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July e-news

We have been experiencing highs and lows this month, with our organisation featuring on Gardening Australia, and then shortly afterwards being a Sydney based group, all having to negotiate the latest Stay At Home orders and COVID-19 safety measures. 


* COVID-19 Wrap-up
* Welcome to our new CEO
* Happy Birthday Messages
* The wonderful world of plants
* Awards reminder
* Flag reminder
*  Winter Newsletter 
Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia catching up with Gloria at her home in Pennant Hills. She absolutely loved the experience.  What did you think? This is what Costa had to say.

A wonderful program called Easy Care Gardening Inc is bringing garden volunteers to the gardens of our elders and less able so they can stay and enjoy the gardens they love.  We  get a chance to introduce you to a group of the volunteers, their coordinator and the wonderful resident Gloria whose garden they visit once every season to do some of the hard yards that she is not capable of staying on top of now that she is firing away into her ninth decade.”

if you missed the show, you can watch it back on iview or online, and if you want to see more of the behind the scenes pictures from the day, check out our blog post.

As you know Easy Care Gardening paused its gardening service this week in response to the current stay at home health orders. This gave us time to thoughtfully and thoroughly consider how to navigate our way through these trying times. 
We are very pleased to inform you that we will be able to restart gardening next week, from Monday July 5th. 

We have been in contact with our funder and the NSW Department of Health. Easy Care Gardening is confident that the plan we have put in place:
  • is compliant with the current health orders
  • protects our clients while still delivering our service 
  • safeguards the health and safety of our volunteers and staff
Volunteers will be contacted in the near future regarding your availability given the controls that we have temporarily put in place.
Next week we intend to start up our gardening service again, with the following controls in place. Further controls may be added as required.

1. Volunteers should no Ionger travel in ECG vehicles. This is to facilitate social distancing and is for the protection of both the volunteers and members of staff.

2. Mulch delivery will be reduced. Team members will be required to travel in separate vehicles, and to ensure social distancing when shovelling and loading the trailer. This may reduce the number of deliveries available each week

3. Only team leaders or coordinators will have contact with the client. They must wear a mask when talking to the client, and maintain a distance of 1.5 meters or more.

4. Volunteers and staff may not enter a client's home nor their out buildings. We understand that this may cause challenges and suggest downloading the National Public Toilet Map app

5. Morning/ afternoon tea with clients is cancelled until further notice. This is to protect both volunteers and clients - many of whom live with more than one risk factor. Volunteers should bring their own beverage and snack if needed.

6. The maximum number of volunteers at any address is 10 people. ln order to ensure that the maximum of 10 is not exceeded, you will need to RSVP to your coordinator or team leader for each session. lf the garden is very small, the team size may need to be limited even further. Your team leader or coordinator will advise when this is the case.

7. Current health orders must be complied with at all times. Health orders especially relevant in the garden are social distancing and hand and cough hygiene. Please note vou are NOT required to wear a mask while gardening if you maintain adequate social distance. Of course you have the option of wearing a mask if you choose to do so.

8. You may only attend a garden if you do not have any Covid symptoms and are not required to self-isolate. We ask that you use this link on the day of your shift to ensure that to you are compliant with any health order updates.

Please stay safe and well. Thank you for your patience, understanding and continued support of Easy Care Gardening.

Meet our new CEO, Leanne Babic.

We are all really excited to be welcoming Leanne to our fold.  Frank Windeyer,  President ECG, reported "I am very pleased to report that we have appointed Leanne Babic as our new CEO to fill the position vacated by Glenn."

Leanne's LinkedIn profile says that she is "passionate about transforming people's lives by fostering client and family/carer inclusion and collaboration relationships in the client's own care." and is "motivated by achieving great health outcomes for children and adults through evidenced- based research and best practice models."

Please make her welcome when she starts with us on the 12th July.
Leanne Babic, the new CEO of Easy Care Gardening Incorporated.


I was born in Adelaide, the granddaughter of two Australian WWII veteran grandfathers who instilled in me the importance of community service from an early age.  I qualified as a speech pathologist from Flinders University in 1990. I then completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Audiology with the University of Queensland in 1994, a Graduate Diploma of Management with Central Queensland University in 1998 and a Master of Philosophy (Audiology) in 2006 from the University of Queensland.  


