Turning the soil on traditional community gardens

In recent years community gardens have been revelling in a resurgence in popularity as more and more flourish across the Coast and beyond. As local and global sustainability and food security issues gain traction in mainstream media, more people are becoming interested in the social and health benefits of these projects and are joining in droves.

But you won’t just see plants growing here, you will also find a busy bunch of students, volunteers and people with a disability who all come to the garden to gain work experience, learn new skills, socialise and work as part of a team.

A quiet stroll around our gardens and it’s clear to see why George Street Nursery and other community gardens are thriving. The needs of people from all corners of the community are all met within the grounds, from the retired volunteers who come to socialise, to the school groups who love to get their hands dirty every week and the visitor searching for that elusive native they haven’t been able to find anywhere else.

The sense of pride in the work and accomplishments among volunteers and school groups is obvious – commonly in the form of the quiet contented look on their faces, other times with more obvious smiles beaming from ear to ear – knowing that the hard work they put in now will have rewarding results in the weeks and months to come.

What we’re most proud of is our community feel. In a day and age where community is constantly being diluted from our lives, the pride in community is obvious in the atmosphere. It’s the common bond among regular volunteers and school groups, but also the successful ingredient that is bringing more and more visitors every day.

The age old saying ‘you reap what you sow’ has obvious meaning within a nursery. We’ve taken that sentiment within the community, we believe that in giving to the community we are also receiving from the community. Every single day, the generous people of our community are donating seeds, bulbs and cuttings of all sorts of weird, wonderful and exotic plants from all over. It’s a great thing to be a part of.

The George Street Nursery is open 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday – Saturday.

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STEPS nursery manager Lisa Buckley