A community garden in Bayswater? Who knew?

There is a community garden in Bayswater where kids and grown-ups can get their hands dirty while learning essential life skills and connecting with the community.

Bayswater Community Garden was established in 2015 by Pat Lim, a Bayswater elder with a long history of involvement with local community projects and programs.

The original garden was in Morley but moved to its current location off Murray Street in 2017 with cooperation from the Bayswater Bowling and Recreation Club. Lay2 Real estate’s Steve Lay was Club President at the time. With the help of former deputy mayor Chris Cornish, and Councillor Sally Palmer, Steve was instrumental in establishing Bayswater Community Garden’s new home.

120 people attended the opening of the new community garden – including landscape architect and gardening guru Costa Georgiadis who described Pat Lim as “a champion and a changemaker for persisting with getting the garden up and running” and said,

“This is the future of our community health. Community gardens are public therapy”

Costa Georgiadis
Costa Georgiadis, Pat Lim and students from St Columba’s School at he launch of Bayswater Community Garden.

Sam Mesti and Pat Lim have worked together on youth and community projects for a long time. Sam has spent 28 years working with young people and families. He is currently Executive Manager of Community Connecting Youth – a nonprofit working with at risk youth. When Pat’s health took a turn, she asked Sam to step in to help steer the garden’s future.

Sam Mesti with Pat Lim

Steve Lay from Lay2 Real Estate caught up with Sam for a chat recently. Watch the video below to learn more about Bayswater Community Garden.

Get Involved!

You’ll find Sam and other volunteers at the gardens, Monday to Saturday, from 8 a.m. until lunch time. If you’re happy to get your hands dirty, they’d love your help with prepping, watering and harvesting.

Volunteers are asked for a $10 per year donation. If it’s just the produce you’re interested in, you can drop by to pick some up for a $30 per year donation. All donations are tax deductible.

Only a third of the available gardening space is being used. If you’ve got an idea or a proposal to put more space to use, let Sam know. He’s contactable via [email protected] and 0414 791 081.

Some of the fruit, veg and herbs harvested gets delivered to the Kora Childcare Centre who look after Aboriginal children, migrant children, children of single parents, and children from women’s refuge homes.

Cultural Diversity.

The cultural diversity of the Bayswater community has led to experiments with vegetables you might not be familiar with, like Chinese melon and Vietnamese gourd. Sam’s offsider, Aaron Duncan, is a retired chef. Together they hope to run some classes teaching how to prepare and cook these exotic veges.

“We’d like to utilise the garden as a meeting point and provide an opportunity for the community to spread its cultural wings.”

“It’s very much like during the migration of Southern Europeans to Australia. People didn’t know much about mussels or squid or octopus. That’s where we’re at now with African and Asian migrants. We’d like to include indigenous food traditions too so we’re looking to plant some traditional bush tucker herbs. That way we can get everybody involved.”

Future Plans

Sam’s future plans for Bayswater Community Garden include a gazebo or shade sail area where people can sit and have a coffee. That requires some volunteers if you’d like to put your hand up.

Something else Sam would like to see happen is an open air art program – not just for young kids but adults too. 

Sam would also love to see opportunities for seniors and kids to come together, to connect and learn from each other. “If we can get the seniors in the community involved with some of these young kids and pass on some of their wisdom and skills, it’s a win-win on both sides. Kids can get a better understanding of where the seniors are coming from and seniors can gain an understanding of where the kids are coming from.”

“The whole idea is to get the community involved so that everyone can benefit from it.”

We love our Bayswater community. The Team at Lay2 Real Estate are the Bayswater real estate specialists. If you’re looking to buy or sell a property in Bayswater, or have your investment property managed, phone Steve Lay on 0419 191 100 or email [email protected].