After 30 years of managing health and disability programs for the Commonwealth Government, Not-For-Profits, and Corporates in three different Australian States (SA, QLD, and NSW), I was motivated and inspired to join Easy Care Gardening (ECG). A respected organisation with a proud history, caring tradition, and record of successful service to four local council areas in Sydney. 


My experience has helped me to understand that all sustainable changes ultimately need to be driven and supported at a local community level. By providing gardening services to aged persons and their carers, ECG is responding to local community needs and demands. In addition, by assisting residents to maintain independence in their homes, ECG is helping to preserve the character of neighbourhoods and builds community spirit.  


I am very excited and honoured to be joining ECG on Monday, 12 July 2021, and I look forward to meeting and working with you. Please be assured of my support, cooperation, and commitment to the ongoing success of ECG.”

100th Birthday
Happy birthday Norma.  Congratulations on your Centenary.  Jennifer Nakhla and Meredith Kirton visited St. Ives client Norma O'Connell on Wednesday just prior to her birthday.  On display where the various congratulatory cards, including one from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, another from the Governor-General  His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), and one from Her Majesty the Queen.

Norma said "how grateful I am for the wonderful help from ECG that has enabled me to stay at home and keep it looking so respectable. It becomes so much more important as you are able to do less yourself."

Pictured below is one of Norma's fabulous Camellias in flower for her birthday.  To read more about the ECG team at their work, check out our blog post.
Larissa Hansen, Area 3 Coordinator and horticulturist from Easy Care Gardening chatted with Andy Park and Costa Georgiadis about Easy Care Gardening.  You can listen here by going to the 18th June and fast forward an hour and fifteen (1:15) till you get to 4:45pm. 
Nominations for NSW Volunteers of the Year are drawing to a close.  If you want to put forward a team, or team member, you can do so here.

Nominations close 5pm Friday 9 July, 2021.


Have you ever seen Spanish Moss as magnificent?  This macadamia tree is literally dripping with this Tillandsia, which is also called Old Man's Beard.

If you have an incredible plant you'd like to share, we would love to see it.  You can post them in, or reply to this email, or post them onto our Facebook page.
Tools of the Trade
Our workshop was postponed. Details of the new time will be made available ASAP.
Don't forget, you can check out our tool 'kit'
here for information on looking after your tools.

Pruning Tips: Shortcuts to success

Pruning is a great chance to remove dead, dying or diseased growth, shape your plants, keep them bushy, remove old flowers or promote new growth. The basic points to always follow are:

1. Use clean, sharp tools.

2. Choose the right tool for the job - branches less than finger thickness are perfect for secateurs, less than pencil thickness you can use long-bladed shears and bigger than a broomstick you will need a pruning saw. Telescopic handles can make all the difference to getting those higher branches, but really tall plants may need pruning poles and loppers.

3. A little snip often is easier to keep plants in check, but if you can't manage that, a hard prune in winter is suitable for many screening shrubs like photinia, hibiscus, oleander and viburnum.

4. Keeping hedges clipped at waist height is easier to manage than higher hedges as it's a natural stance to work on them.

5. If in doubt about how much to remove, use the thirds rule: No more than 1/3 at once. This can be 1/3 off the top, or 1/3 from the sides.

Banners Waving
Teams should now have a banner to place outside each garden during maintenance.  If you're unsure how to assemble it click here, and if you'd like a banner and have missed out, let your coordinators know.  It's a great way to promote us, and start a conversation with people as they walk by.  If you missed out and want one for your team, let us know here.
Let’s Talk - Later!
Although the July talks have been postponed, we'd still like to make plans for later. If you belong to a group or organisation that might like to hear about Easy Care Gardening and the work our fabulous volunteers do, contact Meredith Kirton to arrange a suitable time.  She can talk about creating an 'Easy Care Garden', how volunteers contribute, and what a difference it makes to our clients.

Become a Volunteer
Not a volunteer yet?  Know someone who might want to help out? Sign up to Easy Care Gardening from as little 3 hours a month and help someone live independently. Check out our website here.

Find us online

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date with all the latest Easy Care Gardening information and events or on our website.
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