Magnificent Amphora Sculpture marks the entrance to “Paradise Found”

April 25, 2016

The Mediterranean diet is widely considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. It is intrinsically simple and sensible with a broad range of ingredients.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) student John Hodges, proposed the title “Paradise Found” when he designed the Kytheran Garden at The Living Classroom as part of his final project in Landscape Architecture.

John considered the site to be one where the Greek Island of Kythera could be representative of the Mediterranean climate, diet and landscape, creating a ‘garden’ type design to showcase the elements of that island and its people.

The important link for Bingara is that the Roxy Theatre was built by three Kytheran Greek immigrants, George Psaltis, Peter Ferros and Emanual Aroney in 1936, and it celebrates its eightieth birthday this year. It is planned to rekindle this Kytheran link at the Orange Festival in Bingara in July.

"Amphora" - The Living ClassroomA two hectare portion of The Living Classroom has been set aside for the Kytheran Garden. John Hodges’ design follows the contour flows of the land and incorporates a mixture of food plantings and architectural elements to reflect on the Mediterranean landscape.

Ideally, olives and citrus, important elements of the Mediterranean diet are known to grow well in Bingara.

Grains, nuts and herbs like lavender, rosemary and thyme, are also well suited.

As a symbol of the Mediterranean Garden and an entry marker to the site, the beautiful “Amphora” sculpture, created by Bingara’s artistic welder Tony Gomez, has been positioned at the NW corner of the area set aside for the “Paradise Found” Kytheran Garden.

In his description of the garden John Hodges said, “Greeting visitors at the entrance to the garden are mixed productive beds which will rotate plantings of vegetables, herbs, legumes, fruit and flowers. These will provide an abundance of fresh produce and demonstrate the Mediterranean diet and its application in Australian agriculture within an enjoyable and sensory experience.”

Locals and visitors alike are invited to take a stroll through The Living Classroom. If you would like a guided tour, contact the Gwydir Learning Region Manager, Rick Hutton on 0438 355 197.