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Caring for our Oasis in the City

DCI Gardens and Grounds

We are so fortunate to have this green oasis in the city!

However, after two years of closed borders, and therefore a lack of international traveller WWOOFing volunteers and only a small number of current garden volunteers, we need to ask for help with maintaining and caring for the land.

We would like to

  • encourage the orchard, so we have more fruit,
  • work on removing weed species, removing privet,
  • nourishing our flower offerings,
  • engage in healthy tree maintenance
  • and generally tend this oasis so that it becomes a sustainable blessing!

We really welcome volunteers, both general and those with specialised experience. We are also in discussion with an arborist regarding much-needed tree maintenance and care as well as getting help with noxious weed removal and privet.

Would you like to help us?

We need general volunteer help with:

  • weeding
  • basic pruning
  • applying natural fertiliser and mulch around fruit trees
  • raking, leaf blowing, sweeping
  • garden path clearing (especially to the fruit trees)

We need experienced volunteer help with:

  • pruning
  • lawn mowing
  • weed eating
  • hedge trimming

We need sponsorship to hire:

  • professional arborists for tree maintenance and care
  • help with removal of invasive weed species, privet, etc.

We need sponsorship for tools, supplies and services such as:

  • gardening gloves, hand tools (such as secateurs, loppers, trowels, rakes, etc.), wheelbarrow(s), ladder(s)
  • veggie, flower, plant and tree seedlings/saplings
  • garden compost: natural fertilisers; and other materials to support the garden beds
  • weed disposal where necessary, natural weed solutions, etc.
  • mower, weed eater and tool maintenance and running costs



Flower, Fruit and Veg Offerings

We like to offer the flowers, fruit and veg that we grow at our pujas for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Everyone who visits gets to enjoy the flowers, trees, shade and green space that this oasis offers.

Our Sangha, residents and sometimes visitors also enjoy the fruit and veg. The birds, bees and other insects get to enjoy the flowers, trees and so forth.

When we have great abundance, such as our grapefruit harvest, we are able to offer to those especially in need, including some who come to the centre, the Salvation Army food bank, etc.

Therefore all of the people who help contribute to the health, beauty and abundance of this green oasis get to share in the great merit of tending this mandala and of all of the benefit that it offers.

We welcome your support through volunteering, donations and prayers. Thank you!

Update on Garden Works

Update August 2022

Thank you!
Thank you to everyone who responded thus far to our request for volunteer help and sponsorship to take care of our Oasis in the City. We really appreciate each person’s offering of time and each person’s offering of funds for tools, supplies and works. It all helps.

So much has been accomplished already!
Please enjoy this update and join us in rejoicing in the progress we have been able to make as a result of everyone’s contributions, kindness and generosity.

Vegetable Garden
Our kind volunteers have helped to transform the veggie garden, rebuild rotten parts of the raised beds, clear out old plants that had gone to seed – making way for new ones, develop a new composting system and create a new raised netting cover for the main garden bed.

New Feijoa Trees
Nine new feijoa trees have been planted above the veggie garden by one of our veggie garden volunteers. In the coming years this will offer a wonderful source of fruit to be offered and enjoyed.

New Safety Handrails
Two new sturdy handrails have been installed going up the steep steps to the veggie garden by our volunteers using their carpentry skills. They also constructed a single handrail that runs along the brick path down to the Bookshop. Another volunteer helped to brace the brick pathway and fill in gaps. We hope the new handrails will offer helpful support for people using these paths.

Fruit Tree Orchard Care
Volunteers have begun clearing blackberry and long grass around and between the newer fruit trees in the upper orchard which was planted a number of years ago with a variety of younger fruit trees. We aim to create paths between the trees, mulch around the base of the trees, feed and prune them.

Professional Arborist Work
After having arborists assess the health and safety aspect of the trees at DCI, we hired professional arborists to take care of the top priority tree works. Prior to the tree works Geshe-la performed a blessing ceremony and volunteers helped to clear plants from the base of a tree.

Volunteers Clearing Privet and Weeds
We continue to slowly work on removing privet and other weeds from various parts of the gardens and grounds. We thank ALL of our volunteers, both long-term and short-term, for all of their perseverance and effort with this important work.

New Tools
Thanks to sponsorship from the DCI community, we were able to purchase more garden gloves and hand tools. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!

Path Cleaning for Safety
To help keep our paths non-slip we hired a professional service to do selected water blasting as well as apply a treatment to remove moss, mold and slippery substances from the paths, walkways, decks and driveways around the Institute. We would like to thank Mangala at House Wash New Zealand Ltd., a fellow Buddhist, for generously offering additional free professional water blasting of both driveways, clearing the drain at the top of the driveway and cleaning the gutters of the three cabins. So kind! Thank you also to our volunteers for leaf blowing of the paths. Also thank you to one of our volunteers who professionally cleared and cleaned all of the gutters on the main building of the Institute for free. We are repeatedly touched by everyone’s generosity.

Mapping and Planning
Additionally two of our volunteers are using their professional skills to work on mapping the gardens and grounds here and facilitating the development of a schedule of priorities in the different grounds areas to help smoothly facilitate volunteer efforts.

Flower and Fruit Offerings
We continue to use the beautiful flowers and fruit in the garden for puja offerings and Buddha day offerings. Even in winter we are fortunate to have an abundance of camelia trees, mandarins and grapefruit to offer!

Next Steps

Planting the Veggie Garden!

Spring is around the corner and, having cleared and tilled the veggie garden soil, and we are planning the spring planting of the veggie garden. Sponsorship of any amount towards veggie and herb seedlings and companion flower plantings for the bees, as well as some hose fittings to help with watering and anything else needed, would all be appreciated.

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