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Welcome to your backyard

03 Jul 2012

Welcome to your backyard Image

By Peter Crowley

In the heart of winter and in an inner-suburb oft-compared with a concrete jungle, who expects to find space to grow vegetables or to find a public park where the plants grown are not the usual shrubs, flowers and trees but food?  

The pocket park that annexes Victoria Green, the new Docklands Community Garden is just such a space and, across the entire metropolitan landscape, it is almost without parallel.

The Docklands Community Garden, at the corner of Geographe St and Kerra Way, Victoria Harbour, is to be officially opened at an event from 11 am on Sunday, July 15.  

The garden will come to life at the opening with music, food and celebrations and special guest gardener, Vasili from Channel 31’s Vasili’s Garden.

The garden is abundantly planted with herbs and vegetables and has become the defacto backyard and regular meeting place for a determined group of gardening-minded Docklanders.

It is a new-age park and a visionary concept that makes a statement.  That statement says that food production and urban development can occur side-by-side, that a park can also be a food garden and that residents of a suburb can be handed the reins to manage a local park.

Its development recognises that parks might play a new role in the urban future.  Just as they accommodate other forms of popular activity and recreation, like ball games, picnics and play, they can also provide for another highly popular recreational pursuit – gardening.

The Docklands garden is also an experiment of sorts. With no fences, no private plots and shared produce, it is not a traditional community garden.  Authorities are gambling that the public can manage the park – instead of the usual garden contractors. The journey ahead will be interesting.

All Docklanders should get behind this wonderful new productive park.  Residents should join in activity, help make the garden a success and respect the work done by others.  

Local workers should use the garden supportively – help keep it tidy, respect its organic nature and not littler or smoke – and perhaps look for ways to donate, fundraise and offer support.

In the year ahead, the Docklands Community Garden Group will meet on the second Wednesday of each month.  Meetings are at 6.30 at the Hub (80 Harbour Esplanade) but may occur in the garden in the warmer months.  

The group holds a formal garden activity on the third Sunday of every month starting at noon.  

These meetings and activities will be further advertised in this paper. At any other time, the community is invited to be active in the garden to plant things when space is available and, if you have contributed to the garden, then you may also take from the garden – sparingly and sharingly.

Docklands is gradually emerging to define the city of the future – a mixed-use suburb where people live, work, recreate … and now also cultivate!  

The success of the Docklands Garden can influence the future provision of parks across the city, so let’s make it work!

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