A guerilla gardener has transformed a sectioned-off piece of roadway in Sydney’s inner west into a meeting point that has brought the local community together.

Ferris Lane, known affectionately as The Magic Lane is increasingly Annandale’s worst kept secret. The garden was created on a dilapidated strip of laneway in 2015, when Kathy O’Donnell saw potential in the site. 

And in the pandemic time, with greater outdoor activity encouraged, it has become even more important to locals.

“Green spaces are absolutely essential for the health & wellbeing of people and habitats, especially in our cities,” said Kathy. “They help build community connections and support networks for all, but especially our most vulnerable members.”

In the years since Magic Lane opened, it has seen issues over rezoning, varied council interventions and a myriad of different plants emerge. It’s growing popularity has even seen it tagged with its own ‘Magic Lane’ geotag on Google maps.

Kathy and community members stand in the garden smiling, underneath bunting.

Community Christmas Party in 2019 Image: Supplied

But for Kathy, community is at the heart of Ferris Lane. 

“None of this would be possible without the overwhelming support and generosity of the beautiful local community,” she said.

 She sees the space, which she tends to regularly, as a community destination. Just as new plants, statues and toys turn up, so do new faces to enjoy the garden.

Six years on and The Magic Lane is a place of teddy bear picnics, family walks and annual Christmas parties.

Main image of Kathy O’Donnell supplied.