The gardens at the aptly named Leisure Lea Gardens Retirement Village bring great joy to residents all year round, but in Spring, they put on a colourful show which elicit the greatest compliments, making it the happiest time of the year for Head Gardener, Joel Perez.
“I often get positive feedback from residents, but at this time of the year they especially like to sit on the garden benches and admire the gardens,” says Joel. “It makes me so happy to see their smiling faces, especially during the challenging times of COVID-19. This is their home and anything I can do to make them happy, makes me happy too.”
Since arriving at Leisure Lea Gardens more than 9 years ago, Joel has made many changes, removing many noxious plants at the back of the village and creating a large propagation area to grow a steady supply of plants.
The noxious plants all along the fence-line were replaced with attractive hedges which have now matured, providing a pretty backdrop for the paved walkway and showpiece trees, such as Weeping Cherry.
Over the next few weeks, Joel and his team of Robert Strawbridge and Claude Da Santos will start replenishing the veggie patch with some summer veggies and fruit. “Residents have been enjoying the winter harvest but now it’s time to restock with tomatoes, lettuce, snow peas, silver beet, cauliflower and broccoli,” Joel says.
Village Manager, Linda Savige, is very proud of the garden team’s achievements and awards. “Over the years, we have won many garden awards but we did not enter this year to give our team time to refresh the garden areas and implement new innovations we are planning. Watch this space!”