New garden in the works
IN the eyes of Don Hansford, an often-overlooked space bordered by a train track is a blank green canvas.
The space is a lush corner of Warwick, separated from Jackie Howe Park by the Cunningham Highway, bordered by The Scots PGC College and Warwick Sand and Gravel – the perfect home for a penned community garden.
“We looked at a lot of places around town but this area had the most potential,” Mr Hansford said.
“It has footpath access from town, parking via Briggs Street, is visible from the highway, there's lighting and it's fenced. I've driven past for about 30 years and never knew it was there.”
An initiative of Landcare, the community garden project is in its infancy, but the permaculture designer hopes the lot will be up by Christmas.
“My job means I design for unsustainable living spaces for humans so we live reasonably and sustainably just like a natural system,” Mr Hansford said.
“When problems are encountered, there's almost always a natural and native way to combat it, like a plant which grows faster and smothers the pest weed rather than using chemicals.
“The garden will be under the sub-committee of Condamine Headwaters Landcare Group but everyone can come down and potter about in the garden and take some spuds if they're starving.
“The land is owned by the Southern Downs Regional Council and they've been really supportive throughout the process.”
Where some would see a slope with a bottom that pools with water when it rains, Mr Hansford sees a potential frog pond shouldered by a natural water habitat for frogs and lizards.
He believes the social aspect of the garden will reinvigorate community bonds.
“Community gardens are popular in cities but have taken off in regional areas too because of the social aspect,” he said.
“People might have a garden at home but it's about going down to the community garden, sharing secrets and tips with people about organic and water wise practices.
“It's a community garden so everyone is welcome; it's about what they want, but we hope to have a bush tucker and undercover area for informal lessons.”
Open meeting to plan the community garden Monday 6.30pm at Warwick library, Albion Street. Call Don Hansford on 0438731956.