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Nellie's native garden blooms

Written by Margot Taylor
on June 09, 2020

A quiet corner at the front of Nellie Melba Retirement Village has been transformed into a grassy woodland following the planting of more than 2000 native plants by residents and staff.

The ‘Muyan’ garden, in the corner of Collegium Ave and Brandon Park Drv, was officially opened during National Reconciliation Week (27 May-June 3).

John Flynn village manager, Roslyn Prentice, who is based at Nellie Melba while that village is being built, said ‘Muyan’ is the Wurundjeri name for the silver wattle plant.


“This tree has special meaning to the indigenous populations – many parts of the tree can be used, it keeps the community strong, alive and healthy just as the elders do with their wisdom and experience,” she said.

The garden is home to more than 20 species of native plants, bird and possum nesting boxes, and logs and stones to encourage lizards.

IMG_9938About 10 residents helped plant the Muyan garden.

It is hoped the garden will be frequented by residents and wildlife alike, Roslyn said.

“Muyan provides a destination for all our residents to enjoy but particularly for our less mobile residents to walk through.  They can take a seat on the benches and enjoy the flora and the bird life or just watch the world go by.”

Nellie Melba resident Harry Sherrard (pictured above), who previously worked as a gardener, said about 10 residents and staff worked “very hard” for five days to create the space.

IMG_9772 (Large)Nellie Melba resident Heather Poppenbeek puts her green thumbs to good use. 

“The benefits will be really seen when the plants start to grow and thrive,” Harry said.

“Actually, I’ve noticed too that there are a lot of lorikeets in the nearby oak trees so hopefully it isn’t long before they start to inhabit the new garden.”

The garden was designed in consultation with the City of Monash as part of their Gardens for Wildlife Program, which aims to support local organisations and businesses to plant native flora.

The Muyan garden will be maintained by village residents and staff.

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