Kara Steedman shows the power of a positive attitude
Housing New Zealand tenant Kara Steedman has transformed a previously empty section into a highly productive garden, complete with fruit trees, native plants and vegetable gardens.
The Housing New Zealand tenant from Timaru is turning her life around after a marriage breakup, redundancies and the financial pressures that came with these challenges.
Despite these hurdles, she undertook a horticultural course at Aoraki Polytechnic and is now in her final year of studying for a Diploma in Agriculture from Lincoln University.
When she first approached Housing New Zealand just over 3 years ago, she was struggling financially and was extremely grateful to be offered a house. She wanted to express her gratitude in the way she knows best – through creativity, hard work and passion.
The section was bare, which gave Kara the perfect opportunity to create her own gardens and develop her love of landscaping, horticulture and working on the land.
Starting off with cuttings given to her by friends and family, Kara has lovingly created an impressive garden that would be the pride of any homeowner.
“I call it my labour of love,” she says.
She has grafted branches from a small plum tree with cuttings from a nectarine and apricot tree to create a multi-fruit tree in the middle of the section.
Raised beds, full of healthy vegetables, are dotted around the backyard, and the fence lines have a variety of native plants and fruit trees.
On the front lawn there’s an apple tree where passing children can get their daily fruit – Kara’s way of giving back to the community that helped her create what she calls “my sanctuary”.
After her studies, Kara hopes she will have her financial situation back on track and can leave her “oasis” for the next tenant.
Her positive attitude is simply inspiring, according to Kara’s tenancy manager, Keryn Ward.
“It’s just amazing what Kara has done. What an incredible person.”