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Community garden speaks for itself

27 Sep 2011

Community garden speaks for itself Image

In the ultimate demonstration of why the site was unsuitable, fierce winds destroyed the shed and walls at Docklands’ temporary community garden on September 19.

Community gardeners had been frustrated that their plants were dying since Lend Lease moved the garden a short distance from the Water Plaza site to end of Merchant St under Dock 5 in Victoria Harbour in July.

The wind tunnel effect from the adjacent tall buildings and the lack of water at the site resulted in the loss of many of the plants that had previously thrived at the old location.

The new location was to be temporary until Dockland’s more permanent garden in Geographe St came on stream at the end of the year.

But nothing has been done with the water plaza site, which has left community gardeners frustrated and angry that their plants are being destroyed by the wind.

Local resident Bob Morgan said he was upset but not surprised that the wind had trashed the garden.

“As Dock 5 residents we really enjoyed the garden in its original location on the waterfront. It was one of the deciding factors in us buying into Docklands. It made us feel that a community did exist in what is otherwise a very sterile environment,” Mr Morgan said.

“We were very sorry when it was dismantled from its original site as I used to sit on the deck reading a book and watch the dragon boats and the passing parade. The Merchant St site is a disaster.”

Urban Reforestation plans to “re-home” the surviving plants to prevent further losses.

Director Emily Ballantyne-Brodie said previously enthusiastic volunteers had disconnected with the garden since it was so difficult to keep the plants alive.

“It’s not as if people haven’t tried.  We have had working bees and people have spent many hours battling against the odds at that site,” she said.

Ms Ballantyne-Brodie said she looked forward to a new beginning next year when the more permanent site becomes available.

“I hope that we can rekindle the interest and spirit that people had towards the Water Plaza at the Geographe St location.”

Designs for the new garden were finalised last month after a series of community consultations conducted on behalf of VicUrban and the City of Melbourne.

While the infrastructure for the new garden on the corner of Keera Way and Geographe St is expected to be available before the end of the year, plantings may be delayed until the end of summer.

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Comments

  • John Harris at 11:32am on 03/10/11

    I find the Docklands News a great source of information.
  • Corinne at 12:28am on 06/11/11

    Nobody really knew who was taking care of the garden on VictoriaHarbourProm. The result was an healthy garden who provided us with herbs, rocket, etc...; a place to rest, where you felt good bringing your compost; protected from the wind by beautiful woodboards, protected by the overlooking of hundreds of residents, in the most sunny place in Docklands. It was a success. Why a move to destruction?

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