10 Feb

Vera’s green thumbs transform suburban garden

Published: 2017-02-10
Vera Vegetable Garden

SUMMER CROPS ARE IN: Vera Marshall’s tomato plants are in and looking good. Her four children are now adults but, as a solo mum, she always grew vegetables to help sustain her family.

In the three years she’s lived there, she has transformed the garden from tidy but bare, to a suburban oasis boasting a vegetable garden, ornaments and a colourful array of flowers.

“I just love gardens,” the former painter and landscaper says. “I like pottering around and making something out of nothing. 

“My family say to me ‘You do so much; what happens if you have to move out?’ But it doesn’t matter to me what property I go to – I’ll always do them up.”

Vera says she can visualise how she wants a garden to look as soon as she sees it and while hers now looks a million dollars, it’s hardly cost her a cent.

“I’ve traded bacon and egg pie for stones and dirt! To me, it’s not about the money but what you can exchange and do for each other in return.

The mother-of-four and grandmother-of-six is partially deaf and, after becoming ill in 2007, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. But that doesn’t stop her getting her hands dirty on the days she’s feeling up to it.

And Vera’s tenancy manager, Afran Khan, says it’s always a pleasure paying a visit.

“She keeps the home in immaculate condition inside and out. She takes such pride in her home and really looks after it.”