EARLIER this month, a Phillip Island couple appeared on the ABC’s Gardening Australia.
Paul Woodford, 93, and Dawn Raff, 91, have been busy bringing their back fence to life.
Paul has lived at a Phillip Island retirement village for 20 years and Dawn bought a unit on Phillip Island eight years ago.
Their infatuation with each other started when Dawn tapped him on the shoulder and asked him who he was.
“Paul said at that moment he knew that I was the person he was looking for,” Dawn said.
At the time, Dawn had been widowed for 18 years and Paul widowed for four.
The two got on so well, they decided they only needed one retirement villa between them.
Much to Dawn’s joy, Paul took all his plants out of the front garden and transplanted Dawn’s beloved roses.
When asked by the ABC’s Jane Edmanson if Paul considered himself a gardener like Dawn, he had a pretty simple answer.
“I’m not the gardener at all, I do what I’m told.”
But one thing that Paul is certainly good at is painting, and he loves to do large murals.
A few years ago, he painted a mural on the wall of the St Phillip’s Anglican Church.
“We were faced with a big blank wall, it looked pretty ordinary,” Paul said.
“The girls from Coles were thrilled to bits when they found out we were going to make a nice picture for them to look at on their checkouts.”
But Paul has also been using his mural skills at home and with the help of Dawn; he’s transformed his back fence into a beautiful art piece.
When the old hedge along the wall had to be cut down, Paul and Dawn decided it would take too long for another hedge to grow again.
So, Paul began painting the fence and as the days went by it transformed into a mural representing the nature on Phillip Island.
The mural includes many little paintings of landscapes, flowers, and even some stories.
But the standout of the mural is the wildlife that can be found.
Paul has painted Koalas, Penguins, Cape Barren Geese, and many other animals that can be found on and around Phillip Island.
On the program, Jane said she liked the way the boundaries between Paul’s paintings and Dawn’s gardening is blurred.
“One merges into the other.”
Dawn’s plants include petunias, geraniums, and nasturtiums.
Although the final product is beautiful, it was the process in creating that entertained Paul and Dawn.
“It’s great fun, I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t fun, I assure you,” Paul said.
“We live a fairly quiet life, but we enjoy ourselves.”
“We’ve been so pleased that life’s turned out as it had, we wouldn’t imagine it could be so good.”
The episode is available to watch on ABC iView.