Three generations of one family tell us about life in Gardenia.
I’m Howard. I’ve been a resident of Gardenia for just over nine years now.
The decision to buy into Gardenia wasn’t straightforward. I’d read the blurb beforehand about this ‘picture-perfect’ community being built, and it all sounded just a bit too ‘hippy’. But in the end, it was the carbon neutral homes and integrated resource monitoring systems that actually won me over. And so I made the decision to move over here with my daughter, Anna and my dad, Ray.
I am an engineer by profession and for the last four years had been commuting to London. However, late last year I was made redundant. I had been considering setting up my own business for a while and this ended up being the prompt I needed to just bite the bullet.
Earlier this year, the Stewardship Council accepted my application to rent an office in the work hub. As you can imagine, money is a bit tight of late, so to help boost my prospects, I joined one of the Stewardship Council’s working groups. Not only has this helped to raise my professional profile, but I can now offset the credits I earn from the time I spend in the working group against my office rent. Things are looking a lot rosier now.
At the moment the working group are deciding how best to distribute the surplus credits we achieve through our water conservation deal with Affinity Water. I know my dad’s hoping the council will go with his suggestion of having The Rolling Stones perform at the Summer Party. Although I think the council and community are more likely to go with Anna’s idea to improve the linear garden’s wifi coverage.
I feel genuinely proud that I was one of Gardenia’s earliest residents and that my family and I have made the transition from a resource-hungry lifestyle to a much more self-sufficient one.
Howard realises that Gardenia, and modern-day garden cities in general, ultimately aims to support and encourage the lifestyles that people aspire to have. The fact that he regularly beats his neighbour in their conservation challenge has nothing whatsoever to do with this positive outlook…