“The garden that saved my life”

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Ray and Sandy Summers, both in their mid 60s, have spent a lifetime working outdoors, with Ray previously employed as a farm manager in New Guinea and managing gardens in schools and retirement villages in Australia.

“When the doctor told me I had to stop working to save my health I thought it was the end of the world for me, I thought what’s there to do now?,” Ray said.

The couple knew they had to change the way they were living. They had friends living at Ingenia Lifestyle The Grange who were constantly asking them when they were coming to the community, and one day, three years ago they finally did.

“We had a look at a home, walked inside and that was it! We moved in and loved the lifestyle.

“Instead of feeling sorry for myself after retirement I got the garden going. A friend dropped around a wooden boat and we filled it up with potting mix, flowers and plants.

“We have memorial plants for Sandy’s mum and dad as well as my mum. I have a cutting of a 138 year old rose from the early 1800’s. My dad bought it home for mum, but now I look after it.

“Our new lifestyle has made me realise there’s another life after work and I can keep occupied with paddle boarding, fishing or gardening.