This story is not so much about plants which work well together as about gardeners who work well together.
Beverley Park Heritage Rose Garden is part of the Canterbury Community Gardens Association, but is not so much about producing food for the body as food for the soul. It is a place where people come to seek solace, scent and beauty - a much needed place of serenity in our area.
As with other Community Gardens we work with volunteer support, and there is plenty of camaraderie and friendship amongst our helpers as we work towards our common goal - to create something uplifting and beautiful for the wider community.
LINWOOD VILLAGE CLEAN-UP DAY
There are at least 3 Community Gardens in the Linwood area including Smith Street Community Garden, Fitzgerald Avenue Community Garden, and the Linwood Avenue Community Garden, and perhaps others I haven't heard about. But as well as our Community Gardens we have something extra and very important in our area - The Linwood Village Clean-up Day. This is held in September every year where volunteers and residents from the community hold a çlean-up day in and around the village - tidying up, weeding, and clearing away accumulated rubbish from some of the empty sites where buildings have been demolished post-earthquake. The Clean-up Day is initiated by the people in our community as even though Linwood is seen as a low socio-economic area and has it's problems, it is rich in community spirit. It is here that the people themselves have the will to do what they can to improve a sad part of Christchurch which has been neglected and forgotten about by the authorities.
The most imaginative and creative of projects was initiated by the Inner City East group on a vacant site where buildings had been demolished. With the help of Greening the Rubble they, built this idiosyncratic and picturesque little streetscape on a shoestring, consisting of quaint little buildings, planter boxes and little picket fences painted orange, purple and yellow dotted amongst gardens and gravel pathways. These funky little buildings are the Tiny Shops which house a bookshop, a secondhand clothes shop, a bike repair shop and a cafe where you can sit outside, at tables and chairs surrounded by the garden and enjoy a great coffee when the sun shines. A gathering place for the whole community, it was here that people also gathered on Clean-up Day to weed the garden, do running repairs, weed the gravel pathways and plant shrubs flowers, and veggie plants which had been donated to the project.
It was a most successful day not only in the spruce-up of Tiny Shops, but in the camaradarie of people from all walks of life working together for a common cause. The thing I enjoyed most was working and chatting with people and families I would otherwise never have met - moving me out of my comfort zone and broadening my appreciation of other ethnic and social groups. And joining together afterwards to enjoy a barbecue lunch organised by Tiny Shop tenants. Participating in the Cleanup Day was the most fun I have had for a long time, cost nothing and gave a great sense of satisfaction to be involved in a spruce up for Tiny Shops, a much needed beacon of hope in an area down on it's luck.