Peter's Mum, Ria, died last September after a brief hospital stay and after Peter had spent 4 days by her side in Sydney. After we'd moved to our farm on Arts Estate Retreat, Ria had come to visit three times. Her comment (as was typical) when admiring all we showed her was "ohh vwaouw!!" (her way of saying " oh wow!") Always the lover of gardening and native plants, during what was to become her last visit, Ria took Peter and me shopping to a local nursery for native seedlings to plant around our Lavender Cottage. She bought us over 100 plants, which has subsequently grown into a beautiful gardenscape around the cottage.
After Ria died, it seemed to us fitting to make Lavender Cottage garden a memorial for Ria - "Ria's Garden". We agreed that it would be great if we could put a solid wooden garden bench with a plaque to honour Ria. After some research online and in local Bairnsdale I found just the thing at Dahlson's - a bench on display there on behalf of the Bairsdale Specialist School. I rang the school and commissioned both the bench and the plaque, made by the students themselves. Peter picked it up and installed it with great ceremony just a few weeks ago and my Mum and Dad were there for the "unveiling" and were the first to try it out.
As I sat on her bench, I imagined Ria sitting beside me and asked her what she thought. Her answer: "ohh vwaouw!" Thank you Ria!