Neighbours get green fingers for Greenslade Community Garden

An overgrown patch of roadside garden has had a facelift thanks to the mucking in by some eco-warriors on Greenslade Rd.

The pampas, honeysuckle, agapanthus and ginger have been removed and, in their place, grow plum, orange, feijoa, mandarin, peach, pear and lime trees.

The green-fingered spark was lit by Greenslade local Leanne Steel who has a long-term vison to eradicate Raglan of invasive pest plants.

“I would love to start a weed busting group in Raglan and get rid of all the noxious plants,” she says.

Every time she walked or drove by the unkempt roadside verge at the top of her driveway, she thought about how she could transform it into something beautiful.

Her partner Paul suggested it would make a great community garden so Leanne set to work with neighbour Krista, and as the garden makeover progressed more people came onboard.

There are over 20 Greenslade gardeners now involved in the wee orchard and Leanne says they have contributed to the project in many ways, including digging, weeding, planting, loaning equipment, donating money and making morning teas.

Working together as a community has lightened the load on what could have been a back-breaking and soul-destroying task if Leanne had tackled it on her own.

“It was so full of weeds and too big of a job to do myself,” she says.

Leanne’s biggest surprise in the whole project was at the cost of dumping the weeds with some of the loads costing up to $90.

“I was feeling really responsible about the costs but the neighbours clubbed in together and just paid for the dumping.”

She says one of the nicest off shoots of working on the garden has been the sense of community it has fostered.

“Gardening is such a nice thing to do and it really creates community.”

The garden will start producing later this year, at least enough to get a taste of what to expect in future crops.

Leanne worries about the impact climate change will have on our food supplies and hopes that making small changes, like community gardens, can make a difference.

“We need to be more resilient about climate change. I think every street needs to have their own little orchard and we all need look after each other.”

Janine Jackson