BEFORE her tragic death in February this year, Holly Nicholson and her mother Julie Ann dreamed of having a fairy garden in their backyard.
Now, her wish is coming true, thanks to the astounding generosity of friends and the wider Bass Coast community.
Holly, a Wonthaggi Secondary College student, died a hero, saving her brother who was caught in a rip in the nearby surf.
In her honour, a tranquil garden complete with fruit trees, raised garden beds, and even a chicken coop, is being constructed in the backyard of Julie Ann’s Dalyston home.
The garden is the brainchild of family friend Marie King, who after hearing of Holly’s passing, wondered how she could help.
“I know how much Julie Ann must be hurting. I understand how it feels to be left to grieve alone,” Marie said.
“When I first moved to Wonthaggi I discovered a real sisterhood of women who are so lovely and supportive. One of those women was Julie Ann. Now it’s the least I can do to ensure that she and her son don’t miss out.”
Marie decided to give Julie Ann what she and her daughter had always wanted: their own fairy garden.
“I started making phone calls and contacting people. Instantly people were willing to help.
“The generosity of the people of Wonthaggi has been outstanding. It’s amazing the amount of people who want to help out,” Marie said.
Many businesses and individuals from Wonthaggi have donated their time and efforts in the construction of the garden, including Kerri Ray from Sunray Gardens.
Kerri has donated labour, as well as garden supplies and several hand-made mosaic paving tiles for the garden.
“It’s so good to give back. It’s a random act of kindness that will benefit someone else,” Kerri said.
Kerri was at Julie Ann’s home last Thursday with VCAL student Jim Legione, working on the raised garden beds and hand-made paving stones.
“It’s going to look magnificent when it’s all finished,” Kerri said.
Watching the garden gradually taking shape in her backyard, Julie Ann Nicholson is staggered by the support and kindness of strangers.
“This is just amazing. It’s more than I ever expected,” Julie Ann said.
Julie Ann is helping to put the final touches on a small fairy nook in the corner of the backyard, which will incorporate a heart shaped beach stone given to her by Holly before she passed away.
“I love that we’re building the fairy garden that Holly and I always dreamed of having. I’m so excited for the chicken coop! It will be brilliant having our own miniature farm here in our backyard.”
Marie King has rallied together many businesses and individuals from the community to donate materials and labour for the fairy garden.
Donators include Wheel-a-Waste, the Bass Coast Adult Learning Centre, Bunnings Warehouse, Mitre 10, Wonthaggi Garden Supplies, Coles, Tree Culture, Inverloch Nursery, Taranto Glass, Sunray Gardens, Townsend Nursery, Donmix, Carpet Court, KL’s Lawns, Timber Treat, LJ Hooker, Belinda Mileto, the Dalyston Pub, Di Connell from the Shot Café, Caz Donohue, Pam Richards, Bass Coast Cleaning, Karen Castleton, Terry Sarah, Voyage Fitness, Julie Darling Jacobs, Woolworths, and more.
“We are still open to donations, and are ideally seeking a donation of a television and desktop computer for Julie Ann and her son Sam,” Marie said.
For more information on donating materials or services to the garden, contact Marie King on 0458 070 046.
Holly’s dream garden becomes a reality