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Newsletter #24 | December 2023

The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better...


Vita Sackville-West 1892 - 1962 Novelist, poet, garden designer


The Year In Review

Our last committee meeting was held at the Oldy Hotel last Thursday with only one item on the agenda - to celebrate the achievements in the Garden in 2023!

Just in case you were on a 12 month cruise around the world or too busy doing working bees to notice, I have a list:

  • January - a strong start to the year with the Pollinator garden planted, the shed base laid and the 589th and final picket attached to the fence after a monumental effort over 2 months by Tony Watkin and his team.

  • February - Hose reels and Worm Farms were installed by Rory

  • March - The Friday Gardening and Social group was started thanks to the efforts of Jan Brown and Melissa Styles. Since then the group has met regularly on every other Friday, and is responsible for lots of extra work in the Garden. The Garden shed was erected, The Herb Garden was laid out and we conducted the 1st AGM for the Garden at the Seaford Community Centre. We raised $840 at our Bunnings BBQ.

  • April - Thanks to Jennie Simon and her Orchard team, extra trees were planted, irrigation was improved, tree circles were weeded and mulched. The trees have been watered and fertilised and are now showing the benefit of this extra attention. The Herb Garden was planted and at a rough count has over 30 different herbs doing very well. We raised $1053 at our Bunnings BBQ

  • May - New compost bins constructed earlier in the year were given their first workout with Melissa Styles building a hot compost heap from our garden waste. Six months later, we have our first bags of compost ready to enrich our gardens. The Wetlands View Pergola was constructed thanks to a council grant and is now waiting for pavers and outdoor furniture. May also saw over 1400 natives planted through the Wetlands thanks to the organisation of Jack Clarke with assistance from Onkaparinga Council and 30 volunteers on the day. The day continued in the Garden with catering and activities such as rock painting, children's games and a compost building demo. A huge effort by Jan and Mel to organise the catering and all the activities and the demo.

  • June - Congratulations to Rory for running the second workshop in the Garden - How To Build a Mud Kitchen from Pallets. We now have one of our own as well (as in the leading photo above) in the Children's Garden area. Rory is very good at pallet creations - a number of benches, seats and produce shelves around the Garden attest to this fact.

  • July - A warm, sunny day and our first brown snake was spotted in the Garden. The Snake Catcher was called and managed to catch and relocate the baby brown (about 1m long and highly venomous). It reminded us all to wear sensible covered shoes or boots in the Garden. We raised $972 at our Bunnings BBQ

  • August - The Market Garden area was prepared with a tiller machine being used to establish our first rows. We estimate the area hadn't been tilled since the 1970s so it was rock hard! Planting was planned for October

  • September - The Rotary Peace Pole was erected at a ceremony and the first Indigenous Edible plant circle was established by Rory

  • October - The Market Garden was planted - tomatoes, sweetcorn, lettuce, silver beet, cucumber, zucchini, beetroot, capsicum. A beehive was placed in the area south of the Garden as part of Stella's project for the Youth Environmental Council. It appears to be doing well with a queen in residence!

  • November - Another great day weatherwise saw some great progress in the Garden. The fence was raised with reo mesh, dolomite was spread and the picket fence staining was begun. Excellent catering once again by Mel and Jan kept us going through the day. The Volunteer scheme was started in the Garden - thanks to Jan for overseeing this scheme. Keypads were installed on both gates and appear to be working so far.

  • December - Our last Gardening and Social group meeting for the year this Friday 22nd December 9-11am


A big thank you to all of our committee members, and in particular Rory (Chair), Kaarin (Secretary), Jan and Melissa (Catering, Compost, Market Garden, Herbs, Friday Gardening Group), Jennie (Orchard and Herbs), Owen (IT) and Wayne for all of your great work this year not only helping to organise planting and social days, BBQ fundraisers and working bees but also participating in them all. Many hours have been devoted by this strong team getting the Garden to the stage it has reached. Congratulations to everyone on the achievements in 2023 and we look forward to bringing it all together in 2024. We wish you an enjoyable, safe and relaxing Christmas and a happy New Year!


Giving it your best shot 2023

Winston and Robert

The Rotary Peace Pole

Thank You (continued)

Special thanks to the following members or supporters of the Garden and to their close family members (who often get brought along to work as well).

Orchard - Jennie (Leader), Mary F, Linda, Jill, Chris and Helen

Herb Garden - Melissa S, Jennie, Manhal, Janine, Chris

Shed - Tony, Rory, Scott, Rory, Janine, Chris

Bunnings BBQs - Narrah and Dino, Ellen, Kaarin, Rory, Tony, Janine, Sky, Melissa S, Jan, Mel NJ, Judy, Anne, Linda, Chris Mc, Annette Z, Wayne, Seaford Bunnings Activity Officers Briana and Gemma-kaye for helping us run the BBQs

Market Garden - Rory, Kaarin, Jan, Melissa S,

Big Planting Day Out - Jack, Rory, Jan, Melissa S, Leanne and Onkaparinga council staff

Green Adelaide - for providing the finances and support for making the Garden possible and to Rory for liaising with the GA staff.


In addition, we have had a great turnout of members, friends and family for a number of working bees through the year. I'm positive I haven't mentioned everyone who has been involved but I'd like to next time after some research. Please drop me an email if I inadvertently missed you out and I'll make amends in the next newsletter.


Fund Raising Bunnings BBQ

Our next Bunnings BBQ will be on Saturday 30th December. Many thanks to the members who have offered to help on that day. There are still 2 places if you can spare a couple of hours.


Our first Bunnings BBQ fundraiser in 2024 will be on Saturday 10th February. Please get in touch with me if you are able to assist on the day. I'm looking for order takers, cooks, and servers. It's an easy and fun way to work as a team and meet lots of people, tell them about our great community garden and raise useful funds.

Love to hear from you - please email Wayne on the garden email:


Coming Up in the Garden and Wetlands in 2023/2024

  • Purchase of a new greenhouse to be built in the raised bed area

  • Installation of a wash basin near the shed

  • Paving of the area under the pergola and applying a second coat of stain, adding a table and seats

  • Finish staining the fence

  • Finish weeding the paths and spreading yankomite

  • Develop the grass and weed area along the Eldercare fence into gardens

  • Friday morning Social and Gardening Group - last one for 2023 coming up on Friday 22nd December 9am-11am. Next one Frid 5th Jan 2024

  • Working Bees - next one Sunday 28th Jan 10am - 3pm

  • Fundraising Bunnings BBQs - Saturday 30th December and Saturday 10th February

  • Official Opening Ceremony! - Sunday 28th April


This project was seeded by

Our Committee

Our committee is Rory Fitzsimons (Chair), Kaarin Wilkinson, Jan Brown, Melissa Styles, Jennie Simon and Wayne Good. If you have any questions or ideas please contact us via Facebook, on our website or on the Seaford Wetlands Gardeners WhatsApp chat.

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