Bunnings Warehouse visits Betty Searle House

28 September 2016

Samantha Hayes

Samantha is a Tenancy Assistant with YWCA Canberra's Housing Support Unit

Although Canberra has had an unusually wet winter and spring this year, the ladies at bunnings-pic-cropped-00000003YWCA Canberra’s Betty Searle House are planning for a hot summer.

The eight women love their garden, but the question of sufficient watering, especially around the veggie patch, was debated at a house meeting earlier in the year. The ladies are all over 50, and getting around the garden with an enormously long hose in the heat was creating an issue for some. Not only was the physical labour getting strenuous, but hand watering is not the most energy efficient way to get the strawberries blooming and spinach shooting.

We all put on our thinking caps, and we were lucky enough to receive an offer of support from Bunnings Warehouse Fyshwick.

Perhaps, ironically, on one of the wettest days in September, Bunnings team members Lesley, Emily and John arrived at Betty Searle House to install a drip watering system in the garden beds, complete with a large screen automatic timer.

Emily did most of the garden work. She expertly showed me how boiling water could be used to soften the rubber joints to fit together into a drip system that lies flat on the soil, going over hard edges and corners, and then pegged down with metal arches. Not only did she build in the rain, but she cheerfully worked around an overly friendly magpie who watched us intently, darting at each sod of soil we dared move.

Meanwhile inside the house, John was working on another house improvement project, with assistance from one of our occupants, Marie. With eight women living together things can get tight, and the communal store room had no shelving at all. The ladies needed space for luggage, Christmas decorations, craft boxes and clothes bags. Fortunately, we had Bunnings to the rescue! John expertly built two sets of shelves with a third set ear marked for the shed.

The ladies at Betty Searle House and YWCA Canberra wish to thank Bunnings Warehouse Fyshwick, with special thanks to Lesley, who organised the donation of watering equipment and shelving, as well as arranging for staff to do the work.

What are you growing in your garden? Do you have a drip watering system? When is it best to water? Please let us know, as we are keen green thumbs.

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