Stuart’s garden is the result of 35 years of planting and soil improvement to grow fruit and vegetables for his own family’s use in a setting of trees and grassland on about 1 acre. The land was an orchard before subdivision so the soil had already been worked to some extent. Stuart started with permaculture ideas but up until he retired he didn’t have a lot of time to devote to the garden, so he is still trying out ideas and learning about things like companion planting and soil improvement (so essential in Eltham). He doesn’t like to use a lot of town water so he is trying to deepen the soil and use tanks, mulching and making water-holding amendments to make the most of rainfall and the little tap water he does use. He doesn’t use sprays or chemical fertilisers (any more) so, to boost fertility, he recycles, and brings in manures, lignite (brown coal), wood shavings, stone dust and, most recently, coffee grounds. He also plants green manure crops in autumn. When something does succeed, he usually ends up with surplus which is then preserved for his own use. Any further excess is distributed to family, friends, the local food swap and through RipeNearMe, or it is given to people from whom he gets manures etc. His selection of fruit and vegetables is designed to maximise the harvesting season and provide many varieties.
Well behaved children under parents’ supervision welcome.
This garden tour has limited numbers so please book early to avoid disappointment.