WINNING the Country Grand Champion Garden this year is an even bigger achievement for gardeners Paul and Noela Rubb.
The couple took out the win last night in The Chronicle Garden Competition for the second successive year for their country homestead garden at Haden. Mrs Rubb said it was marvellous to win, considering the tough circumstances they had faced in the lead-up to judging.
"It was wonderful to win last year but the weather was with us," she said.
"We have had no rain since we planted in May. To win this time under the circumstances is an even bigger achievement.
"Boy, did we cop some frosts this year, the biggest was on August 20 just before judging. It did so much damage that I had never seen frost do before."
While Mrs Rubb said the conditions were the toughest in six years of entering The Chronicle Garden Competition, their dedication to their craft shone through.
"Eleven years ago we moved from the Acland coal mine site and the coal mine bought us out and we bought 150 acres here," she said.
"We built a house and garden from scratch. Whatever you see in this garden is what we put here."
Mrs Rubb said they even brought over bottle trees and two 10 to 12-foot jacaranda trees from their previous property, which had flourished.
The garden also features lots of rocks and decorative country pieces like cattle troughs and planters made of tree stumps.
Mrs Rubb added all the plants were hardy and it was important for home gardeners to remember they could make a beautiful garden without more exotic plants.
See it at 194 Schultz-Haden Road, Haden.