High up on the roof of Wayside is our blossoming community garden. With a view stretching across the Sydney skyline and a beautiful array of flowers and vegetables, the garden is a must-see feature of our new building.
Since opening in July, the rooftop garden has come to life. The garden is a community space as well as a place to teach living and vocational skills. We have already begun using produce in meal programs and cooking classes in Wayside Youth and our program for people with a mental health issue, Day to Day Living. We are also harvesting rainwater from the roof and heating the building through solar energy. Plans are underway to add photo-voltaic cells to generate energy and minimise the environmental impact.
Alan, a much-loved participant of the Day to Day Living program, has been involved in watering and caring for the garden.
...the garden: It’s a haven. A lot of hard work has gone into it and it’s a great little place to get away and relax. The garden has come to life over the last couple of months. I enjoy seeing it grow and the little vegetables are great. I’ve had a bite of the odd lettuce leaf and they’re full of flavour. We’ve got everything growing up here: beetroot, onion, strawberries, beans, snow peas, flowers, lemons and much more. We’ve had the Mayor visit, the Premier has been here as well and the Governor of NSW recently did a tour. They all liked the place.
...getting a view from the top: Coming up to the garden and looking at all the surrounding buildings makes me think of the past. We have the Metro next door, where Harry M Miller staged Hair, which was like a revolution at the time. And there were all the other theatres from the 1960s close by like the Kings Cross Theatre, where the Surf City disco was. There was a small hotel opposite the Chevron where The Beatles stayed during their first visit to Australia and the Rex Hotel which was famous for just about anything. In the middle of all this you had The Wayside Chapel which is in the same spot today. Looking at the view from the garden makes you realise how much has changed, but that’s the Cross; it just keeps on reinventing itself.
...on Wayside: I left the area in the 1970s and didn’t come back till a few years ago. I got myself into a lot of trouble and was in dire straights; my own fault. Wayside helped me. The staff and volunteers are great and no-one tries to brainwash you. I would like to thank all those marvellous people and companies who donate to Wayside. Without them I would probably still be in the gutter. Thanks a lot guys.
Members of the public are welcome to take a tour of the garden. Simply stop by and ask one of our friendly staff members or volunteers to organise a tour.
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