Hi i’m Chris, a resident at Arcadia Waters and I have lived here for a decade now. When I first arrived the gardens were in an unfriendly state. Since that time, we have managed to build them into the showplace they are today. The large trees are established and the understory is becoming thick and lush. Places to stop and sit have been built along the pathways and quiet corners abound in which to sit and read, or do a crossword or two.
Our Arcadia Waters maintenance employees manage and maintain them. However, it is necessary that somebody with a certain amount of horticultural knowledge can make decisions on the upkeep of the grounds. To my joy, that task has fallen to me. I have been a gardener all my life and, as all good gardeners know, there is always something new to learn about growing greenery. It has been a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the design and maintenance of the grounds. That could not have been done without Cheryl’s support in allowing me to share in some of the decisions. Now residents can walk about the grounds and enjoy the fruits of our labours. Most afternoons, in all seasons, someone can be found doing a ‘tour of the grounds’ to see what is newly in flower or beginning to come through the soil.
We have around 170 roses here and many fruit trees including a mango, 3 olives, a macadamia, a cherry guava, a native mulberry, a loquat and several different types of citrus trees. There are flowering plums and a double red flowering almond. There are many different coloured crepe myrtles, magnolias, a maple tree, a gleditsia and a couple of different Judas trees as well. There are native trees such as kurrajongs and flowering gums. The birds love to visit all the various native plants and to nest there in springtime. Many of our residents are particularly happy to see the birds come to that area of the grounds.
We have installed three worm farms within the village. Here, the residents can use their food scraps to supply food for the worms. We look forward to the results of this new project!
The garden beds themselves are mostly full of perennials. There is a cottage garden, a native garden and two courtyards filled with tropical greenery. As the global weather becomes warmer, we have decided to plant frangipani, bougainvilleas and a poinciana tree. When residents ask for more colour in the beds, we use the old standbys of petunias, vincas and daisies. I have brought many of the plants from my own gardens when I moved here and I love to see them flowering well. There are shasta and Michaelmas daisies, Japanese wind flowers, lavender, yarrow, pelargoniums, hippeastrums and ranunculus in the Winter. There is a small vegetable garden for those who love to ‘grow their own’. Residents enjoy picking a few flowers to take inside their units whenever they want to.
So you see, there is a lot to catch the eye on a walk around our grounds. I haven’t mentioned many of the plants and trees as they are too diverse and numerous, but they do make for great viewing on a stroll around the grounds. Come and see if you like!