Up to 20 volunteers from Friends of Mrs York's Garden join regular working bees as the group brings a garden master plan vision to life.
Volunteers John Thompson, Mike Bush and Mike Morgan also keep an eye on the garden in between the working bees.
Mr Morgan and his wife Pam retired to Port Macquarie in late 2018 and live fairly close to the garden.
"I was familiar with the garden as we had holidayed nearby for many years and our family loved walking, skating and skateboarding on the path that runs through the garden," he said.
"While settling into retirement, I had noticed the volunteers working there and considered what a wonderful job they were doing."
Mr Morgan heard about the projects, particularly the rejuvenation of the waterfall area, and thought he could probably help with that.
Jobs at the garden vary week to week and volunteers work to their own pace and ability.
Mr Morgan is part of a small group that keeps an eye on the waterfall.
He drew on five decades of farming knowledge and experience with the setup and operation of water pumps to help with the installation of the submersible pump which recirculates the water for the waterfall.
But Mr Morgan's involvement doesn't stop there.
"There is a few of the group that live nearby so we do all keep an eye on the garden," Mr Morgan said.
"It is easy for us to check on the picnic tables and any rubbish. We all like to keep the area in good condition for visitors."
Mr Morgan described the volunteers as a great bunch of people who have worked in many different occupations.
"It is very satisfying to give to the community," he said.
Mr Morgan said the garden was a wonderful asset to the town.
"I think the waterfall and various paths through the garden add tremendously to the landscape," he said.
The once thriving Mrs York's Garden had fallen into a state of disrepair until Friends of Mrs York's Garden was formed to change that.
Friends of Mrs York's Garden volunteers are continuing to restore the headland garden overlooking the Hastings River mouth.
The serene and inviting garden is home to thousands of littoral rainforest and coastal headland plants, boat-themed picnic shelters, paths, a restored waterfall, viewing platform and more.
Mr Thompson and his wife Susan live near Mrs York's Garden.
He has been a volunteer at the garden for two to three years after seeing the initial shelters going up.
"It provides a service to the community and it is also a good social network," Mr Thompson said about the volunteer group.
Mr Thompson is another volunteer who keeps a watch on the garden, including picking up rubbish, in between the working bees.
He described the garden as a real feature of Town Beach.
"On the working days, it is very good to talk to people walking through the garden and receive their compliments," Mr Thompson said.
"A surprising number of people utilise the different paths - often visitors and long-term residents who are just discovering the garden."
Mr Thompson was a professor of meat science at the University of New England before moving into consulting work when he retired from the academic role.
He is now semi-retired.
Meanwhile, Mr Bush lives close to the garden with his wife Carol.
He is one of three volunteers drawn from nearby who do their bit to ensure the garden is looking its best at all times.
"Living so close to Mrs York's Garden, we have been especially blessed by the efforts of Di Davison's volunteers - it is our front yard they have so magnificently transformed," Mr Bush said.
"So, we are very amenable to keeping an eye on things between our Wednesday working bees and reporting or acting upon any incidents relevant to the endeavour."
Mr Bush, a former economist in the Reserve Bank, became a volunteer after noticing the group's good work.
He wanted to be part of what was then a "rather ambitious undertaking".
"I still can't tell a flower from a weed but pretty effective when pointed towards the latter with the appropriate execution tool(s)," Mr Bush said.
He is also pretty handy with a paintbrush.
The productive exercise from helping in the garden had been very important during recent troubled times when needing to counter the extra calorie intake and/or simply to harvest endorphins, Mr Bush said.
"As well, there are the social aspects; the group was among our very early contacts upon moving to Port," he said.
Mr Bush believes Port Macquarie residents should be most appreciative of the enhancement to both passive and active amenity that the garden provides.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should come along to a working bee at the garden between 8.30am and 11am on Wednesdays and have a chat.
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