RESIDENTS at a Mount Evelyn residential care facility got quite a surprise when a group of 30 volunteers gave their tired and overgrown garden a backyard blitz.
The Lara Court complex — run by the Mount Evelyn-based Melba Disability Support Services — has a small backyard that had become overgrown with weeds and grass.
It had been rendered too uneven and degraded for use by the residents in wheelchairs.
Volunteers from the Mount Evelyn Church of the Latter Day Saints spent four hours one Saturday last month to repaint the back fence, remove weeds and level out the yard so residents could use the space again.
Lara Court manager Mara Robertson said that when the volunteers arrived residents Scott, Adrian and Dianne kept a close eye on the work in progress from the deck.
"The volunteers worked hard to paint our entire back fence, setting a rustic backdrop for the garden as well as weeding all garden beds, paving, planting, pruning and grading.
"We couldn't believe how much they achieved by lunch time," she said.
Tammy Smith, who works as a carer at Lara Court, said the garden was a mess before the volunteers came.
"It looks great to us, compared to what it was," said Ms Court. "We've got one person who walks, all the others are in wheelchairs, so we couldn't really get them out there."
Lara Court houses six residents with high-support disabilities.