#InMyKampung: Jimmy

Read more about “Garden Jimmy”, the resident gardener of one neighbourhood’s community garden! 

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Nicknamed “Garden Jimmy” by his neighbours, Uncle Jimmy has spent the past seven years as the resident gardener of his neighbourhood’s community garden. 🌱
But what many may not know is that this retired crane operator tends the garden on a completely voluntary basis!
“I’ve always been passionate about gardening ever since my grandmother introduced it to me,” he says. “So, it was only natural for me to volunteer when the garden was first set up.”
As a founding member of Ang Mo Kio’s second community garden, Uncle Jimmy stayed up late at night to fix all the shelves when the garden first open. He enjoys sharing his love for gardening with others and hopes to create a space where members of his community can spend their time more meaningfully.
While some may see a garden as just a beautiful space, Uncle Jimmy believes that it has the potential to improve the health and well-being of isolated residents who are often cooped up at home. He fondly recalls the days, before the pandemic, when he could welcome seniors to the garden for their daily exercise.
“I do miss those days,” Uncle Jimmy admits. “Hopefully, people can start coming down to the garden again once the pandemic tides over.” To him, it would be a dream come true for the garden to become a central place where people from different neighbourhoods can get to know each other. He also hopes to pass on his love for gardening to the next generation by teaching children more about the garden.
Having lived in Ang Mo Kio for more than 20 years, Uncle Jimmy has forged close relationships with his neighbours and has become “somebody that everyone knows of”. With his helpful spirit and gardening know-how, it is no surprise that many in his community flock to him for gardening advice.
While some contact him for gardening tips, others fully entrust their plants under his care when they are away. His not-so-green-fingered neighbours would even go as far as to call him a “lifesaver” of their dying plants.
But Uncle Jimmy’s heart for the community extends far beyond gardening. He cleans and distributes the fresh fish he receives from his neighbour to elderly residents living alone, and also joins the FoodWeShare Lunches at AMKFSC’s 414 Community Hub to interact and get to know other residents.
Uncle Jimmy never expected to receive anything in return when he first volunteered as a gardener, but he has gained so much over the last few years. To him, his fondest memories aren’t from gardening alone but from interacting with members of his community – both in and out of the garden.
His hope is to inspire other residents to not only volunteer their time to help the community, but to work together in building a vibrant neighbourhood for all who live there.
#InMyKampung 🏠 explores the inspiring stories of everyday people like Uncle Jimmy who continue to make a positive impact in the community so that vulnerable groups do not fall through the cracks.
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