Bruce’s interest in gardening in Yallambee Village was accidental. He said it all started when a mango plant was transferred from Chester Hill Village to Yallambee Village. This mango plant was planted in front of his unit. Soon residents came around his unit and started discussing about the mango plant and gardening with him. Consequently, Bruce’s past interest in gardening was rekindled.

Before he moved to Yallambee Village he had a rose garden which was mainly taken care of by his late wife who was passionate about roses. His interest was mainly on flowering and citrus plants. He said that he used to nail copper nails to the trunk of lemon tree to produce more fruits and it always worked.

Bruce bought soil, seeds, plants and 30 stakes to set up a garden area around the mango plant. He said that he was also encouraged by the management to expand his gardening interest. Bruce was given compost, seasol to nourish the soil and rose plants which made him very happy.

Once he realised the garden bed was well established, he tried his hands on a vege garden. He started growing cherry tomatoes, cucumber and chili. Unfortunately, as soon as his plants started to grow the possums would get to them first. Disheartened by this, Bruce finally had to give up on his vege garden.

When asked about his knowledge of gardening he said he would spend his time doing research using his phone to educate himself. He said, “I found that banana peels were good for rose plants and the best time to grow roses.” He collects empty milk bottles from the kitchen, cuts them to sizes and grows plants from seeds as he grew more confident. The mango plant had its first fruit in March 2024, and it was a proud moment for Bruce. He generously offered the mango to a resident who sat at his dinner table.