Stay up to date with the latest news...

* From our CEO
* Corporate Contributions
* New Client is Overjoyed
* From Far Away to Yesterday
* Rules of Engagement
* Staying Safe in the Garden - Slippery Paths
* Posters for Community Placement
* Have you had your latest jab?
* Backyard Biodiversity - Water Dragons
* Knock Knock?
* Ryde Garden Competition
* Diary Dates; Daffodil Day, Cherry Blossom Festival 20-22, Granny Smith Festival, ECG AGM

* Winter Newsletter 


From Our CEO

Dear All, 
At Easy Care Gardening, we have again been hit by severe wet weather, but this has not stopped our volunteers and our staff, just paused our services from time to time.
As we are approaching the end of winter, I am reminded by the quote of “ Every winter has its spring” by H Tuttle and I am looking forward to what spring brings.
Hopefully, the vegetables that I have planted in winter grow in spring.  
Our banana tree grew bananas for the first time in 16 years, but the local possums eat them.
I am always happy to share the food we grow with our native animals.
I am not sure if everyone is aware, but wish to shine a spotlight on the hard and dedicated work that Easy Care Gardening’s Meredith Kirton, the Marketing and Communications Manager, puts into every edition of the e-newsletters and seasonal publications. I hope everyone joins me in congratulating Meredith and saying a big thank you for keeping us all so well informed.
We are always looking for ideas for topics and articles. Your ideas can be sent to
We have details of a couple of invitations to put in place holders in your calendar: one to our Annual General meeting in November and another to a special volunteers’ training day in Spring.
I look forward to seeing you again in Spring.

Well wishes for the Commonwealth Games Athletes.
Warmest Regards,
Leanne Babic- CEO
Thank you to Probus Club Eastwood for having me.  See image below.

Free Tree Giveaways

Have you collected your free trees yet?  Residents from across Greater Sydney, including the Hornsby Shire, City of Ryde, Hunters Hill and Ku-ring-gai residents, are eligible to receive 4 native trees, both edible and non-edible, during August.  IndigiGrow not-for-profit nursery in La Perouse is an Aboriginal owned organisation that has been growing a range including Finger Limes, Davidson's Plum and Hairpin Banksias. 
You have to collect the trees yourself, but if you're keen, jump onto the MyServiceNSW page for more details or click onto the website here.
NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The idea behind NAIDOC goes back to a letter written by William Cooper that was aimed at Aboriginal communities and at churches. It was written on behalf of the Australian Aborigines Progressive Association, an umbrella group for a number of Aboriginal justice movements. The association gathered together a wide circle of Indigenous leaders including Douglas Nicholls, William Ferguson, Jack Patten and Margaret Tucker. In 1937 they were preparing for what would become the famous Day of Mourning in 1938. It not only sparked a very effective one-off protest. It also stimulated a national observance that was at first championed by churches, and is now a national celebration:
At ECG, Peter Cocks, our People and Culture Coordinator, challenged staff to bring along a memory, momento or morning tea contributions that celebrated our Aboriginal heritage.
Larissa brought some finger limes - the super food found in the sub-tropical forest of Northern NSW and lower Qld-3 times more potent than other related Citrus fruits; Leanne brought in carved geckos from Cooper Pedy; Peter shared some native plum jam and Bush Foods book to look through, Coralie contributed an indigenous table cloth with Dreamtime design, and Craig (who is also a chef) provided a story about working with a chef who experimented with indigenous foods and combining their tastes with European dishes.  Meredith couldn't be there on the day, so shared some pictures from the Northern Territory.  You can read more about them here.
Thanks for all your help!
Aberdeen Logo
Larissa had a wonderful day out with the team from ABRDN.  The client was overjoyed, writing on a thank you card "So very many thanks for the massive clean-up you and your volunteers achieved heartfelt appreciation to these fabulous volunteers.  You and your volunteers are the best thing that's ever happened for us. Truly!"
Mrs M, West Pennant Hills
Volunteers Dig Deep
Jennifer Nakhla was wrapped with the hard work of the Area 4 Thursday Team when they got a call out to a first time client at her garden. So grateful for the garden service, the client wrote in to saying "To Morris and all the team who came to my place...I could not believe it - it was like a miracle of kindness and creativity!  It was so heart warming to have you is still bringing so much joy. Gardeners are special people...Thank you again for the miracle."
Mrs ECG, Lindfield.

