Wicked Weeders at work

Garden gurus: Chris Boorman, Margot McDonald, Julie Nash, Melva Ryan and Michelle Stagoll.

Wicked Weeders have breathed new life into an overgrown herb garden at Kyneton Botanic Gardens. 

They are a group of self-confessed ‘garden tragics’ and they aim to revitalise a series of Kyneton’s public gardens. 

Members hail from Kyneton Horticultural Society and Friends of the Kyneton Botanic Gardens, and hope to grow a widespread community interest in gardening. 

The herb garden, located near the botanic gardens caretaker’s cottage, was in need of an overhaul and had not seen much change since 2011. It now serves as an educational and attractive living display to inspire. 

Margot McDonald had Macedon Ranges’ cooler climate and different plant uses in mind when designing the new garden. 

“They’re all plants that can cope with the cooler climate,” she said. 

“It’s divided into sections such as: culinary use, medicinal, companion plants, and pest control. 

“For anyone who’s about to create a herb garden and feeling overwhelmed by the idea, or those just wanting some inspiration, this garden is one possible layout.” 

While most of the plantings are new, the group retained a rare juniper tree at its centre as a feature, some chives and the thyme border. Newly included, and a point of interest, is a rare native pepper bush. 

Macedon Ranges Shire Council assisted the group with clearing what couldn’t be saved from the old garden. 

Friends of the Kyneton Botanic Gardens will maintain the garden and help it thrive. 

“It’s been a really rewarding experience. The herb garden was so unloved before,” gardener Julie Nash said. 

“We have learnt a lot in the process, particularly about medicinal and culinary herbs. 

“This is a beautiful contribution and it’s only the beginning.” 

The Wicked Weeders have already assisted the Kyneton Men’s Shed and an elderly couple in need of garden support. 

Next on their list is rejuvenating some of the gardens around Kyneton’s train station. 

“Our hope is to improve some of these public areas and to make them more inviting,” said Melva Ryan, president, Kyneton Horticultural Society. 

“We want to recreate an interest in gardening and people have encouraged our enthusiasm.” 

Anyone interested in joining the Kyneton Horticultural Society can find more information on their website: khs1894.com