Dawn Smith turned a gravel-filled front yard into a welcoming area for residents of the Riverside Apartments.

Dawn Smith turned a gravel-filled front yard into a welcoming area for residents of the Riverside Apartments.

Apartment lot becomes sanctuary

One of the most inspiring entries in this year’s competition came from an unexpected place.

One of the most inspiring entries in this year’s competition came from an unexpected place.

Dawn Smith, a resident of the Riverside Apartments, took it upon herself to transform their gravel-filled front yard into a sanctuary for the residents of the surrounding buildings.

Her efforts earned her the top prize in the Strata/Rental category.

“I just wanted to make a little oasis for the residents to come out and enjoy” says Smith.

Smith moved to the apartments in February, only to find the garden neglected and empty.

Having always enjoyed gardening, she quickly decided to change things. With the help of her friend Peter Underwood, she was able to procure a large variety of plants and flowers.

With the help of many of the 18 residents, she was able to transform the empty front yard into a beautiful garden retreat.   She searched for other items to decorate the yard, and was able to quickly attain everything from wind chimes to patio furniture.

Many trees and flowers now reside in the yard, creating a shady hang out for everyone to appreciate.

She plans to continue the garden around the apartment buildings next spring.

Smith says that this garden, coupled with the tremendous work of the landlord, has changed the entire appearance of the building. “The building didn’t have the best reputation before, but it’s really turned into a great place to live.”

Smith still doesn’t know who entered her in the contest, but is very thankful to have been recognized for her efforts.

“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been really fun.”