The garden is membership-based. Membership is a $50 one-off fee plus a yearly subscription fee depending on the size of the garden beds you have access to.
The garden is located in Yarra Bend Park in Kew – the largest area of natural bushland near the heart of Melbourne. It was started in 2017 as a collaboration between a group of residents from the neighbouring Willsmere Estate and Parks Victoria and provides a place to share a vision of growing our own food, strengthening community bonds and sharing gardening knowledge. They welcome everyone in the community to enjoy the garden, but ask that you respect the produce of individuals.
The garden’s first stage is designed to pay homage to the formal gardens of the neighbouring asylum and the site’s previous history as a kitchen garden that supplied food for the inmates and staff of the asylum. It features a central talking circle surrounded by seats that are designed to encourage conversations and community. Above-ground beds were donated by Bunnings Hawthorn in November 2018 and smaller community herb beds around the inner circle were created with recycled local materials.
Future possible developments include a second set of above-ground beds mirroring the first, a heritage fruit orchard, a garlic farm, more in-ground beds, grapevines, and communal spaces with paving, chairs & tables.