Encircled by a garden journey
Rona is an avid gardener and regularly walks through the village gardens where she has lived for five years.
“Gardening brings you peace and connects you to the earth. These gardens are really important because some people can’t garden anymore and they still get to enjoy the peace and beauty the gardens bring,” Rona said.
There are 10 themed gardens in the village: The 1950’s, The Anzacs, The English, The Chinese, Tranquility, The Wizard of Oz, the outback, Vegetable and herbs, a wishing well and Succulents.
Creative flair flourishes in the Wizard of Oz garden, where a sandstone Lion hides cowardly among the bushes beside a munchkin village and nearby Scarecrow and Tin Man. The Oz scene calls to mind the start of the famous Yellow Brick road and was re-created to mark the start of Regency Park visitors’ and residents’ own adventure along a road also promising a journey full of its own surprises, frights and delights.
“Beware of the giant redback spider!”, warns Regency Park Retirement Living Manager Chris Newley. The spider runs up and down the door of an iconic Aussie outback toilet in their 1950’s themed garden. Chris said he’s enjoyed many hilarious reactions from visitors when they first encounter the frightening surprise lurking behind the door.
The Outback garden meanwhile, is rich with native plants, birdlife and even a fish pond. Rona led the project of rejuvenating the Outback garden, the first garden that visitors see from the lower entrance to the village.
“We chose drought and frost resilient plants that would also bring loads more colour into the garden. We wanted to create a happy space that people could enjoy,” she said.
“It’s amazing, even though the grevilleas are still little we’re getting many birds settling on them.”
“Every day the gardens draw a lot of people outdoors,” Rona said.
Rona also enjoys writing poetry for children and for special occasions, “The garden is a great place to ponder,” she said.
Seats have been strategically placed about every 80 metres to provide easy resting places to enjoy the different views. The screening in the Tranquility garden, Chris described, provides a moment of privacy and is most stunning when the crepe myrtles are in full bloom.
For those desiring the social hum of voices, the fire pit in the succulent garden makes a welcome place to congregate and enjoy the hungry crackling and warm glow of the fire with friends.
“I’ve toasted bread on a stick over the fire pit - it’s such a popular and comfortable place for people to sit, often after we’ve used the nearby barbeque for dinner,” Rona said.
Contributing passion, skill and hard work poured into the gardens is long-term resident Hugh Tindall. Hugh hand-carved the Oz garden Lion out of sandstone, along with a fox and chook house in the 1950’s garden, and a coat of arms for the Anzac garden.
The gardens are a bright stand-out feature that sets the village apart from many of its contemporary counterparts, which do not feature such vast grounds. The 86 600m2 property features 99 units and is home to a community of 132 residents.