Indoor plants are all the rage right now, but have you tried growing your plants...outside? A crazy concept, we know. And frankly, we don’t all have the space. Or the time.
That’s where community gardens come in. You can get your own plot, plant what you want and watch it flourish before your very eyes. If your thumb is a little less than green, you can get advice from experienced growers, and maybe even get their help taking care of some of your more deep-rooted shoots.
But most importantly, community gardens are all about getting in touch with the community. You get to meet people you otherwise wouldn’t, and form connections and friendships with like-minded individuals. Sound like your cup of tea? Check out the five best community gardens on the Gold Coast, and see what you can do to get involved.
Nerang Community Garden
Nerang’s Community Garden is all about having some fun in the sun. They welcome new members, especially those looking to grow some veggies to share with friends and family. The garden is based at the Country Paradise Parklands and regularly hosts community events, including charity fundraisers and benefits. They receive regular visits from wildlife eager to lend a hand, and are backed by a number of sponsors, including the Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network, river keepers, local schools and even Bunnings Warehouse. The group meets monthly to discuss the garden’s progress, but can also be reached on their Facebook page, or by popping by between the hours of 9am to 12pm.
Joan Park Community Gardens
If you’re looking for a space to connect with like-minded gardeners, set your sights on the Joan Park Community Gardens. Located in Southport, the community behind the garden is all about providing a fresh and sustainable alternative to getting your groceries. This community garden has something for everyone—including bubs!—thanks to their Midyimberries Playgroup. The group meets regularly in the garden to plant seeds, find worms, sing songs and eat the fruits of their labour (literally). Head to the community Facebook page for all the details on organising your own plot and joining in on the fun.
Southern Beaches Community Garden
Nestled behind the Tugun Community Centre, between a playground and a world-class skate park, lies the Southern Beaches Community Garden. This community garden is about bringing your family and the community together to share in the fun of bringing a garden to life. Whether you’re eight years old or just shy of 80, there’s a role for everyone. Check out the community gallery page to see how the garden has brought people together—every photo is filled with smiles. You can easily get in touch and even become a member of the community garden through the SBCG site, or check out their free resources for tips and tricks on how to get started at home.
Varsity Veggies Community Garden
In 2004, Tony King had a dream; a dream to start a community garden near his home in Varsity Lakes. Tony passed away before his dream could be realised, but the community came together anyway to start the garden in his honour. And so, Varsity Veggies was born. The garden consists of 40 plots, along with six raised beds and a number of diversified community planting areas so that every member can get involved. The garden provides a space for members of the community to engage with one another across generations, races, genders and backgrounds, so that people from all walks of life feel at home. Everyone is welcome in the space on their open day, every Wednesday from 8.30am to 12.30pm. However, if you want more regular access, you’ll have to become a member—visit their site for all the details.
Peachey Community Garden
The group behind the Peachey Community Garden in Ormeau is a welcoming bunch. Their Facebook page is filled with regular posts about keeping your garden in tip-top condition and they welcome visitors to the garden any time that suits. They also promote local businesses, demonstrating their strong sense of community. If you live in the area or are willing to make the drive, stop by and see what they’ve got growing on (sorry, we couldn’t resist). Better yet, get in touch and find out what you can do to contribute—the group meets on Friday mornings, so pop by then to see the members in action.
Community gardens are a great way to meet new people (and new plants), but they’re seriously lacking when it comes to furry friends. For the animal-lovers amongst us (i.e. all of us), here’s where you can adopt a pet right now.
Image credit: Jonathan Hanna