Garden blossoms

2017-10-17 06:01
A community garden started at Heathfield Primary School is aimed at bringing the community together.

A community garden started at Heathfield Primary School is aimed at bringing the community together.

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A community garden at Heathfield Primary School in Elfindale is taking shape and is set to bring the community ­together.

Started by Fatima Hughes from Punts Estate, she has big plans for the garden.

With a few of the learners coming from disadvantaged areas on the outskirts of the school’s surroundings, Hughes says she wanted to create something better that would inspire them to dream big and be hopeful.

With the water restrictions in mind the garden has water-wise plans. The school has an irrigation system that uses borehole water.

Hughes, a plant lover, says she is happy that everything is taking shape as planned. The main reasons she started the garden were to promote a sense of responsibility among community members and for the community to take ownership.

The area also had a problem with gum trees; something had to be done urgently. With wind erosion in the area, soil had been blown away and left roots and tree stumps exposed, which was a huge risk for children running around.

“With all that in mind I just new that something had to be done. I didn’t even think a lot about it, so I started working. I’m happy to say a lot of people chipped in to help and the garden is what it is today. It is still growing and we have so many things in the pipeline.”

Hughes is maintaining the garden with her husband, with the help of the community now and then. However, she hopes the learners of Heathfield Primary will take over ownership and take care of the garden.

“I think I have set everything in motion. As soon as everything is ready, the learners will take over. They will have a chance to learn whilst they look after the garden. There are a lot of food gardens, so we thought we should do something different. A lower grade will be helped by an upper grade to look after the garden,” she says.

Hughes also plans that in time they will approach former learners to help them by supporting current learners.

“We are not just looking at it financially. We want to create a space were former learners of the school take a learner and tell him: ‘If I did it, you can do it.’ We want the learner to be able to have an open communication with the former learner and be able to talk to him should he need any help. We just want to promote togetherness and helping each other,” she says.

With the work done so far, Hughes says it is very rewarding when people comment on the beauty of the garden.

“It is so satisfying. It was done within a week and the fact that people appreciate the garden, means a lot. I hope everyone will put in effort together and make it even more beautiful,” she says.

Hughes says they desperately need mulch and stone chips. Any help to keep the garden going would be appreciated, she says.

V For more information email Fatima Hughes on eahughes1963@gmail.com.

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