MICHAEL Brown is the sort of person every street in Ipswich would like to have as a resident.
Fortunately for those who live in O’Sullivan Street, Woodend he happens to be one of their neighbours.
A drive down the picturesque street will reveal that its landscape is different from every street around it.
The reason for that is for more than 20 years Michael has been helping establish large front gardens with colourful plants and native trees.
The trees planted years ago are now mature and part of his almost daily street gardening routine is to keep them shaped and pruned.
He doesn’t do it for praise from the neighbours and he gives his time freely and without seeking any reimbursement for the money he outlays on mulch or plants.
The former long-time Railway Workshops fitter inherited his love of gardening from his parents and expanded his knowledge by doing horticulture courses at TAFE following his retrenchment from the railways in 2012.
“When I bought my home in O’Sullivan Street the 1000sqm block was almost bare,” Michael said.
“It had just a few scrappy trees on it so I started to expand my gardens and now I have a magnificent yard full of wonderful trees and plants.”
Adding character to his backyard are even some old outside Aussie dunnys he’s restored and now uses as tool sheds.
They reflect the quirky nature of this fit 57 year-old who is quick to give you his take on all things Ipswich including the new neighbourhoods springing up.
Michael just shakes his head when he talks about all the new cramped suburbs saying that developers cared little about their landscaping planting few trees and providing minimal green space.
“Just have a look at our street here, it is welcoming and even in this terrible heat of late the foliage helps keep us cool,” he said.
Michael’s gift to his neighbours started years ago when he was asked by Alma Webber who lived across the street from him if he could do a garden for her to replicate what he had done at his place.
“It just rolled on from there and I help where I can, “I trust the neighbours appreciate my efforts and enjoy living in such a special place.
“I know I have created a large workload for myself, but this is my forever home and I will always be a proud resident of what I believe is one of the best streets in Ipswich.”