Enthusiastic and caring volunteers rejuvenate the Poole Creek Amberwood garden

(The dedicated gardeners who have kept Ross Connor’s oriental themed garden thriving at the Poole Creek Amberwood location were busy on June 24th. They took time out from their day of maintaining and pruning to recognize the committed volunteers and donors with an etched stone placed in the garden. l-r back: Rowan Spence, Lindsay, Melissa Tripp, Christine Casey, Linda Fong, Faith Silver, Barb Robson, Micheline Simpson and Kirsty Edwards. l-r front: Brinley Fisk, Scarlett Tripp, Grayson Fisk, Carl Armstrong-Lenz. Photos: Kirsty Edwards)

A new volunteer community association has been formed to maintain and care for the garden in Amberwood started by Ross Connor over 30 years ago. The group have called themselves the Poole Creek Amberwood Garden. The committed group of volunteers have been out clearing and cleaning the garden area over several weeks. These volunteers have donated 96 hours of their time dedicated to direct garden work carrying on the legacy that Ross left when he passed away.

Ross Connor was a local artist and gardener with a passion for both that no-one could surpass. He was one of the inaugural enthusiastic participants of Art in the Park. The oriental themed garden was begun by the late Ross Connor – it was his living art project. The garden was his pride and joy, spending many long hours choosing the right plants, then grooming and pruning them with his artistic flair. He added Japanese Netsuke to enhance the oriental theme. Walkers and cyclists would often stop along the Poole Creek Pathway to admire Ross’ garden and have a chat if he happened to be there. Many horticultural clubs would make a point of adding the garden as a stop to visit during their garden tours.

(The volunteers could be found busy in the garden on June 24, 2023. l-r:
Scarlett Tripp, Christine Casey, Brinley Fisk, Micheline Simpson, Melissa Tripp, Rowan Spence)

Kirsty Edwards, a garden committee member, shared with us, “It was originally created by Ross Connor as a Japanese Garden. After he passed away, there was a need for the community to step up and support/ maintain the garden. The call was sent out and the community answered. This is our first year as a community volunteer group and boy have we made progress! Yesterday, June 24th, we officially installed a rock inscription at the site to acknowledge the community volunteer contribution.”

The volunteers have not only spent 96 hours working in the garden, but time has been spent sourcing plants and testing equipment, as well as planning and organizing. Thanks to donors who have provided the ability to purchase the supplies necessary, donations are always gratefully accepted. The combination of volunteer support and donations have greatly added to the success of maintaining the garden.

(Visitors have a beautiful vista of flowers, shrubs and trees to enjoy along the Poole Creek Amberwood pathway.)

On June 24th, the committee of volunteers were pleased to be able to lay a stone to acknowledge the volunteers and donors who have contributed so much love and care to the Poole Creek Amberwood Garden.

“The progress and commitment to the garden as we bring the community together is heartwarrming,” said Kirsty.

If you want to donate your time or funds, reach out to the group at: PCAGvolunteers@gmail.com. You can also join the group on Facebook and become a part of a continuing a legacy.

The Poole Creek Amberwood garden is a legacy of love and we are pleased to see it live on through the commitment of the many volunteers and donors who continue to grow Ross’ beautiful garden.

(Carol Armstrong-Lenz is one of the dedicated volunteers who began the committee to continue the legacy of Ross Connor.)

2 thoughts on “Enthusiastic and caring volunteers rejuvenate the Poole Creek Amberwood garden”

  1. I would like to correct the information that you have been given. I bought the Ross’s house in 2017. Five neighbours and myself formed a committe to look after the garden. We had a fund raiser at Ale, a sale of donated art works by local artists. Sufficient funds were raised to support the the gardens requirements for two to three years. The last two and a half years with the help of a gardener, I took over the funding and responsibility got the garden with the help of a professional gardener.In 2022, because of the passing of my wife and other personal pursuits, I gave up the responsibility th the volunteer group. During my period of responsibility, improvements were made and many compliments were received by passerbys. I resent the implications that the garden had deteriorated. In fact the garden was conceived as being Japanese. The new committee has strayed from this theme and no longer has the Japanese feeing. I am sending this email on the first of September, 2023, as of the last four weeks nothing has been done maintenance of the garden, it over run with weeds and dead flowers. So much for the work of the committee. It has become an eyesore and a disgrace to The memory of Ross.

    1. Myron, if you have any further comments about how the community has come together to continue to tend to the garden, please send them to PCAGvolunteers@gmail.com. The article did not say that the garden had deteriorated. By no means was the intent of the article to dismiss the hours of work and financial commitment from 2017-2022, with thanks to you and other volunteers. The article was to highlight and raise awareness so others in the community could come together to assist in the task of the garden. We have put in many hours as a collective and we have 2 clean up events booked – September 23 and October 14. I do not agree that the garden is an eyesore and I recommend that you cheer on the volunteers that have taken on the challenge to tend to the garden by dedicating their own time. Many of them that don’t live close to the garden but feel it’s something that will be enjoyed by others. Thank you, Kirsty Edwards

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