Henriette’s Haven

A long time resident of Mapleton, Henriette’s beautiful garden with its stone walls, magnolia trees and blossoming camellias, shows what one garden owner can achieve over time. I have known Henriette Guest for about 7 years, but she has lived in Mapleton for 30 years. Thoughtful and well kept, Rainbow Park as the house is known, has touches of whimsy, spiritual and nature loving shining through.

Just over an acre in size, the lawns are tidy, shrubs thriving, manicured merging to a rainforest backdrop. As you drive around the bend you will notice a stone carving of Mary and Joseph with its back figure the young colt or ass. Henriette tells me that this was made by a Nambour man at the Garden Expo. A bold front view naturally attracts the passer by. Mingled throughout the garden are gardenias, camellias and rhododendrons that grow well in this part of the Hinterland.



Mist on the mountain and  fragrant roses

Take a closer look at the back and you will find a statue of Francis of Assisi, lover of all animals, standing at the end of the walkway. A tall proud dove cote is erected where birds and possums appear. Stone sculptures like the goose and little girl reading add a touch of the owner’s personality.





Dove cote ready for the birds

A home is a sanctuary; a familiar landscape, a sheltered meeting place with both light and dark, a unique expression of ourselves.

For friends and family, Henriette’s garden is shared at Christmas time, with overseas visitors, neighbours and for church lunches.

There are roses, snapdragons, pansies and freesias, bromeliads and fuchsias.


The pergola sees climbers and potted herbs.


Staghorns, alkorns, palms and natives all marry together. There’s the hard and soft landscapes. When I asked Henriette, what was her favourite time of day to work in the garden, she was quick to respond with, “early morning is best”. Naturally weeds and continual maintenance provide challenges for her, however, the beauty and calm that is around her makes up for any difficulties.

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Overall, there’s a strength about the stone walling that matches the owner’s strong personality. Sitting with friends in the evening glow of candlelight, the shadows of the towering palms, seems like the ultimate celebration of life. Henriette’s green space encourages us out into the world to explore, enjoy and reflect.



Can you identify this plant?

The next garden will take us away from Mapleton closer to the Samford valley. I hope you will enjoy the journey.

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M.J. Gibbs
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