Help keep gar­den alive

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

ALL it took was a few months of ne­glect for Vic­to­ria St West’s makeshift com­mu­nity gar­den to grow out of con­trol.

But city-dweller An­drew Macken­zie is hop­ing some green-fin­gered vol­un­teers will help stop that from hap­pen­ing this sum­mer.

The gar­dens lin­ing the out­side of the car park next to Vic­to­ria Park Mar­ket have been grow­ing for more than a year thanks to a bit of in­ge­nu­ity and a few help­ing hands.

Mr Macken­zie and two friends no­ticed ear­lier this year the area was no longer be­ing main­tained and stepped up to weed and re­plant it.

It is now full of herbs and veg­eta­bles which peo­ple can help them­selves to and leave a do­na­tion.

Mr Macken­zie is go­ing to be away from Auck­land over the sum­mer and needs some vol­un­teers to step in and help out.

‘‘I don’t want it to die. We’re re­ally just look­ing for peo­ple to wa­ter it. If peo­ple can do some weed­ing as well that would be great,’’ he says.

At the mo­ment some vol­un­teers just turn on the soaker hose on their way to the gym and turn it off on their way back.

Oth­ers spend an hour or two tend­ing to the gar­den ev­ery cou­ple of weeks.

‘‘There’s no for­mal sched­ule – I’m not go­ing to com­mit any­one to dates or times. Just any­thing and ev­ery­thing re­ally can help.’’

You don’t need to be a sea­soned gar­dener to lend a hand, Mr Macken­zie says.

The cen­tral Auck­land res­i­dent ad­mits he didn’t have a clue what he was do­ing to start with.

‘‘I have never gar­dened in my life. I’m learn­ing what are weeds by peo­ple who walk past re­ally.’’

Help­ing hand: An­drew Macken­zie needs vol­un­teers to look af­ter Vic­to­ria St West’s makeshift com­mu­nity gar­den dur­ing the sum­mer.

Pho­tos: JESS LEE

In­ner-city gar­den: Veg­eta­bles, herbs and flow­ers grow next to Vic­to­ria Park Mar­ket thanks to vol­un­teers – much to the de­light of but­ter­flies and other crea­tures.

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