IT took more than two years of devoted work then was destroyed in less than a day.
Sometime between 8.30pm Saturday and 8.30pm Sunday vandals entered the rear of the Goonellabah Seniors Day Club run by St Carthage's Community Care and wrecked the outdoor garden.
Dozens of plants were strewn about, a terracotta pot was smashed, a $1000 shed bought just six months ago was ruined and a worm farm and compost system had been emptied on to the ground.
The damage was quickly cleaned up on Tuesday morning in a couple of hours.
But the worst thing for St Carthage's respite co-ordinator Jodi Scott and seniors officer Tracy Clement, was the vandals' ignorance of the story behind the garden.
Its first seed was sown two-and-a-half years ago with a $1000 grant from Lismore City Council.
Students from South Lismore Public School joined with the senior citizens who use the day club on regular gardening days, part of the St Carthage's philosophy of caring for seniors within their community.
"We focus on creating human habitats for older people by providing close and continuous contact with animals, plants and children," Ms Scott said.
She said she was heartbroken by the mess, as were the seniors who had to be taken on an outing on Monday so they didn't have to look out and see the destruction.
"To turn around and see it yesterday was devastating.
"To see that much destruction when you knew there'd been so much love and care getting the garden to where it was. The clients and children built such beautiful relationships."
The garden has cost $3500, but the time and effort put into it was so much more.
"We can always raise money again. At least we'll still have the memories and the relationships that were formed. Those bonds won't be broken," she said.
"I'd like whoever did it to come up to the day club and get to know some of our clients and some of the students and see the time and effort they put into that."
"Only then can they understand the true value of what that garden meant."