St Mary by the Sea Community Garden

Your Community garden in Torbay

Community Garden

Your Community garden in Torbay

St Mary by the Sea Community Garden began in November 2020.

Welcome to the family of enthusiastic gardeners at St Mary’s community garden. You are exploring what it would be like, to be a privileged plot (allotment) custodian. These notes will help answer any queries or questions you may have and help you to enjoy your plot as well as the company of your fellow gardeners.

Your commitment is to maintain your plot and the area of the garden surrounding it, respect other plots and their custodians, and do your part in building a friendly, peaceful and vibrant community garden here at St Mary by the Sea.

The garden operates on an allotment system. Specific plots are placed in the care of specific individuals or families who act as custodians of their plot while it is allotted to them. Each plot is an integral part of the vibrant St Mary’s garden community. The expectation of each plot custodian is that they will take responsibility for their own plot, as well as do their bit to ensure the proper maintenance and care of allotment as a whole, for example, by taking part in working bees, maintaining paths, clearing fence lines of weeds and vines, being a tidy neighbour, etc.

Guidelines for how to be a good custodian of the community garden

  • Don’t lose your plot. To maintain continuity of your plot allocation is simple … look after it! If you will be away for an extended period, or if you want to downsize your plot, or relinquish it, contact Nanette to arrange a plan. If a plot is obviously being neglected, Nanette will contact you to discuss the matter. Our expectation is that all the plots will be fully utilised during the Spring/Summer growing period.
  • Take pride in your community garden. Demonstrate this by putting tools and wheelbarrows away, placing all garden refuse in the bins or on the compost heap, keeping pathways and fence lines adjacent to your plot weed-free.
  • St Mary’s community garden is an organic garden. The use of snail bait or any chemical which is not organic is expressly forbidden. Please try to ensure that everything you bring into the garden is bio-degradable, organic, and safe for the environment and animals.
  • Each custodian is to use either their own, or the communal compost bins for weeds/excess from their plot. Do not throw your weeds into another custodian’s bin.
  • Invasive weeds such as bindweed, oxalis, wandering willie, onion weed, kikuyu grass and twitch (couch) should be placed in the communal black bin, where they can slowly die.
  • Use only a watering can or cup in a bucket to water your garden.
  • Please ensure that you regularly pick up any pieces of rubbish you encounter. Place these in the general rubbish bins provided by St Mary’s for this purpose. General rubbish such as plastic pot plant containers, bottles, glass, old bits of carpet etc should be placed in the appropriate wheelie bin.
  • Never take produce or plants/cuttings from another custodian’s garden without permission.
  • Be a good custodian and keep the area around your plot tidy and weed free. Don’t extend your garden beyond the limits of your plot. Take initiative and water plants in communal areas (such as the trees and shrubs) and do give some time to weed communal areas such as the pathways.
  • Keep to other guidelines as they are developed

How the Community Garden Works

  • Attend the AGM, on the first Sunday in August at 3pm. The next AGM is Sunday 4th August 2024 @ 3pm, in the St Mary by the Sea Studio.
  • You are expected to come along to working bees. We schedule two working bees each year, on a Saturday, one in April and one in September. There will be a couple more initially to help set up the garden.
  • St Mary by the Sea’s toilets are available Mon-Thr 10am – 2pm.
  • Please contact Nanette or any other committee member if you wish to provide any questions, comments or suggestions.

Your committee

Chair Dion Blundell

Secretary Nanette Randall

Treasurer Duncan Miller

Co-ordinator Nanette Randall

Facebook Nanette Randall

Committee Barbara Scanlan
Committee Oliver Liddell
Committee Margaret Rocard ‭
Committee Trevor Stafford

Committee members are appointed at each AGM.

Expression of Interest Form

Would you like to explore being part of the community garden?

If so, fill out the form below and we will be in touch with you.

All the details you’ve just read are available in our PDF brochure here.


St Mary by the Sea - vertical Logo - wave logo with a cross in it - St Mary by the Sea below
The Tindall Foundation Logo - a stylistic cartoon kauri tree - with the words - The Tindall Foundation
The Tindall FOundation Logo: a cartoon tree to the let, and white words to the right - The Tindall Foundation

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