Teeming with life

NEARLY two years on from the devastation caused by the 2015 Pinery bushfire, a local Mallala resident’s commitment to her garden has seen it spring back to its former glory.

Cheryl Farrer has had a passion for all things green for most of her life, and the former Trees For Life member was shocked to see the bushfire completely decimate significant portions of her 71-acre property.

“It (the fire) came from the west side of the property, it went right up to within about six feet of the house and then, thankfully, went over the top,” she said.

“Unfortunately, it destroyed nearly everything in the garden.”

Since then, Mrs Farrer, with the help of her husband, Roger, has put significant effort into restoring her garden, planting “thousands” of new trees, shrubs and many other plant varieties on the property.

She said, during the clean-up process, she set her sights on rebuilding the garden, and her layout plans soon fell by the wayside as her creativity ran wild.

“I rebuilt the entire garden, because I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to not have green all around,” she said.

“There is supposed to be a layout of the garden, but I, naturally, started to just do what I like.

“I focused it around plants that are tough, as well as ones that I like, and things have just, sort of, happened from there.”

Mrs Farrer said native birds and lizards were often present in her garden before the fire, and have slowly started to return as the garden develops.

“We’ve seen some honey-eaters around the place and many other different varieties of birds starting to come back, which is always nice to see,” she said.

“The noises they make give the place a little bit more life.”

The couple was both unaware, at the time, of the incoming fire front, until a neighbour alerted Cheryl to leave the premises, while Roger was out at work.

“A lot of the ground was damaged, but it didn’t touch the house, so we certainly fared better than other residents in the area,” Mr Farrer said.

Tom Staggard


Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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