Community garden growing in happiness

Just a handful of The Hill Community Garden volunteers Sue Davidson, Henry Francis, Trish Lloyd and Jane Johnson.
Just a handful of The Hill Community Garden volunteers Sue Davidson, Henry Francis, Trish Lloyd and Jane Johnson.

There's a sense of pride and joy when you step foot into the garden spaces at The Hill Community Garden Project area.

Community members from Clare and surrounding towns have come together to complete the garden project which began in July.

Through Shaping Futures, along with community donations of time and money, the community garden has been established.

As part of the Trade Shed, just across the road from Clare High School, the community garden has become a relaxing spot for a number of people.

It's also given the students at the Trade Shed an opportunity to learn additional skills by making planters and helping the community members.

For Trish Lloyd, of Blyth, and Sue Davidson, of Clare, it has allowed them to get involved with a community group and enjoy their weekly catch ups.

They've focussed on giving the area colour and sprucing it up with a range of natives and succulents - working with the soil type and easy-care plants.

Support of plant donations has come from Unique Natives at Medika (in Blyth), the Garden Centre in Clare and Pinks Mitre 10.

They've also planted a range of vegetables, with Henry Francis taking charge of making sure they're looked after, watered and kept safe from wildlife.

Ms Davidson said she thoroughly enjoyed being out and about at the garden.

"I love being out and meeting new people," Ms Davidson said.

All the garden beds are raised, making it easier for people with injuries or those unable to bend down for long periods of time, a positive for the area according to Ms Davidson.

Mrs Lloyd said she hadn't ever had the time to enjoy getting into the garden, but her mum was a keen gardener and she felt this was her opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

"I have just felt so good, just being outdoors is nice," Mrs Lloyd said.

"It's certainly something we want to keep going."

There's fruit trees, vegetables and succulents growing in various plots throughout the area, all supported with water from a tank installed thanks to a grant for Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council.

Shaping Future's Industry Engagement Project Officer Kathryn Schilling said the barbecue held last week was an opportunity to thank those involved with the project.

From the community members through to the sponsors and donors towards the project.

"If this amount can happen in that short a time frame, the possibilities are really endless," Ms Schilling said.

"We had the site, we had the facilities and we just needed the people."

The group meets on Tuesdays from about 10am and all are welcome.