Waverley Community Gardens veterans mark a century with spade and hoe


Waverley Community Gardens honoured three long-serving members at its recent annual general meeting in September.

Arthur Davey, an inaugural member of Waverley Community Gardens who has held continuous membership at the Gardens for 38 years, was awarded the group’s very first life membership.

His longtime gardening colleagues Nick Kalogeropoulos, 37 years of continuous membership of the Gardens, and John Allen, 25 years continuous membership, were both awarded certificates of appreciation.

Between them, that’s 100 years of gardening. A century of tilling the soil, swinging spade and hoe.

(Photograph, from left to right: Nick Kalogeropoulos, Arthur Davey, former-president Graeme Holman and John Allen.)

Immediate past-president Graeme Holman, himself a member for around 10 years, said it was no surprise that the three long-serving members had racked up so many years of dedicated involvement, it was that kind of place.

 “And there’s quite a number snapping at their heels with 20 years of service,” he said. “(Arthur) has been one of our great stalwarts, really supportive, particularly with new members.”

Waverley Community Gardens currently boasts 46 very active members. The group started with 25m2 plots, which take a fair bit of effort to keep in shape, but now it has half plots that new members can start with and then move up to the larger plots when they become available.

And whenever those plots become available, they are usually snapped up pretty quickly.

“We’d always have four or five on the waiting list,” Graeme said. “One of the big advantages is that we are right on the train line. We get a lot of interest from people who see us out the train window while they are coming past.” 

Nestled into a strip of land at the end of Jamboree Lane in Ashwood, next to the Glen Waverley line between Jordanville and Holmesglen station, it’s always a busy place.

“Some (members) come once a week, some a couple of times a week,” Graeme said. “I go down every couple of days because I live close. There’s families there now that combine it with a bike ride, and that’s great.”

With people living on smaller blocks these days – there’s a lot more townhouse and apartment living in suburban Melbourne – there’s less and less space for the traditional backyard gardens. Community Gardens give participants the chance to roll-up their sleeves and enjoy the rewards of tending their own plot of earth.

“It’s the enjoyment of growing your own vegetables,” Graeme said. “Getting that success, particularly people who may not have done it before.

“There’s also enjoying that community spirit. Talking to other gardeners, learning from other gardeners. We also have regular morning teas that foster the interchange of gardening ideas across our broad ethnic backgrounds.

“When someone is away (on holidays) we water each other’s plots. Or we share a punnet of seedlings if you have too many. It builds a sense of camaraderie.”

Graeme said anyone interested in joining Waverley Community Gardens could contact new president Linda Curnow (0404 448 202) or drop in at the gardens in Jamboree Lane.

“There’s usually someone there,” he said.



If you don’t have space for your own garden, or you’re looking for a gardening group to join, consider joining a local community garden.

Waverley Community Gardens

Jamboree Lane, Ashwood.

Phone: Linda Curnow 0404 448 202


There’s probably a garden group in your neighbourhood:

Phone: 9807 3589


Council's Sustainable Monash team has lots of great information and ideas about how to live more sustainably in Monash. This includes reducing food waste, growing gardens that support local wildlife, and composting.