NEW GROWTH: Tabeel resident and gardening guru Allen Goos holds a tray of seedlings from his award winning gardening patch he maintains at Tabeel.
NEW GROWTH: Tabeel resident and gardening guru Allen Goos holds a tray of seedlings from his award winning gardening patch he maintains at Tabeel. Dominic Elsome

Green-thumb Allan stays active in his award winning garden

GROWING plants has always made Allan Goos happy.

Born and bred in Gatton, his earliest memories are on his family orchard, and to this day he still tends to gardens.

The 97-year-old grew up on a citrus orchard, where he and his family tended to over 2000 orange trees.

But Allan didn't spend his whole life on the orchard, stepping away in 1960 to work with his wife picking onions and potatoes which had some benefits.

"We made fairly good money at that," Allan said.

After two years picking, he secured a job as a foreman at the Gatton council, where he would work for 25 years before retiring.

But he never lost his passion for growing, and when he arrived at Tabeel two years ago - it was the first thing on his agenda.

"They asked me what I'd like to do and I said 'Well if you've got a garden I'd like to do a bit of gardening'," he said.

Allan said being out in his garden reminded him of his childhood on the farm, and also kept him busy.

"I've always loved gardening - it gets you outside and gets you out of your room, I don't want to sit in my room all day," he said.

But it's not just a pastime for Allan, with his work earning him awards.

"They put the garden in the last garden show the council had and I got second prize," he said.

While he was pretty chuffed with the accolade, he's got big plans for this year's entry, and is looking to nab first place.

"I'm hoping. You can always hope," he said.

Allan had a serious fall before he arrived at Tabeel which left him with a broken hip and meant he now relies on a wheelchair to assist his mobility.

But he said gardening in the chair wasn't as hard as you might think.

"It's marvellous what you can do with a wheelchair," he laughed.

Allan has begun to be able to walk short distances, and said his garden was a big part in getting up on his feet again.

"The garden is the thing that brought me back," he said.

Overall, Allan said he was happy with his life, and said some of his fondest memories came from time on the farm and going ball-room dancing.

His advice for younger generations was to always put in the effort in what ever you did.

"You've got to work hard," he said.

Dominic Elsome


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