About Us

Our garden started as an idea by Anne van Veen, who believed there was demand for a community garden in Blairgowrie.  Anne asked for local residents to join her to help bring her vision to life. In August 2018 Council granted us a lease over 2 unused tennis courts at Stringer Reserve Blairgowrie. This plot of land was underutilized and our garden has converted it into a use-able community area. The old tennis courts are asphalt which meant that in order to have veggie beds we had to build raised timber gardens and import all soil, manure and compost onto the site.

 

We were fortunate to have the generous support of well known and successful garden designer Fiona Brokhoff who prepared a master plan for the garden.  Fiona and her family have been great supporters of the garden.

 

The garden has grown in stages.  During the first year, we built our first four large raised timber garden beds to plant our first batch of veggies donated by Bunnings. We quickly grew to a membership of around 30 family members.  It was very exciting for everyone to finally getting plants in the ground.

 

 

garden bed construction completed.jpg

The old ruined tennis courts before we started building our garden

Some of our workers after completing the build of our first four raised garden beds.

In early 2019 we tripled our garden beds, we built 3 large composting bins, and installed a 22,500 litre water tank with assistance of a grant from the Federal Government via Greg Hunt. The water pump was donated by Davey Pumps and Sorrento Rotary Club paid for materials to complete our watering systems.  In the early day we handled large volumes of timber, soil and mulch by hand through a narrow gate into the fenced off area.  Maw Civil came to the rescue and donated and supplied our large double gate to give truck access direct into the garden area making life much easier.  

Late 2019 saw the completion of 6 wicking beds (via a Bendigo Community Bank grant), a large pergola which will be the central shaded hub of the garden and a children's play area. Some of our major works were built with the assistance of volunteers from the newly formed Point Nepean Mens Shed. The children's area now has 2 timber boats donated by members.

 

By the end of 2019 are garden was really looking in great condition with around 74 family members.

 

unloading the water tank

Unloading our new water tank

A happy group of members after a very successful working bee

Garden photo 2022 Oct.jpg

2020/2021 was a difficult time for our community and our garden . After the closure of the garden due to Covid in March 2020, the garden had several open and shut again periods.

In between lockdowns we managed to erect a tool shed, a potting shed, build more garden beds and install another 22,500 litre water tank connected to the Men's Shed building. However the garden beds suffered during prolonged lockdowns and we missed planting lots of crops. Then just to finish things off, we had a massive invasion of rats which destroyed our seedlings and plants.

 

2022 saw a huge amount of work put in to restore the garden. It is now looking fantastic with lots of flowers as well as our vegies and fruit trees. Thanks to the generosity of one of our members, we installed a new hothouse with automated watering system and we are looking forward to growing our own seeds and winter crops.

The Blairgowrie Community Garden is a not for profit volunteer group and all funds raised are put back into the garden.  The original committee chose to make the garden beds communal and not offer private plots.  This has been most successful with members sharing the work and the rewards.  If we have excess produce, we donate them to a local food charity. Members have free access to the garden to work when it suits them.


We have an enthusiastic Committee. The council and their staff have been very supportive of our new garden. Our local traders and suppliers have been very generous and we thank them all for assisting the garden.

Fundraising was very important to get The Blairgowrie Community Garden up and running and our fundraising drives have been very successful.  We've had sausage sizzles at Bunnings Rosebud, street stalls at Blairgowrie Village selling plants and wine drives