To say the past two years have been challenging for John and Marina Clements would be an understatement.
The couple, who own Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park and Pearson's Nursery, have survived a tornado and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to that, Mr Clements was the victim of a hit-and-run accident that almost left him in a wheelchair.
But you won't hear this down-to-earth couple complaining.
"You have to be really thankful every day for what you have," Mrs Clements said.
A silver lining of the pandemic has been that people have returned to gardening in their droves, she said.
"Before COVID hit our industry was almost a dying art," Mrs Clements said.
Time-poor people had installed low maintenance gardens.
"People had turf and no maintenance gardens because they were too busy to garden," she said.
Mrs Clements said it had been wonderful to witness the joy people were experiencing from gardening.
"The country gardens and the cottage gardens are returning," she said.
"People who have never gardened before are loving it."
Mrs Clements said the nursery had never been busier.
However, that has also presented challenges.
Mrs Clements said it was difficult to attract new staff.
"It's been manic," she said.
"We've never been busier."
Mrs Clements said it was also bittersweet to experience success while other businesses were experiencing tough times.
In addition to experiencing the busiest year at the nursery, the couple was in the midst of helping clean up the Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park, which was struck by a tornado like event in May 2019.
Holiday homes lifted metres in the air and hurled into neighbouring paddocks
Mrs Clements said the renovations after the tornado were almost complete.
She said the park had been closed during the pandemic, but now inquiries were starting to trickle in.
However, the couple is weighing up their future options due to Mr Clements' limited mobility.
In May last year he was struck by a car when crossing a road while picking up supplies for the nursery at Bendigo.
Mrs Clements said her husband stepped out onto the road and a female driver appeared to swerve and hit him.
Shockingly, she stopped her car about 10 metres further down and after abusing Mr Clements, drove off.
Mr Clements was left battered and bruised.
His wife believes the combination of shock and adrenalin allowed him to drive home through the pain.
Mrs Clements contacted police but after her husband spent a few days in bed, he decided not to pursue the matter.
A couple of months later the couple travelled to NSW to visit friends.
After a restless night, Mr Clements thought he had pinched a nerve.
"He said 'my leg is numb, I can't feel my leg'."
The couple travelled home and his condition deteriorated.
He was experiencing numbness in his torso, arms and legs.
Mr Clements was rushed to the Royal Melbourne Hospital and told he needed to undergo spinal surgery.
Doctors warned the couple one of the potential risks was that Mr Clements may never walk again.
The surgery was declared a success, but Mr Clements went on to experience debilitating pain in the months following.
He had to undergo surgery for the second time in September last year.
Mrs Clements said her husband now had good days and bad days.
"If he gets more than three hours sleep at night, he has a good day," she said.
But the couple are quick to count their blessings.
"We're among the lucky ones," Mrs Clements said.
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