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From little things, big things grow

Published Friday 27 December 2019
  • Retirement Living

What started as a few herbs and flowers, has grown into a community garden for all residents at Wheller on the Park retirement living to enjoy.  

Twelve years ago, Lorraine Lock and her husband Len moved to Wheller on the Park (WOTP) retirement living community situated in Chermside. Although Lorraine never considered herself as having a green thumb, she felt she needed to start a new hobby and went on to set up a few herbs in an open space. Today the garden is thriving, from snake peas to azaleas and sweet potato to sage. 


“There was around eight of us who started the garden. We were given around $10 to get some seeds and were provided with some containers. We just went from there and this area grew like topsy,” says Lorraine.  

“Back then we’d make a lot of our money through selling vegetables and flowers at the Leisure Centre Café at WOTP for $1 each. We still do this today, we make up bags of lettuce, tomato, different herbs and even cucumber. There’s one lady who makes up posies and people just love them.” 

There’re a few residents who mind the garden, as well as another group who water the plants regularly. The sense of community to look after the garden shines through in these groups. If one person is unable to do the watering one day, they call another resident up at WOTP and see if they can. Everyone pitches in. 


“People around here really enjoy the gardens. They often bring some of the residents from Parkview, the nearby aged care community, down to the gardens, as well as visitors. They all enjoy seeing this as it makes them feel good being surrounded by nature and they never know what they are going to see, as it all changes depending on the season,” says Lorraine. 

“People around here say if they are feeling a bit stressed they come here, and it alleviates the stress as they walk through. This is a place for relaxation.” 

“Gardening gives me a sense of purpose. So many people enjoy coming down here and looking at the garden. I often think to myself, if I can create a place for other people to enjoy then it’s working.”  

In the past, people have donated flowers to Lorraine to plant in memory of their loved ones. The garden serves many purposes, a quiet place to reflect, a place to get your hands dirty or somewhere to sit with your friends in the afternoon.  

If you are ever visiting the Wheller Gardens community, it’s certainly worth dropping by and seeing the beautiful garden and maybe a few friendly faces.  

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