Hosting celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis was the culmination of sixteen months of love, sweat and tears for a group of local gardeners who set out to establish a community garden at Bogangar Primary School in early 2012.
The host of the ABC’s Gardening Australia and Costa’s Garden Odyssey received a hero’s welcome yesterday (September 16) when he popped in to visit the greensite, flanked by gardening enthusiasts, local media representatives, and several dozen schoolkids accompanied by principal Cath Lalor.
Cabarita Community Garden president Karen Anderson told Echonetdaily that it was a special moment to have Costa visit.
‘Sixteen months ago there was nothing here, just a piece of land on a slope with some overgrown plots, and now Costa is here and he’s brought some much needed rain,’ she said.
‘It’s such a great experience to have him come to our community garden and get involved with the local kids.
‘It is really so nice see them all in the garden, and the kids so excited to see Costa and asking him questions, interested in what he has to say.
‘See, if you take care of the land it takes care of you.’
Costa took up the theme when he said that gardens were all about growth, but not just plant growth.
‘Gardens like these engage people, they help develop relationships between communities and help communities to grow.
‘There’s a synthesis between the different parts, like the school and the broader community which slowly develops and what you get is a higher level of community engagement.
‘For all that, this is simply a beautiful garden,’ he said.
During his visit, Costa took the school children from vegetable plots to herb beds, explaining the benefits of different plants.
Ms Anderson said the genesis of the community garden had evolved from the Tweed Shire Council’s Sustainable Streets program, to a youth garden at the old Cabarita Beach Youth Centre, to its present incarnation at Bogangar Public School.
The current site of the garden had originally been earmarked for a car park.