Message in a Bottle

Shuna, coordinator from Area 2, and some volunteers were sharing morning tea with ECG client Mrs L from Denistone.  Aside from the wonderful home baked scones and various other goodies, they were treated to a story.  Her husband as a small five year old lad in the UK, had posted a message in a bottle from England in about 1936.  In 1950 a fisherman in Queensland found the bottle and wrote back to "Master Thomas".  What a thrill it must have been to be contact as a young man to hear after all that time about what happened.

Stories over a cuppa are one of the loveliest aspects of the Easy Care Gardening model of care and companionship.  Have you got a tale you'd like to share?  We would love to hear it...
Safe Get Together
Please make sure you familiarise yourself with the latest guidelines around team breaks and toilet breaks.

Mask wearing in Gardens
At gardens when speaking with clients or when there is a need to enter the client’s home e.g. to assist with carrying a jug of hot water or if you need to use their amenities to wear a mask.
At all times entry to the home and contact with the client needs to be limited and please use hand sanitiser before and after entry into the home.

If your client has a hearing loss, please ensure that they can lipread and socially distance and remove your mask.
Mask wearing is not recommended when gardening- as this is unsafe and impedes vision.
Mask Wearing in Vehicles
It is recommended- not mandatory that when travelling in a vehicle with one passenger or more  that you wear masks- unless as a driver it is unsafe to do so e.g. it impedes your vision.


Staying Safe in the Garden

There are extra leeches and ticks about because of the rain.  Make sure you use Deed, Bushmans or other insect repellent containing DEET to protect yourselves from those suckers.
This is a strong chemical so try spraying it onto your pants, socks and shoes instead of your skin if you're sensitive to sprays.
Other preventative suggestions from Australian Hiker are:

Avoiding Leeches
The best way to avoid leeches is with preventive measures.

  • Wear long pants, preferably tucked in to your socks/or wear gaiters
  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt to minimise exposure and maximise protection
  • Apply DEET based insect repellent particularly to exposed skin areas
  • In areas with high Leech activity ensure that you have an enclosed shelter at nighttime to prevent them finding you while you are asleep.
  • When taking a break, pick a dry area and double check to make sure that there aren’t any Leeches were you are about to sit
Removing Leeches
Unlike ticks, removing leeches is much simpler. Essentially you have two choices:
  1. Let the little blighter(s) finish feeding and they will drop off usually around 30 minutes after they start feeding.
  2. Alternatively if you want them gone ‘now’ locate the skinny end of the leech (the head end) and with your fingernail scrape sideways. You may also need to scrape the other end off as well.
  3. Apply a disinfectant and cover the ‘bite’ area to minimise any risk of infection. I must admit that I usually don’t worry about doing this but that is purely a personal choice.

Last words
Prevention is the way to go with leeches so be aware of the areas you are travelling in and take appropriate measures to ensure that you don’t fall prey to these little blood suckers.
In the Winter Newsletter Shuna Papahatzis has written more on Working Safely in the Garden.  You can check it all out here.

Spread the Word

Do you know somewhere you could put up one of our ECG posters?

Perhaps you would like an A4 copy of this poster for your local community noticeboard, garden centre, library or community group’s newsletter?

ECG would love to get our name out more in the community.  You can help by letter box dropping flyers, or putting up a poster somewhere in your neighbourhood.

You can ask us to mail you a poster or flyers, or visit the website to download a copy here.

Fully Vaccinated

At this stage, COVID-19 vaccinations are compulsory for all volunteers, including boosters.  ECG has to keep a record of these.  At this stage Flu vaccinations are currently not mandatory for My Aged Care workers but are recommended, particularly if you are considered to be in one of the high-risk categories. These are:
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 6 months of age
  • Children from 6 months to under 5 years of age
  • People with serious health conditions (including severe asthma, diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, obesity, kidney, heart, lung or liver disease)
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged over 65 years.

Friendly Garden Critters

This Eastern Water Dragon is very interested in Sue Sawyers’ home life.

Eastern water dragons are native to the east coast of Australia around aquatic areas like creeks. 

