Australia's bearded gardening legend Costa pops into Rocky
ROCKHAMPTON'S C&K Leichhardt Community Kindy was struggling rebuilding its garden after the damage caused by cyclones and storms so they phoned a friend.
Not just any friend mind you - but Australia's most prominent gardener, the perennially enthusiastic, luscious bearded host of ABC's Gardening Australia, Costa Georgiadis.
Landscape architect Costa, who was better known to the kids for his Garden Gnome role in Dirtgirlworld, was in Rockhampton yesterday as part of ABC's Community Forums being held in a handful of places around Australia.
When Leichardt Kindy assistant Carissa Huff caught wind of the imminent visit from the gardening guru, she reached out to secure his services.
Kindy teacher Lee McCarthy said she hoped Costa would be able to give them some ideas to revive their ailing garden and instil a passion for gardening in her young student's impressionable minds.
"We're really into sustainability and wanted to find out about bush tucker," Ms McCarthy said.
"Some of the kids don't know about gardening, there's a few that do, we had one the other day who didn't know what a seed looked like, he thought it was a worm.
"I couldn't convince him otherwise, that's pretty sad."
She said by immersing themselves in gardening, the kids were also learning valuable lessons about science, environmental awareness and healthy eating of fresh grown bush tucker.
Gesticulating exuberantly, Costa explained how coming to the Rockhampton Kindy was part of his "giving back" to the gardening community while nurturing the next generation in aspiring gardeners.
"I've come to the Kindy to have a chat with them about their garden and their design," he said.
"When [the kids] connect to bush tucker, bush tucker is local plants that have grown here for thousands and thousands of years, they can handle the conditions and they're not as readily attacked by pests."
Costa said he planned to get the kids growing Rosella's, Lilly Pillies, fruit trees and vegetables that would create an immersive calming garden experience which would act as a sanctuary for the kids could escape the pressures of the world.
He said that once the gardening bug had been instilled in kids, they would develop a passion for ecology allowing them to then go on to connect with community gardens, bird watching, bee keeping and land care groups.
"I'm going out to the botanic gardens to have a little look around because it's reputation precedes it," Costa said.
"Then I'm going out to the community garden and talk to the community gardeners and see what they are doing and answer some questions to really support those grass roots gardening, connecting to nature projects."