THE RAIN WILL COME: Claire Cunningham remembers brighter times and prepares for the future.
THE RAIN WILL COME: Claire Cunningham remembers brighter times and prepares for the future. Bianca Hrovat

New path ahead after decades of weathering business changes

Just because you're not a native, doesn't mean you aren't hardy.

The current drought is just one of many weathered by Enchanted Garden owner Claire Cunningham and her husband Eric since they moved from Brisbane to Warwick more than three decades ago.

Mrs Cunningham keeps a newspaper cut out recording every rainfall for the last hundred years as a reminder that after the dry, there always comes rain.

The nursery owner recalled stories her mother used to tell of her, of looming dust storms and afternoons cutting scrub to keep cattle alive.

Many years later that drought had been all but forgotten as Mrs Cunningham remembered working in a nursery through the 80s.

"No one worried about water too much back then,” she said.

"We used to let the used water just run right back down into the creek.”

But this drought has been harder on the business than ever before.

Only one staff member remains after severe water restrictions and poor sales forced the couple to downsize.

Mrs Cunningham said the key to the business's survival lay in adaptability.

"You have to be able to cut costs and do things differently when conditions aren't as good,” she said.

"We recycle our water now which makes a big difference.

"We'll have to start stocking more of the hardy plants that appeal in this weather.”

The couple are looking to retire soon and sell the business, but according to Mrs Cunningham the sale would be due to age, not drought.

"I hope all the businesses can hang in through this,” she said.

"Because the good times will come again.”