Proof gardens make us happier and healthier

One of our favourite reads over summer has been ‘Happy City’, a book by Charles Montgomery. The book draws on initiatives in urban design that have transformed the lives of urban populations. It’s been a fascinating read and to the dear friend who brought it to our attention, we are eternally grateful!

At Victory Gardens, we see first-hand the benefits that gardens bring to the lives of people of all ages. The Hunter St Mall Victory Garden, once a tired and uninspiring spot in the Newcastle CBD is now a lively, rambling edible garden, enjoyed by many living and working in the area. Our corporate, residential and aged care installations have also been well received by staff, families and elderly residents.

But what is at the heart of why people love getting their hands dirty? We decided to dig a little deeper and explore the scientific evidence around gardening and its impact on health and wellbeing. What better place to start than Montgomery’s book.

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“Happy City” by Charles Montgomery shows us how gardens, big and small, perform an important role in our health and wellbeing

Recipes for success for community gardening

The Victory Gardens team has been gathering as much local information as possible about community gardening as we embark on a process of establishing a small edible garden in the Hunter St Mall in Newcastle Australia.

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Growing is underway in the Hunter St Mall

In the several months it has taken to realise such a dream, we have engaged with many community gardening enthusiasts, change agents and place makers who have offered a hand and their knowledge,  to help set this inner city garden off on the right foot. It feels good to have tapped into this generous and lively community as we approach spring and the launch of the garden in September.

There’s a quiet revolution in the suburbs

I reckon we live in a pretty stock-standard Aussie suburb.

Lambton is one of Newcastle’s older suburbs having formed around the Lambton Colliery in 1871.

It’s a pretty suburb with lovely parks and a real sense of space. Wide suburban streets feature, some tree-lined, some not, a cycleway and plenty of playing fields.

Down the laneways and back streets of Lambton you’ll see a mix of old and new houses, a smattering of trampolines, the odd chook shed and choko vine. I have regularly walked these streets for more than eleven years and it has struck me in recent times that Lambton is changing.