Saturday, December 3, 2011
The Eco Gardener in Oz
No space is wasted in this inner city Melbourne front garden.
Crops growing in the garden include tomatoes, beetroot, spring onions and herbs.
I went to Melbourne on Tuesday to catch up with friends I had not seen for ages before going on to Canberra for the Agri-Food Research Network conference which starts next Monday. In the inner city Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill, just down the road from my friend Gitanjali's place, I found this well-planted little front garden which was looking very healthy and promising. Most houses in this part of town have very little land front or back, and as the front faces a busy road and is not suitable for relaxation - why not make it productive? This was not the only front garden I saw in the area which had some food plants growing. I can't say how recent this development is, or if it represents a major trend, but at least some Melburnians are now rejecting the 'ornamental front/useful back' approach to gardening which has been dominant in both New Zealand and Australia for decades.
Community gardening is a trend which has certainly grown rapidly in both countries in the past decade, wherever suitable sites can be found. I visited the Railway Park community garden in Queanbeyan this morning, and enjoyed a delicious orange and poppy seed muffin baked by my gardening friend Katrina for morning tea for her fellow gardeners, and for the expert on water-saving techniques who came to lead a workshop in the garden. The vacant land beside railway lines has been used for allotment style gardening in Northern Europe for over a century, and it is good to see this resource being utilised Down Under.
Four scenes from the Railway Park Community Garden.
Posted by Christine Dann at 8:26 PM