ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

As a boy growing up in suburban West Betoota with a green-thumb father, Sam Hannaman could often smell his house in the springtime before he could see it.

Seizing the season each March, his old man would wait until the last hot day of the of the year, typically around April, passed before he really got to work on the family’s garden.

“Around the end of every wet season, Dad comes back from CRT with half a Hilux full of either superphosphate or Dynamic Lifter. If the wet wasn’t that bad and he really gave the garden a flogging during it, he might sprinkle a bit of urea over the top beforehand,” he said.

“But yeah, most autumns at home are punctuated with a thick layer of Dynamic Lifter and jumping Jesus does it pong,”

“Dad seems to be immune to it. He begins and ends each day in the garden. I’ve seen him eat lunch out there besides the roses where he really tips it on. Everyone else can barely stand it, Christ knows what the neighbours think.”

However, Mark Hannaman spoke candidly to The Advocate this afternoon about his love for gardening and the like, saying that this time of year is special to him as all his hard work over the wet managing soils and growing root vegetables start to come to fruition.

During the long discussion, he had with our reporters via a landline telephone, Mark explained just how much work goes into preparing a garden for the cooler months.

“A solid fertiliser regime is a basic requirement for any garden,” he said.

“As for me being immune to the stench of Dynamic Lifter? To me, it smells sweet. It smells like a set of empty yards after a long day of processing stock. Progress through hard work. That’s what it smells like to me. I enjoy the smell because I see the results it brings,”

“Gardening for me is more or less my life now. I’m a 69-year-old retired engineer. What else am I supposed to do? I’ve gardened my whole life, I’m not about to stop.”

More to come.




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