In 2020, the world stopped for the COVID-19 pandemic - but the Baysie Rollers didn't!
Following the success of our Street Fest in 2019, we had some great events in the pipeline for 2020, but sadly, were unable to deliver them when the pandemic hit.
To help our community feel connected during this period of isolation, we put on the best Bayswater physically-distanced event we could think of - a verge gardening competition!
We know that Bayswater residents are keen gardeners, and there was plenty of home gardening activity happening during the pandemic!
Kicking off in April 2020, Bayswater residents were invited to submit photos of their beloved verge gardens. Our competition categories were 'Best Verge Garden', 'Best Edible Verge Garden', and 'Popular Vote' (or 'people's choice'). The prizes up for grabs were vouchers for local Bayswater businesses - a win-win for everyone during what was a financially difficult time for many businesses.
With gardens voted on by our expert judging panel, and by the public, our incredible winners were announced in May. Check out their gardens below.
A big thank you to our judges, Jacqueline Gratton from Seed Station (edible garden expert), Monica Main, presenter of Suburban Farm Yarn on RTRFM (gardening guru) and Novak DeJong from Bayswater Landscapes (landscaping whiz).
Our prizes were partially donated by local businesses, and part-funded by the Department of Communities. Thanks to Miaflora Garden Centre, Slab & Garden City, King Somm and Drip Expresso for your generosity.
Welcome to Rhiannon & Johnny's little haven. They moved to Bayswater in 2015 to raise their family and when we met them in 2020, had a toddler, a dog, and the newest addition to the family yet, their beautiful bub!
Rhiannon is a horticulturalist by trade and decided to put her skills to use to replace their plain verge. What started out as a lawn with two native trees has been transformed into something unrecognisable. Inspired by her time living in the Kimberley, layers, levels, depth, texture, and functionality were all added to the space, and is truly a beautiful spot to sit and relax in. The bench was also added in memory of Johnny's grandmother and the couple plan to add a plaque.
The garden was only finished 3 weeks before our competition, with the COVID-19 lockdown prompting action and neighbour involvement. They bonded with their neighbours who helped whilst Rhiannon was heavily pregnant. Luckily, helpful neighbours and a hands-on Johnny completed most of the grunt-work.
Rhiannon and Johnny often see strangers sitting on the bench enjoying the view and the peace in this beautiful and functional space.
Rhiannon & Johnny won $200 to spend at Miaflora Garden Centre and a $50 voucher for King Somm Wine Bar and Store.
Vittoria’s verge garden is truly a work of love.
In 2020, Vittoria had been living in Bayswater for 57 years. Her husband, Otto, was the gardener in the family for most of that time, creating the first verge garden in Bayswater. When he became ill, Vittoria took over the garden to help keep him smiling.
Otto passed in 2014, and the garden still thrives.
A plaque erected by their neighbours in Otto’s honour reads:
“Extraordinary gardener, lover of animals and nature, a gentle, happy person. Otto with his wife Vittoria were the original verge gardeners of Bayswater.
“𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘖𝘵𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘯 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘵.”
Not only did Vittoria’s garden win 'Best Edible Garden' in our COVID-19 Verge Garden Competition, it has also been honoured twice by the City of Bayswater.
Vittoria grows garlic, silver beet, chicory, broccoli, fennel, basil, bay leaves, figs, pomegranates, mulberries, artichokes and so much more – including popcorn!
She spends time every day in her garden, and is happy to share her produce and gardening tips with anyone who comes to ask. Neighbours have even moved into the area to be close to her garden!
Vittoria received a $100 voucher for Slab & Garden City, and a $50 voucher for Drip Expresso Bar for her efforts.
Sally's garden is so full of interesting things to look at and interact with, you might stand there long enough to make friends with her.
In 2020 Sally had lived in Bayswater with her family for about 10 years and got into gardening through her job. A geologist by trade she has an interest and understanding of how to turn 'Bayswater sand' into fertile soil.
Not only does her garden have planters with herbs that, once established are for anyone to pick, she also has a pebble pond for bees and lizards to drink from, a book library, community compost bin AND a trolley where people can donate and swap things.
For Sally, getting into her garden every day not only gives her the chance to relax and unwind, it also connects her with her neighbours and provides her with things that generally cost more when bought at the shops. Her front yard is full of edibles and she loves trying to grow new and different things.
If you live in the area, go a check out her garden, borrow a book or pick some herbs. It even has a spot for ground nesting bees to hide and hibernate in.
Sally won a $100 King Somm Wine Bar and Store voucher and $50 voucher for Drip Expresso Bar.