On Saturday 14 September we attended an event at Pattemore House in Maleny to listen to Dr Michael Simpson and Kyleigh Simpson talk about their new book ‘Our Queenslanders: Their Second Century’ and the companion book they have written on planting for Queenslanders which is called ‘Queenslander Gardens: Plants for Their Second Century’. Michael and Kyleigh are great speakers who are very knowledgeable and passionate about gardens and old timber buildings and they share a lovely sense of humour.

If you own a Queenslander, grew up in one or just have a love of these wonderful buildings, these books will interest you. They are hard covers so will be attractive additions to your library. Both books show the passion the Simpsons share and the depth into which they have sought out little details on Queensland houses and their gardens.

Montville, Flaxton and Mapleton have wonderful examples of Queenslanders – from stately homes to workers cottages. The buildings are rich in history and the countless stories of people who have lived and loved in them. They have survived all types of weather and are remarkable for their resilience and attractiveness.

The event was catered for by The Orangery in Maleny and the food was so very good. Tiny cupcakes and sandwiches and little savoury tarts. The volunteers who look after Pattemore House did a terrific job of helping out.

Jenny McKay, Sunshine Coast Councillor, was on her way to the event (the council contributed to the funding of the event) but a fatal accident on the Steve Irwin Way halted her progress.

After the talk we were all invited to do a slow walk around Pattemore House. The garden has come a long way since we first visited (actually this was only our second visit) a couple of years ago. The planting is following what was there many years ago – a pergola has been erected and underplanted with various plants including one of my favourites, the wisteria. I can’t wait to see that in a few years’ time.

We bought home made rosella jam which took out an award at a fair this year. (Already we have made big inroads into that little jar…really delicious on pikelets.)

The weather was gentle – lovely warming sun and cool breezes – and it was a perfect backdrop to a wonderful old house and the ending to a long and thorough research on the enduring qualities of our iconic Queensland house.

And just in case you didn’t know, Michael and Kyleigh’s garden, The Shambles, will be open to the public on the weekend of 5 and 6 October. Opening time is 9.00am. Entry is $6 per person. The website is: http://montvillegarden.com and you can order the books on there if you wish.

(The Authors!)