Thursday, 20 November 2014

Introducing New Garden Supervisor Vicky Barrett

Hello there!

A photo of Victoria Barrett outside in the gardens.
Photo by Brendan Murphy
Taking up the role as Community Garden's Supervisor felt like coming home for me in so many ways.

Some twenty years ago I worked as Information Officer at the Independent Living Service -  just up the drive from our garden's site.

I've also had decades with my hands in the soil, after training in a Diploma of Landscape Design and working as a self-employed landscape gardener with a team whilst raising my two children.

The year I graduated from The Diploma Of Landscape Design I signed a contract  to supply branches of Palmers with a Landscape Design Service. I grabbed my  graduate colleagues to subcontract to me and we divvied the work out between us. Two weeks later  I was approached to raise a child by adoption who arrived within a fortnight!  A joy of epic proportion as I was 39 and thought I was heading to Russia to fulfil motherhood.

Unitec had  also approached me to run weekly tutorials in landscape design, plus I was providing design  material and screen time on occasion for ‘Five Thirty with Jude'. I worked two weekdays arrival of our second baby three years later. My team continued the design work so I could focus on being a Mum for two years, returning to work when my oldest entered school. My saving grace has been a humorous husband's wonderful Scottish wit. He is also a dab hand in the kitchen and at keeping the children’s eyes twinkling.

I look back at that time juggling motherhood and work and wonder how I stayed sane! I think the answer is with great support people around me, including my incredible mum, who remains a great supporter to this day and my dad.

My landscaping career was followed by a stint at Affinity Services, an NGO that supports people who experience symptoms of mental health to connect with their community. My favourite task was working with people to turn their homes into organic gardens. The opportunity to win the hearts of  people who could then find such great satisfaction in tilling the earth to grow food, and then enjoying healthy delicious, home grown food was a true privilege.

So you can imagine my delight when I heard of the new opportunity at Dig It! This role truly combines my passions for organic gardening and working with a diverse community within a space where all people are valued and welcome. It truly feels like the perfect way to combine my passions. What an amazing place to work!

I’d really like to thank all of the people who are part of the Dig It! family, who’ve really made me feel very welcome. There is an amazing team, network of supporters and dedicated volunteers who can feel very proud to be connected to this wonderful space.

If you haven’t been down to the gardens lately, we would love to see you. After a lot of hard work, the beds are really beginning to flourish. The broad beans are particularly good – come down and try them! You’ll find lots of different and inexpensive ways to get your own home garden bursting to life, or connect with opportunities to get involved at Dig It!

I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you to come down and meet myself and my gentle garden dog Louie.

I look forward to meeting you or hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,


Louie looks forward to meeting you!


  1. Recently I have been using my garden to get into composting. I find it helps me recycle my food waste more effectively, and has made a difference to making my garden more eco-friendly. I'm hoping it will make a difference to my fruit and veg plants, hopefully I will see results soon.

    Norberto @ Thorburn Landscapes

  2. That they are going to dispose your waste off. They will be in a much better position to have the entire junk picked up and disposed in a correct and responsible manner. Is it illegal to dump garden waste

  3. Push reel mowers are lightweight, easy to use and gives your lawn that golf course look. Owning a push reel mower is an important part of organic gardening. Light deprivation greenhouse