Community garden continues to flourish
March 21, 2019
A Wellington garden that started out as an initiative to help refugee women to grow their own produce has evolved into an urban sustainability project.
Mt Victoria’s Innermost Gardens is still going strong after 12 years as a charitable trust.
Chairperson Tim Packer said the project was about community connections through gardening.
“It’s about sustainable practices too. We don’t use pesticides or herbicides.
“We’ve taken what was two acres of abandoned bowling green full of [the insecticide] DDT to what are now some of the healthiest, most productive soils you’ll find.”
Nestled behind Pirie St homes, the gardens provide a way for Mt Victoria’s residents to engage with the soil.
The trust welcomes people of all ages and walks of life, with a hall on the property providing space for yoga, meditation and musical groups.
Packer said the garden was also popular for professional development sessions with businesses. Even the Hurricanes rugby team recently chipped in and got their hands dirty.
“In exchange for some gardening skills development they happily moved a few cubic metres of compost for us in record time.”
Volunteer Chris Montgomerie, who coordinates Tuesday garden days, said the group of volunteers was growing.
“They’re great energy and grunt for our gardens, and as a result the gardens are thriving and have never looked better.”
Volunteers had planted vegetable beds, an apple orchard, numerous flowers, and a subtropical area where they are attempting to grow bananas.
“It’s a bit of an experiment to see what subtropicals can be grown in a Wellington garden, but we’re giving it a go,” said Montgomerie.