Margaret Evans is opening her beautiful water garden to visitors in the village of Kalaru, where they can enjoy an oasis of peace and tranquility.
Any donations by those who visit will be passed along to Rural Fire Service brigades in Tathra, Kalaru and Jellat.
Numerous graceful statues are dotted among the brilliant hues of Japanese maples, magnolias, lush fern varieties, cycas, bromeliads, Australian natives and Irish juniper pines. Visitors can listen to the soothing sound of water bubbling from fountains, hear the birds nearby or the croak of a frog, or just sit quietly in a shady nook with a favourite book and let the world go by.
Margaret said she got the idea to help the bushfire appeal and local community in whatever way she could after being evacuated for three days over the New Year period when the skies turned black and sunless.
She said she was very grateful to a wonderful friend with whom she stayed for the three days, "together with the seven little dogs l had to evacuate with me".
"We all jumped in my car together, the little dogs all enjoyed the ride," she said.
"Now, l am pleased to open my garden as a fundraiser for our wonderful firies, who do so much to help keep us safe.
"The garden will open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 11am to 3pm, hopefully on a permanent basis, and donations to the bushfire appeal will go to our local Tathra, Kalaru and Jellat firies - they know best what they need and it's their call how they distribute it."
Over the years, many fundraiser functions have taken place in Margaret's water garden at 486 Tathra Rd.
"Bega District Band played for a VIEW Club dinner picnic to aid The Smith Family Charity, they also used the central fountain as a backdrop for a national photographic competition, in which they were runner-up.
"Tathra Hospital Auxillary held a fundraiser with local stall holders, and the Cooma Car Club held a stopover in the garden on their Cooma to Coast tour, where a competition was held to guess the number of statues in the garden.
"I don't even know that myself," Marg said with a smile.