Sweltering heat did not stop hundreds of people from visiting Porthe-Eden garden in Taree to raise money for The Salvation Army.
Temperatures climbed from an overnight low of 19 degrees to 37 degrees on Saturday, November 3 but the rare opportunity to inspect the garden of acclaimed cottage garden specialists, Rod and Joy Schofield, compelled people to leave the cool of their homes for the garden at 122 Cornwall Street, Taree.
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From 9am to 4pm people visited the garden, enjoyed morning tea, shopped at plant, lolly, cake and bric-a-brac stalls and discussed garden design, construction and compost with Rod and Joy. Every purchase and donation added money to the coffers of The Salvation Army Hannam Vale – Harrington Corp, with the event raising more than $2500.
“It felt like half the town came to our garden,” Joy laughed. “It was just wonderful.”
It was amazing and so enjoyable. My head was spinning! It seemed like there was five people at a time wanting to talk and ask questions about our garden.Joy Schofield
“The feedback was so positive, so many people could not believe what we had achieved in two years.”
For 17 years the Schofield’s had opened their Victoria Street garden to the public, but a few years ago they chose to sell the property to downsize the garden. Their search for a new home and garden came to an end when they found 122 Cornwall Street.
It was a blank canvas framed with a few large trees and some murrayas and in the last few years Joy and Rod worked to create a garden that is a colourful, peaceful sanctuary.
The decision to help The Salvation Army came after learning of the growing need for their services in the community and the lack of funds available.
“We really like the Salvation Army because they share a message which is to love each other and that extends to everybody. God alone builds with bent bricks. We must learn to care for each other,” Rod said.
The Salvation Army will use the money raised at the garden open day to help families in the lead-up to Christmas.
“The need for help is growing, especially with the rising cost of electricity and fuel. We want to be there for families, we want them to know that they can come to us for help,” Major Bev Kingston said.
“We are also coming up to Christmas and that is the most stressful time for most families because of the extra expenses involved. We provide food hampers and food vouchers on top of what we ordinarily do at Christmas time and so extra funds would help us to distribute support to people at Christmas time,” retired major Jennifer Stringer said.
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