St. Ives – Karen & David’s Garden

We began tinkering with our garden in 2017, and it will forever be a work in progress! Most of the back lawn has now disappeared to make way for edibles and a rain garden, and most vertical space has also been used to maximise growing space in the sun. 

The vegetable patch includes 5 wicking beds and 3 large in-ground beds. Our chickens have access to one of the 3 beds each season as we try both crop rotation and chicken rotation. The chickens clean up pests, fertilise the soil, and help compost the garden prunings we throw into their run.  

We’ve so far squeezed more than 30 fruit trees into the garden, using dwarf varieties in pots or espaliering on walls to save space, plus some native rainforest bushfood trees. There is a strawberry wall garden and blueberry collection.

We compost using a tumbler, various bins and a worm farm, receiving additional scraps from other local households through the ‘Sharewaste’ community app. 

Native stingless beehive, insect hotel and lots of habitat for ground fauna. 

Water management includes a 10 000 L rainwater tank and drip irrigation system, a large rain-garden ‘creek bed’  planted with native species to absorb storm water on site, and a habitat pond for frogs and native fish in the front garden.