Guardian Childcare & Education

Warrandyte Road’s Community Garden Project

7th December 2017

Warrandyte Road Early Learning Centre's community garden

What started as a seed of an idea has now bloomed into a thriving community garden at Warrandyte Road Early Learning Centre. Several years ago, Centre Manager Janene Melchior had a plan to start a community garden at the front of their Doncaster East centre.

Janene says, “The plan was not very clear at the start, I just knew I wanted something closer to our kitchen. A place more for herbs and smaller veggies. I knew that I wanted not just our kitchen and children to use and attend the garden but families and the wider community; perhaps beginning with trips to our neighbours with home grown herbs and or seeds and then hopefully the word spreading that people could come and take, plant, offer advice, help and more.”

Warrandyte Road Early Learning Centre's community gardenHowever, the garden did not come into fruition straight away. In fact, it took a year of planning with the team going into in depth discussions on whether a vertical garden or plants planted in pots would be better, what plants would be planted and how they would go about it.

One day Guardian’s Sustainability Manager, Jan Rajnoch, emailed over a suggestion of a product called Hubz. Janene knew right away that these were exactly what they were after for their community garden. Janene ordered these as well as some seedling pots and potting tables but due to time getting away from them, the Hubz, seedling pots and potting tables sat for months. That’s until Lauren, the centre’s Educational Leader, decided to bring this project to life.

Warrandyte Road Early Learning Centre's community garden

“Lauren ordered soil, rocks, seedlings and the additional decorations such as outdoor cushions, fairy lights, a blackboard and even a small table top greenhouse and compost bin,” says Janene. She then had the children help her with filling up the hubs with soil and planting them with the assistance some of the mothers after their Mother’s Day afternoon tea.

Creating connections – Where we hope that people will gather to grow things, to nurture, to share, to find a sanctuary of quiet space or create community connections, to delight in nature and in the simple joy of watching something grow.

The Community Garden Today

The garden is now flourishing and has sparked many conversations with families at the centre and has opened up channels of communication between people who may not have spoken before. The garden has provided herbs for cooking and has even had some self-confessed gardening fans offering advice and assistance.

Warrandyte Road Early Learning Centre's community garden

Warrandyte Road Early Learning Centre's community garden

Janene says, “Our next step will be a small excursion to walk the neighbourhood with cuttings from the garden to give to families and to places such as the non-profit café Now And Not Yet in Warrandyte.”

“This project has been a reminder for us to not give up on projects and that it’s okay to stop, revisit and yes, take two years to get a dream off the ground.”

There’s a saying “from the acorn grows the mighty oak”, and from this community garden project a number of other projects have sprouted. Janene adds, “It’s inspired other projects for us, such as a street library and a last-minute kitchen with non-perishable goods for families who forgot to get dinner and find it difficult to get some on the way home when the children are with them.”

Warrandyte Road Early Learning Centre has truly embedded themselves into their local community and from these experiences are helping children to develop into community minded citizens. We are looking forward to hearing how this community garden progresses!

To learn more about this early learning centre in Doncaster East and to book a tour, head here.

Warrandyte Road Early Learning Centre's community garden

Find your Centre to Enrol

Or use your current location

Top Recent Articles

Guardian Childcare & Education brand refresh news

Guardian Has Some Exciting Projects Launching in 2019

In Conversation with Monique Dowd Centre Manager of Taringa

In Conversation with Amanda Ruddock Centre Manager of St Clair

In the Kitchen: Elaine’s Coconut, Quinoa and Oat Cereal Bar Recipe

In Conversation with Megan Burgess Centre Manager of Blackburn Village






  • June 2019 (6)
  • May 2019 (1)
  • January 2019 (1)
  • 2018

  • December 2018 (2)
  • November 2018 (3)
  • October 2018 (4)
  • September 2018 (3)
  • August 2018 (4)
  • July 2018 (9)
  • June 2018 (9)
  • May 2018 (7)
  • April 2018 (6)
  • March 2018 (8)
  • February 2018 (7)
  • January 2018 (9)
  • 2017

  • December 2017 (10)
  • November 2017 (13)
  • October 2017 (12)
  • September 2017 (13)
  • August 2017 (15)
  • July 2017 (14)
  • June 2017 (18)
  • May 2017 (23)
  • April 2017 (17)
  • March 2017 (28)
  • February 2017 (22)
  • January 2017 (5)
  • 2016

  • December 2016 (4)
  • June 2016 (1)
  • May 2016 (1)
  • March 2016 (2)
  • February 2016 (2)
  • January 2016 (1)
  • 2015

  • July 2015 (1)
  • Looking for the right Childcare Centre for your Family?

    Submit your details and a member of our Concierge Team will be in touch to discuss what you need and how we can help you experience something more than childcare.

    We'll be in touch soon.


    *Mandatory Fields