Plant thieves plunder thriving kerb-side garden

April 10, 2019

Plant thieves plunder thriving kerb-side garden

Caption: Gary Denney has had to install a sign to prevent more plant thefts. Photo: Ellen Sinclair

Plants have been taken from a berm in Eden Terrace which was being transformed into a community garden.

Gary Denney began planting on the berm between the road and his apartment block to give himself a garden to look out to from his ground-floor window months ago.

“I got tired of looking out of my ground-floor apartment window onto a bank, so I just started planting,” said Mr Denney, who now has over 200 plants in his garden.

But someone has removed multiple large plants, including bangalow palms, leaving Mr Denney and the community disappointed at the loss.

“Someone’s come along after I had planted the palms and taken some of the palms out, and two of the Australian natives as well,” he said.

He says that although the thief may not have known that it was a personally funded project, “it’s been really interesting that people think that it’s okay to do that, just to rip a plant out of whatever garden”.

Living in an apartment building can be “isolating,” said Mr Denney, and the garden has created a sense of community.

“Before I started doing the gardening I didn’t know a lot of the people in my street. And now because I’m out there in the afternoon, weeding and watering, and I’m out in the weekends planting, people stop and actually chat.”

Desiree Sargon, a neighbour in the apartment block, said that the garden is “so lovely to see.”

She said Mr Denney has been so generous with his time in creating a garden where “nobody else seemed to care”, which makes the thefts even more disappointing.

Body corporate chairman Andrew Peterson who also lives in the building said the work Mr Denney has done is quite impressive.

He said the berm used to have “nothing appealing about it,” and appreciates that it has been transformed into a lively garden.

Mr Denney has funded the garden himself, buying whatever plants caught his eye, and now neighbours in the building have started leaving their own neglected pot plants to be planted into the garden.

There is still space along the berm for the garden to expand, so Mr Denney and his neighbours plan to put in fruit trees.

But neighbours aren’t the only ones happy about the garden as bees and insects have been drawn to the area’s ecosystem, and Mr Denney now hears crickets outside at night.

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