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For communal or shared gardens that show how gardening together can build social connection. Entries are encouraged from community gardens, schools, childcare centres, community organisations and businesses.
Voting is open from 10 to 27 November 2022.
View all the submissions below and cast your vote here.
Planted specifically with young children and their families in mind, we have trees, shrubs and plants that shade, feed and entice children and their families to learn about the world around us. It is colourful, non-toxic and accessible. The garden was planned as a learning environment which allows children, families and the community to enjoy a safe and attractive space. We encourage passers-by as well as our families to pick fruit from the peach, lemon and mandarin trees in the front garden. From the trees we enjoy fig, peach, lily-pilly and mulberry crops each year. Children plant seasonal crops and watch, measure then harvest them. We make lily-pilly jam on the fire-pit or pick celeriac, mint, parsley or lavender to share with families. The vegetable patch at the moment has tomatoes, strawberries, snow peas and cucumbers. Children learn about colour and size as a gauge for when to harvest. The produce unites the children from planting the seeds/seedlings, watering and caring for them, picking them, to eating them as part of our nutrition program of 'eating the rainbow'. The garden is also a habitat for our blue tongue lizard family, geckos and other small lizards. birds, insects and arachnids. Bringing people together, the garden provides a venue to host visitors to enjoy the space and children to share their pleasure in nature play learning. Regular family days allow children to showcase their learning about the garden and share favourite areas including the fig tree (aka the climbing tree), the butterfly garden, the nasturtium forest, the mud pit, the mud kitchen and the rolling hill to name a few. The butterfly garden was developed in 2019 when children noticed a corner that was empty and discussed it with the educators. The Governing Council (elected from the parents of the preschool) endorsed an application for a grant and the funds were spent on native and sensory rich plants. Each child, with help from their parent, chose a plant, dug it in and monitored its progress until successfully established. Now thriving, it is a space for children's play as well as a habitat for lizards, bees, butterflies, and a range of smaller insects which in turn attracts possums (berries), birds and bats (insects and berries).
The Oaklands Community Garden is an organic biodiverse orchard with a range of fruit trees, raised vegetables beds and flowering plants. It is characterised by its peaceful allure, filled with an array of bird and butterfly life. Our garden is about community connection and shared gardening. We recently added raised vegetable beds, to share our passion of gardening and hand grown produce and to give back to the community. We have a share cart often filled with bunches of flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs for the neighbourhood to help themselves to. Social connection and a love of gardening brings our community together. We meet once a month on a Sunday in the garden to share stories, have a cup of tea and get our hands dirty. We weed, plant and tidy up but mainly we chat. The connections we have made and friendships we have built are priceless and they are right there in our own backyard. Our community is filled with young and old, and we welcome them all to our garden. Some of our younger members of the community garden have helped create a ‘Fairy Haven’ where other children who visit can stop and have a play and maybe swap a painted rock or two.
Our community garden is compact and very productive. We have 25 plots, mostly leased to members; 5 plots are reserved for communal use. Our orchard is open to the public, comprising of 30 fruit trees both standard and espaliered. We also have potted flowers and a native butterfly garden; we have resident frogs in our small ponds, confirming our environmentally friendly method of gardening is working. Our garden is a happy and peaceful place overlooking the Sheidow Creek, it's a lovely location to enjoy gardening with friends. Our aims are to grow fruit and vegetables in an environmentally and sustainable way, leaving a zero-carbon footprint. To achieve this, we have installed a solar panel with a battery, to recharge our garden tools. We use best practices in our gardening, with composting and worm farms. We encourage native fauna with our water features and butterfly friendly plants. We are also growing a close-knit friendly community, sharing knowledge and ideas to achieve an all-inclusive group. By achieving our goal, we will create an environment that is healthy, both physically and mentally, and sustainable going into the future. By sharing the food, we grow in our community plots, chatting on Saturday mornings over a cup of tea, with a homemade cake supplied by one of our members. We also have a midyear get together at a local venue, and our annual Christmas Brunch is enjoyed by everyone.