It's a team effort to keep the Dubbo Regional Botanic Gardens looking beautiful, but it's all worth it to see the smiles on visitors' faces.
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This is according to gardener Dan Munroe and parks and bushcare officer Jonothan (Jono) Lavender who maintain the grounds.
"It's an interesting job, a gardener, it's constant, so once you finish your job you're gonna be doing that job again a few weeks time from now. It's a continual maintenance burden," Jono told the Daily Liberal.
"[But] keeping up to a standard where the public enjoy that area, that's really fulfilling. You get people coming in all the time and they're enjoying what you've done - it's fantastic."
The duo undertake general and routine maintenance including grass care, hedging and tree pruning, and they also look after the paths, carparks and toilets to make sure everything's operational.
But perhaps the most unusual area of the garden in their remit is the Shoyoen Japanese Gardens, which was designed by architectural students from Dubbo's sister city, Minokamo, in Japan.
Every year, Japanese garden experts come to Dubbo to help train the grounds staff to take care of the gardens.
"They teach us about the black pines and the red pines, how to tie them up and how to prune them because there's a lot involved," Dan said.
The Japanese gardeners also teach the grounds staff to maintain the bamboo fencing, to manage the trees using bonsai techniques, and to undertake traditional Japanese hedging.
"The hedges aren't just a round ball. They're short little mushrooms and they've got to flow into the ground like a mountain. There's odd numbers and even - even numbers are no good. And so there's a lot involved," Dan said.
Jono added it was "completely different gardening compared to western culture", which is both a challenge and a delight for him, having been trained in native Australian landscapes.
It's sometimes tough getting the Japanese trees and plants to grow in Dubbo, which is much hotter than many of the Japanese species are used to.
"We've had to transplant certain things, and plant other trees to block out the sun, so other trees like the cherry trees for example don't cop the full brunt of the afternoon sun," Dan said.
"Sticking to the authenticity, the nature of [Japan's] gardening habits, it's a challenge. But once you get the grasp of it, it's very interesting and almost fulfilling."
The entire Botanic garden is over five hectares with numerous areas, including a tea house in the Japanese garden, as well as a sensory garden, a biodiversity garden, a Wiradjuri garden, the Oasis Valley garden and a cafe.
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Jono's favourite spot is the biodiversity garden for its wildlife and he explains being in it like "walking in the bush".
"There's quite a bit of bird life chirping, and you'll see ducks and fish in the Oasis pond," he said.
Standing on the island in the Japanese garden, you can see the full pond and waterfall, and the team also claims it has the best turf on the premises.
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