wanted was another game of golf.

  14. Hi Deb,
    Liam can still remember hitting a golf ball at your parent’s home with Farv. I have a great photo (must have come from you) of Liam, golf club in hand, with the lake in the background. Great memories, but geez, it doesn’t seem that long ago!!

    • Hi Bronwyn, I remember that day as if it was yesterday, but of course it must have been 16 or 17 years ago. Dad loved to teach people how to play golf, even if they were only 4.

  15. Great plants, Deb. I didn’t know what they were called, but we had a number of them in Haiti.

    • Some of them look prehistoric don’t they?

  16. Beautiful beautiful pictures! I have never seen that kind of flower before!

    • They are quite common in Brisbane gardens and I see them here as well, where they are indoor plants.

      • So beautiful! I’m working on my garden as we speak. I usually put a lot of annuals in because I don’t have the time or patience now to tend a perennial garden yet this year I’m slowly going to move over to trying new perennials. I love flowers and plants!!!! 🙂

      • The bromeliads put on a fine show and are quite easy to look after.

  17. Where is your mother’s house? Love the bromeliads but would love to have a garden in Brisbane – we are still looking for a property!

    • The house is in Loganholme.

  18. Awww love that picture of your dad Debra! 😀 And the flowers are so beautiful!

  19. Your mother’s garden must be wonderful. So different to that which i’m used to. I love Brisbane. Just love it!

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