I've just got home from my niece's graduation from primary school. I was very proud of her - she was chosen to make a speech on behalf of her class and she also won a merit award for her attitude and achievements.

The school principal made an uplifting speech, quoting Nelson Mandela's famous lines "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?"

But let's move on. On the weekend my mum stayed overnight at the home of her friends Brian and Leonie Barker. They live on a 2.5 hectare property called Alderbrook near Mylor in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.

When they first brought the property more than 10 years ago it was quite a shambles, with most of the property smothered by blackberry thickets and weeds. But they saw it's potential, and through sheer hard work and determination, turned it into a dreamy oasis. They did such a good job that a few years ago their garden was featured in Australian Country Style.

Here are the pictures featured in the magazine. I love hydrangeas, especially pink ones!

Here's Leonie and Brian, surveying their handiwork.

There's a creek and a damn, and little paths to wander along.

Koalas snooze in the tree forks, frogs hide in the flower cups of the lillies by the creek and kangaroos graze at the fenceline. Red bellied snakes also make an appearance from time to time.

It all looks so tranquil and cool, makes you want to sit awhile and just enjoy the sounds of the birds.

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