Warrnambool man sows seeds of community

Aitkens Road residents (from left) Joyce Barden, Madelene Sweeny, Joan Newman, Janet Newman and Brian Teasdale share a common interest. 140521DW15 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Aitkens Road residents (from left) Joyce Barden, Madelene Sweeny, Joan Newman, Janet Newman and Brian Teasdale share a common interest. 140521DW15 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

ONE man’s effort to create a spectacular garden has transformed a quiet and introverted neighbourhood into a thriving, colourful community.

Retired chef Brian Teasdale moved into an Aitkins Road flat about six months ago and noticed others in the multi-unit complex had little interaction.

“The people here were pretty one-offish when I first moved in,” the 64-year-old said. 

“Now I’ve got my little garden in, everybody stops and talks.

“I’ve had a couple of barbecues around the garden and that’s created some community.”

Neighbour Madelene Sweeny said others were inspired to begin their own gardens after seeing the difference made by Mr Teasdale’s creation.

“No one talked to each other before. It was so bland,” she said.

“Within six months he had created the most beautiful, magical garden you could ever wish for.

“It’s a small space but what he’s done is fantastic and has everyone talking.

“He’s an artist with flowers.”

From vegetables and herbs to begonias and hanging pots, Mr Teasdale has made the most of every bit of space.

“I find it very therapeutic and it’s good exercise,” he said.

“I think I’ve encouraged a few people to start a bit of gardening and down the track I’d like to get people interested in a communal garden.”

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