To Grahame 'Jacko' Geatches, his garden full of gnomes is "everything".
So the 75-year-old was devastated to discover the chaos in his yard after heartless vandals smashed about 25 ornaments and threw them on the road on Boxing Day night - they even stole the Australian flag the Vietnam veteran has flown outside his Belmont home since he returned from war in the early 1970s.
But the community is rallying to help, spurred by a group on Facebook, delivering new gnomes and other bits and pieces for his eye-catching front garden across from Belmont 16s.
Jacko - who got his nickname after doing 10 months of tough jackhammer work on the top floor of Swansea RSL Club many years ago - is well-known in his neighbourhood and often shares fresh veggies from his garden with the community.
He said the vandalism was terrible.
"I don't need the stress," he told the Newcastle Herald.
"I've got a lovely garden. My garden and my gnomes - to me, that's my life. I've got no-one else."
Jacko said on Tuesday morning that people had already started leaving new gnomes in his garden.
"I'm over the moon," he said.
"Beautiful people do things like that. We all stick together, it's lovely.
"I'm on top of the world, mate."
Word of the drive to restore Jacko's garden has drawn attention from interstate and even as far afield as Norway.
People are being encouraged to drop a contribution to Jacko or leave it in his garden.
Lauren Carlson, who started the Facebook group that is rallying support, said it saddened her to hear what happened to Jacko.
She said the overwhelming response so far was amazing.
Aside from gnomes, ornaments, plants and seeds, the group has put feelers out to see if a local company would be willing to donate a CCTV camera to make Jacko's yard more secure.
"I knew the local Lake Macquarie community would come through with the goods," Ms Carlson said.
Federal Member for Shortland Pat Conroy told the Herald someone from the Facebook group approached him about getting Jacko a new flag for the veteran to proudly fly - he said he would be "honoured" to do so.
"I drive past Jacko's place every day on the way to work and he puts a massive amount of work into his garden," Mr Conroy said.
"It's a disgrace, what happened."
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