We had heard a lot about this remarkable initiative so it was great to finally visit.
This amazing suburban garden encompasses the backyards of four neighbours (one is currently for sale so is temporarily closed) as well as the backyard of a neighbour across the road from Joe. The four adjoining properties have been linked by gates to create a large space, it is here that Joe and his neighbours, as well as members of the local community, have created this thriving permaculture garden.
The owners of this “simple, respectful community” believe that they offer “a place to grow things and a sense of respectful neighbourliness and trust that transcends the suburban fences which normally divide us.” Both the vision and the reality are something to live up to!
Almost the entire space is covered with nets to protect over 400 varieties of fruit, many of them rare. While the majority of the fruit trees are still young they are tall enough for shade and are clearly productive.
There were many helpful tips spread around the garden.
And we were most impressed with the espaliered fruit trees.
I have never seen so many strawberry beds. There were at least four this size!
While not as prolific as fruit there were vegetables and herbs to be found.
While I had serious sweet potato envy…
…Jamie had rainwater tank jealousy!
Being a permaculture garden it is not at all formal and almost every space has something edible growing. Narrow paths wind their way through the lush oasis.
There are chickens, doves, gorgeous golden pheasants (which refused to cooperate with the camera) and a fabulous Lady Amherst pheasant who happily showed off his tail.
There were also some lovely nooks and crannies where you could just sit and ponder.
Joe, a permaculture expert – he has tertiary qualifications in urban pemaculture design – has even turned his swimming pool into a water garden.
We were amazed at the variety of fruit trees, some were ones we didn’t realise could grow in our climate.
As well as guided tours of the garden there were some great displays.
We were chuffed to see the Seed Freedom Food Festival represented – almost time for us to get back into preparation mode for the 2016 festival!
In front of Rosanne’s house a marquee was set up for talks featuring: the Rare Fruit Society; Harry Harrison; Jess Bamford on edible fungi; as well as composting, pruning and planting demos.
There were also many plants for sale.
Across the road the garden is a work in progress but will clearly be amazing when it is done.
It was fantastic to see so many people interested in this fabulous organic garden.