Get your hands dirty to make community garden pretty

Behind the fennel plants are avid gardeners Norman Geland and Keyaan Hooper.

If you want to put your green fingers to work, you can help build up the community garden snuggled between 1st Avenue, Perth
Road and Vienna Way, in Grassy Park.

Three years ago two gardening fanatics decided to cultivate this huge property zoned as public open space under the management of the City Parks department.

One of the reasons they wanted to create a garden was because the property had been occupied by burglars and vandals who targeted residential properties.

Keyaan Hooper, and former neigbourhood watch member, spotted vagrants using the property as a haven and “recreational spot”.

“Residents have made an ap-
plication for the property to be fenced off, which was done a few years ago.

“This did not resolve the matter all together. Houses were still being burgled and electricity cables were still being stolen.

“Some of the neighbours and I came with a suggestion to use the property as a food garden, but with further investigation found that
there would be too much logistical red tape as this matter needed immediate attention. It was then suggested that we grow a recreational garden.”

Mr Hooper said the garden would be created and maintained by the community with assistance from council. “It would consist of various trees, shrubs and flowering
plants, as well as a lawn and playing area.

“This garden would add value to the area as well as the community. It will also add a sense of security for the community. This garden would be created with social upliftment, poverty alleviation and family orientation in mind. It will be a place where families can spend much needed quality time and have outdoor interaction with loved ones and

At Mr Hooper’s side was Norman Geland, who has also been spending time making the garden attractive. “We are here every day to plant trees and flowers. It can be a very costly hobby but it is rewarding.”

He said the aim was to invite children who could come there to play and learn about the different types of plants. “These plants attract different types of birds as well.”

Excited about this project, Mr Hooper added that the garden served as a place for relaxation. “We are busy building a gazebo which people can sit under and relax and we have planted trees that can later be used for shade as well.”

He said they invited anyone who loved gardening to come and potter about the community garden. “We divided the property into little patches where everyone could choose a patch for themselves to garden.”

Mr Hooper said they had the support of ward councillor William Akim.

“I have engaged with the representative who have started the community gardens and can confirm that from the recreational and sport department’s ward allo-
cations will assist with garden tools, plants, underground water connection and remove garden refuse if needed also the representative have to sign a lease agreement in managing or operating with consultation with residents in the ward,” said Mr Akim.

If you want to join the garden-
ing crew, or for more informa-
tion, contact Mr Hooper on 074 036 0547 or Mr Geland on 072 201