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The end of an era at the Wilton St Community Garden

WILTON ST COMMUNITY GARDEN update first appeared in Ponsonby News 

A very special era has come to an end at the Wilton Street Community Garden. Sarah Guppy who took over coordinating the garden from founder Mandy McMillan writes about why the time has come to move on from this wonderful community hub.

For over five years the Wilton Street Community garden has transformed a piece of land behind the Gypsy Tea Room in West Lynn.  All good things come to an end, and like the seasons, this garden is preparing for the next chapter. I’ve decide to move on from the garden after many wonderful years. Energy, time, desire, community, all these things are needed to keep the garden going.

If the garden could talk it would make a fascinating book, or a long fireside conversation. During the flourishing of the garden many communities used the space for meetings, birthday parties, Christmas gatherings, workshops on compost making, council discussion on compost and community gardens, fruit tree plans for Grey Lynn Park, soil testing, campaign rallies, the children’s garden for butterflies and lizards, barbeques for anniversaries, and the devotion of 100s of hours of volunteer gardening.

These are some of the activities undertaken through goodwill and community support:

  • ‘Closed for Good’ BNZ Community project (volunteers helped clear the site)
  • Picket fence donated by Silver Fern Landscapes
  • Water tank donated by ‘Tanks a lot’
  • Downpipe diverter given by John and Brenda to bring water from the Gypsy Tea Room roof to the water tank
  • Two macrocarpa boxes for raised bed made and installed by Peter Nuske.
  • Pallets collected and made into compost stalls
  • Bricks given from a chimney for making beds
  • Wood chips donated from a tree fella
  • Food waste regularly brought to the community compost from local cafes and residents
  • Western Bays Community Board funding for picnic tables and plants
  • Grass clippings from lawn mowing man for compost
  • Plants donated by strangers
  • Wilton Street Community Garden honey sold at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market

During our time there was only one event of vandalism.  A banana tree was uprooted and thrown into the street some years ago. We planted it again, and not only did it take root, but this summer it produced the most beautiful lemon tasting bananas!

I would like to acknowledge the dedication of the founders, Mandy McMulllin and Dave Gilbert who gave tirelessly to establish a special place for all creatures great and small.

Thanks to the friends who worked in the garden Adele, Margo, Peter, Vonney, Angela, Kate, Jane, Sally, Dean, Terry, Tom, Ruben, Carol and her bees and many people travelling and passing through  who visited to learn from the community .

The new owners of the old Wine Vault shop Jody and Stuart (now the Crow Pop up shop)  and Brett from Gypsy Tea Room generously allow the garden to continue on their land. Plans are underway for the next chapter to involve local children in the joy of gardening. Volunteers are always welcome.

Sarah Guppy (goldensguppy@gmail.com)

Thanks to everyone for their support –Sarah Guppy (goldensguppy@gmail.com)