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Awara Garden

Our garden is a refuge.

Amongst the straight lines and hard surfaces of the city,

it is a place to remember

that we humans are nature too.

Awara Garden in Pascoe Vale on Wurundjeri/Woiwurung Country in Narrm (Melbourne). We've rented here for 6 years and transformed it into a forage haven.


The gardens provide our household of four with much of our food year-round. There are around 100 types of plants for food, fibre and medicine, including fruits, berries, herbs, teas, indigenous plants and edible 'weeds', as well as plants for bees, biodiversity and soil health.


Now the gardens are established they mostly grow themselves - we forage and tend. Plants are encouraged to self-sow and we build soil with no-dig techniques, including growing green manures, and by adding food scraps,  fresh horse manure and mulch to the surface.

The garden also has DIY grey water, children play spaces, a pond, a nature strip garden and a share box.


The gardens were established section by section over the years.


To control runner grass we used chickens, carpets and cardboard.


To protect from the hot summer sun and establish an over-story we planted fast-growing fruit trees and put up trellises. 


To keep inputs low I propagated plants from seed, cuttings and divisions from other gardens.

To build the soil I bought a lot of compost and mulch, but it was expensive and quickly integrated into the hard clay soils.

We built paths and edging with pavers and bricks found on the property, but pulled them up after a few years, realising they were heat banks and finding them aesthetically unpleasing.

We laid drip irrigation throughout the garden, but found it didn't work for the wild style of gardening and pulled all that up too.

This was all part of the journey to find nature-based solutions.

Using chickens.jpg

Using chickens and cardboard to establish the garden

June 2020 - Lots of pavers and bricks in use (same view above 3 years later)

The pond just completed, June 2021

Sept 2020_edited.jpg

Before and after: A new area established in September 2020 - The same view in Feb 2022 after adopting wild gardening

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