Janet Dunlop was born in Tasmania but has been living in Orange since 1958. As well as tending her large garden in west Orange, she has been one of the Friends of the Botanic Gardens since 1983.
"We needed some water to start the grass growing but there were severe water restrictions so we put a bore down. You now see people with tiny blocks of land putting down bores. Why are they putting bores down?"
When we first came to Orange in 1958 we lived where Wontama is now, and everybody at that stage used wells. They were covered over but everybody was uncovering them.
We've got three blocks we bought in 1959. We needed some water to start the grass growing but there were severe water restrictions so we put a bore down. You now see people with tiny blocks of land putting down bores. Why are they putting bores down? People say the water is renewable and it comes down from the mountain, but is it renewable.
I came into the Botanic Gardens in about 1983. They'd built their dams by the time I got there. The gardens were about to be abandoned because they were seen as a waste of money.
They started to talk about using grey water about 1988-90 for the Gardens. They were pumping the septic tank water but of course it will kill natives. Grey water is a different thing. But all the grey water from the town goes out to the mine. I think it would be very handy in the Gardens. It could be used there, especially on the grasses.
The water at the Gardens could be better used. They have hoses and sprayers but it takes about eight hours to even get half an inch of water into the ground. It pounds the ground and it hardens it. They'd be much better off putting in precise drippers. They are using smaller sprays on the rhododendrons and they’ve improved out of sight.