From empty paddock to garden paradise

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Jan Ross doesn’t want to be hailed as a great gardener but what she has created around her historic cottage in Richmond is a great garden.

It suits the climate, is inviting to wander in, neat and tidy without appearing to have been worked in and importantly is lovely to look at — any time.

But for Jan and husband Bevis, this is a family garden and it has grown up with their family as a place to play, relax and come together.

Jan and Bevis Ross have lived in their home in Richmond for 43 years. In that time they have raised three children and now welcome back grandchildren who, aged 4 to 11, love to be in Grandma’s garden.

The garden features plants from Jan’s late father Jack Keogh, as well as from friends and neighbours, along with bits and pieces of garden art and furniture that members of the family have made or found.

“We bought this cottage 43 years ago when, what’s now the garden, was just a paddock,” explains Jan. “There were some ­established trees along the road but it was bare and the road ­beside the house led to the local tip.

“The house too was fairly unlivable but we’ve made it a comfortable home. I am lucky to have a handy husband.”

Bevis Ross is very much part of the story of the garden. His handy work and craftsmanship is evident everywhere.

Now retired, Bevis was a primary school teacher and later headmaster. He worked at various schools in and around Hobart and also at New Norfolk. His last post of 14 and half years was at Princes Street Primary School in Sandy Bay.

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