The holder of the Australian Gardener of the Year title is planning a special tribute to Gordon Tindall senior, his early mentor from Dubbo.
When John Le Messurier, 78, started out with the pastime as a youngster, it was Mr Tindall, the Dubbo council parks curator who encouraged him.
Decades on, his more than 40 years of voluntary work transforming a barren former coal mine site near Newcastle saw Mr Le Messurier take out the Australian Gardener of the Year competition staged by ABC Television's Gardening Australia program and Gardening Australia magazine. The Redhead man's win was based on his efforts in turning the 6.2 hectare Scouts camp site at Glenrock Lagoon into a native garden showplace.
Still on a high after the win in December, Mr Le Messurier recently learnt of the Gordon Tindall Pathway in Dubbo's Victoria Park.
Mr Tindall, wife Daphne and children Gordon junior and Rhonda lived in a cottage in the park.
The Australian Gardener of the Year is planning to visit Dubbo soon.
"I want to walk Gordon's pathway with my prize golden spade as a tribute to Gordon and to reflect on the gardening encouragement I received from him which has expanded during the past 65 years," Mr Le Messurier said.
The award-winning green thumb lived in Roper Street in Dubbo's north as a child and went to the local primary school and then on to Dubbo High before moving to Cardiff so his railway-worker father could get more permanent work. Mr Le Messurier would go on to need inspiration and dedication.
In the past 42 years he has created 26 native gardens at Glenrock Scout Camp on the coast south of Newcastle.
"The Scout camp exists on a former coal mine property in the 1860s and 1880s and when the Scouting movement gained its freehold the rehabilitation and gardening began in 1976, despite a belief by many 'that you will never get anything to grow here'," he said.
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