Christchurch garden 'back up to scratch' after random attack

Christchurch garden

Murray Freeman's front yard is looking better than ever nearly a week after vandals senselessly destroyed his much loved Christchurch garden.

The flowers have been replanted, salvageable plants were put back in place and everything was "right back up to scratch" Freeman said.

His prized rhododendrons had fortunately not been ruined and stood tall outside the Redwood property.

Freeman had started work to restore the garden immediately after the attack which left his treasured blooms scattered all over the lawn, snapped from their roots outside his Lowry Ave home.

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* 79-year-old's Christchurch garden vandalised in random attack

"I couldn't stand looking at the horrible mess."

Freeman had painstakingly cleared the ruined plants and thrown out all the flowers that were damaged beyond repair after being ripped from a flower bed beside a manicured lawn.

It had been a big job but Freeman "got stuck straight in, took two to three hard days of fairly hard work."

The 79-year-old said there had been an outcry from the neighbourhood when they had heard of the attack, and he and wife Valerie had been swamped with community support from people who wanted to help.

The couple had just finished packing away the last of piles of cards they received and said they did not know what to do with them all.

Dozens had turned up at the property in a "never ending stream" and offered donations from loose change up to a "huge contribution" from one man of $350 to repurchase the lost plants and get the property back in order.

"We were absolutely inundated. People were pouring through with donations, I was astounded at how decent people were. It was hard to deal with people being so nice, but it's really lovely."

"It really shows just how kind people can be."

Valerie said gifts of plants and Mitre 10 vouchers helped the garden's regeneration, as none of the torn up flowers could be replanted.

"It was surprising, really. We didn't expect any of it."

She said she and her daughter helped fix the damage but the garden was "mostly Murray's".

The keen gardener had enjoyed tending to his front lawn at the property for over twenty years before the random attack and said it would not stop him.

"I used to grow things when I was a little fella, and I guess it just stuck with me."

Police had yet to track down the culprits but Freeman said the attack must have happened while they were asleep late on Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

He said he got a "great kick" out of his new garden now all the repair work was done.

"You have to wonder, what's the benefit in doing that to someone?" he said.

"At least it's history now."

- Stuff

Original Article www.stuff.co.nz

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