According to Backyard Buddies, here are some Fast Facts:

  1. Eastern Water Dragons grab their food with short, thick tongues. All other Australian lizards use only their jaws to grasp food
  2. Males are very territorial and will not tolerate another mature male in the same area. They have been known to chase small dogs and even small children with their vigorous threat displays when they feel threaten

Send your story and images to Meredith.

Hello, is anyone at home?

Have you ever wondered what the procedure is if you get to a client’s place and there is no answer at the door?  Familiarise yourself with these action points and if you ever have any concerns, please call the office on 9983 1644. Saturday teams should have a copy of the emergency contacts to contact directly and should report the matter to the CEO on Monday morning.
My Patch & Proud of It!
Is your garden in the City of Ryde?  Have you ever thought of entering it in the Spring Garden Competition?  Entries are now OPEN!
This very popular community event has a unique ‘hands on’ quality and an ‘active’ nature to it. It provides the community with a chance to better our gardens and use it as a time to keep active, keep creative and establish a space of relaxation. This competition aims to showcase these amazing spaces that have brought encouragement and joy to many.
Entries close on Wednesday 31 August 2022.

Categories include:

  • Front gardens: a garden area adjacent to the street which may include an entry gate or pathway leading to the front of the residence. 
  • Back gardens: a garden area, away from the front of the residence, which may include a swimming pool, children's play area and a deck or terrace for relaxation or entertaining. 
  • Courtyard or balcony gardens: private residential garden using pots, planter boxes, ornaments, walled gardens etc. 
  • Edible gardens: vegetable gardens, fruit gardens, permaculture gardens etc. 
  • Native and habitat-friendly gardens: gardens which feature Australian native plants and include habitat elements to encourage native fauna such as birds, lizards, possums and insects. 
  • Local school gardens: gardens within local primary schools, high schools and pre-schools where students and teachers have worked together. 
  • Community gardens: garden projects where the local community, groups or community organisations have worked together. 
  • Commercial gardens: gardens within local businesses and commercial organisations e.g. hotels, retirement villages, commercial premises, small and large businesses, universities etc. 
  • Bushcare sites: for an outstanding contribution made by a group of volunteers at a recognised Bushcare site. 
  • Children’s seed growing competition*: Children can enter in the following age brackets: 3 – 7 years and 8 - 12 years. The seeds to be grown are Dwarf Sunflowers. Free seeds, pot and growing instructions will be available for collection from Eden Gardens from Sunday 31 July.
    Note: We encourage entries in the Children’s Seed Growing category to be made before Wednesday 31 August to allow for maximum seed growing time. 
Other Dates for the Diary
Cherry Blossom Festival
Have you ever been to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan?  If you're after something a little closer to home, pop by the Japanese Garden of the Auburn Botanic Gardens near Sydney on 20-28 August. The popular event usually attracts more than 90,000 people over the 10 days.  You can book daily sessions from 9am till 5pm here.  Bookings are essential.
Cherry Blossom Festival
Have you ever been to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan?  If you're after something a little closer to home, pop by the Japanese Garden of the Auburn Botanic Gardens near Sydney on 20-28 August. The popular event usually attracts more than 90,000 people over the 10 days.  You can book daily sessions from 9am til 5pm here.  Bookings are essential.
Daffodil Day
Daffodil Day is on the 24 August.  Keep an eye out for activities and fundraising events or flowers for sale.
The Granny Smith Festival

Save the Date! We are excited by the return of the Granny Smith Festival (GSF) on Saturday 15 October 2022. Get ready - you won’t want to miss it!
We have organised to have a stall as part of the Granny Smith Festival, and welcome our volunteers to be a part of the celebration.  You might want to help out on the stall, which will be set up from 9am till 3pm, handing out flyers and talking to potential volunteers about ECG. 

We are also thinking about entering the 9:30am parade, but would need lots of volunteers to march if we did this.

Please register your interest in either event or contact Meredith on the link below for more information.
Register Now
Save the Date
The Easy Care Gardening Annual General Meeting will be on 18 October 2022

Due to a glitch in our email distribution you may have got emails meant for ECG staff for a period of 2-3 days. This has been rectified.

Winter Newsletter

Our winter newsletter is out now.  Read up on our excursion, Seniors’ Festival and garden safety. Find out more about pets in the garden and also some updates on corporate volunteering, and tips on winter gardening.
View Newsletter >>
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