Spilling out from her courtyard and bringing colour to a corner section of the community close to the walking track, Joan’s garden is a popular meeting point for other residents who pop by to enjoy her colourful blooms.
Joan’s own love of flowers sparked the garden’s creation.
“We had really good gardens here but there weren’t a lot of flowers like I liked, so my daughter asked if she could start Mum a garden and they said if you do it, you look after it, you can have it,” says Joan.
“When we first started, they said we’d never keep it up because as you get older you don’t want to do things but it’s a very good interest for me because my son-in-law plants a lot of things and my daughter does it all the time too.”
This joint family collaboration is not without its rivalry though, with Joan’s daughter and son-in-law both vying for Joan’s vote for the best garden.
“Mum and Dad always had a beautiful garden so that’s what Mum wanted. It started off as a little garden and now my husband and I have got a competition who’s got the best garden. Mum judges but she always judges my husband as the best! Favouritism, of course!” laughs Roslyn, Joan’s daughter.
Roslyn says that the garden has also blossomed its fair share of friendships with many residents popping in to look at the garden and staying to chat.
“It’s good for the residents as they walk around to see what’s in the garden at different times of the season and it’s good for Mum too as the residents are all interacting, they’re talking about the plants, remembering what they used to grow in their gardens, so it’s lovely.
“All the residents enjoy the garden and we enjoy speaking to them because not everybody has family that pops in all the time, so they are all one big family to us. We love it!”
Joan agrees and loves that people enjoy her garden as much as she does.
“It’s given people a lot of interest and also me. It’s nice to see flowers and things growing,” says Joan.