If there was ever a good time to introduce our gardens to the wicking bed concept it would be now.
A wicking bed is a unique and efficient method of raising vegetables or plants in a self contained, raised bed with built-in reservoirs that supply water from the bottom up.
Landscape designer or as he prefers to be called, a sustainable-ecological landscaper, Andrew O'Sullivan is a passionate wicking bed advocate, who would like to see the concept introduced into every school across the country.
"If we can connect kids with the earth it will be priceless," Andrew said.
The Sydney ex-pat has already introduced the concept to many metropolitan schools with great success.
I take materials or resources and reuse them; I am like a secondhand Bunnings.Andrew O'Sullivan
Andrew may not be a household name, but his extensive body of work can be seen throughout Sydney and the metropolitan area in both public spaces and private residences.
His ideas have been shared with thousands of gardening enthusiasts who tuned in weekly to watch - during the time - as a co-host on Burke's Backyard, Gardening Australia or Backyard Blitz.
He now shares his talents and ideas on general gardening, teaches sustainable ecology and continues to design cutting edge gardens utilising salvaged plants and materials.
"Everything I do I build with secondhand or reclaimed materials, even the furniture in my house," he said.
"Things just come into my life."
Andrew began his career after studying structural landscaping at Ryde TAFE, before topping up his qualifications with horticulture, permaculture and stonemasonry.
However, 54-year-old Andrew credits his mum with his ethos - reduce-reuse-recycle, and introduced him to the pleasures of gardening.
"Mum taught me a lot of good things; how to salvage and reuse things," he explained of growing up in a poor household in Sydney's western suburbs.
"And, gardening was her passion; it was her sanctuary."
While he is a passionate environmentalist, Andrew is adamant he is not a recycler.
"I take materials or resources and reuse them; I am like a secondhand Bunnings."
He is proud of the neat piles of timber and deconstructed materials rescued or salvaged from demolition sites which are now housed in 'departments' on his 2.2ha Tuncurry block.
"I want to inspire people; I want to show people the magic of reuse."
It was also his mum who brought him to Tuncurry 26 years ago.
While she was living at Crystal Waters Andrew discovered the Great Lakes and the natural rainforest block which would eventually become his home.
"There is so much energy in this place.
"People change when they come here."
After spending a lifetime career building landscapes, education centres and healing gardens for others, Andrew now plans to expand his garden into his own haven.
"And, I will leave it to the community when I am finished.
"It will have functional spaces and area where you can catch your thoughts.
"This place is about holistic ecology; it is not about plants; it is about reconnecting with the land, it is energetically charging."
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