Millie Ross’ passion for thrifty gardening and creativity | My Garden Path | Gardening Australia

Our own Millie Ross takes us through her lifelong love of dogs, nature, and music; and how she became transfixed and transformed by the practice of gardening. Subscribe 🔔
Growing up in Fremantle, Western Australia, she was constantly at the beach and running around outside. She carries that experience with her, even now living far from the beach in country Victoria. ‘I think water, earth, all those things are very elemental, they are just part of who we are as humans’.

When she discovered gardening it in her early twenties it changed everything, giving her a sense of purpose and fulfilment. ‘It felt like a language I already spoke when I started to learn it. It made a lot of sense to me, and to physically be strong, be able to have an idea and make it, it was that counterpoint to what I had never found as a teenager’.

Learning about plants became a connection to nature and to her own creativity. ‘My interest in plants is for their flavour, their colour, the sound they make, that creative outlet they give me. For me personally, they feed ideas of every kind.’ She loves to walk in nature, taking inspiration from the organic combinations of plants in the bush to create unexpected, effective and beautiful arrangements of plants, rocks and timber in the garden.

Millie is known on the program for her thrifty ability to knock together whatever structures, tools, or planters she might need to get to work in her garden. ‘I was described as the MacGyver of Gardening Australia’, a reputation cemented by her love of the local tip, where she finds all sorts of treasures that she can incorporate into the garden. ‘When I see stuff like this at the tip it breaks my heart that such an incredible resource would be thrown away.’

Music and art inspire her to keep on creating in the garden. She looks to prolific artists who hone their practice throughout their lives. Even for the new gardener, ‘you don’t have to be perfect at things at the start. Geniuses worked hard over time to get better.’

Paying attention to the landscape through bushwalking and gardening has instilled a deep love and respect for our country. ‘It doesn’t matter where you go in Australia—it is extraordinarily beautiful, extraordinarily old, it knows itself. I just think Australia is such an incredible place, and I feel very grateful and privileged to get to know different parts of it’.

Gardening Australia is an ABC TV program providing gardening know-how and inspiration. Presented by Australia’s leading horticultural experts, Gardening Australia is a valuable resource to all gardeners through the television program, the magazine, books, DVDs and extensive online content.

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