Sydney’s best kept secret permaculture garden

| Art, Gardening, Off-Farm goings on, Urban Permaculture, Vegetable Gardening | 3 comments | Author :

Tucked away within the Sydney College of Arts campus at Rozelle in Sydney is a gorgeous public garden of eatin’.

Native bees, sugar snap peas, banana circles and raspberries all co-mingle in a glorious emerging jumble of edibility. It’s all flowered from a project called ‘Tending’, an artwork by Lucas Ihlein and Diego Bonetto, and it is one special patch of Sydney. 

Tending is all about experimenting and discourse between plants and people. Lucas and Diego, both awesome artists in their own right and doing all sorts of funky things around the nature of sustainability, weeds and associated stuff, have spent the last year or so creating what is a truly interesting and interactive space for sharing all kinds of things. Including plants.

I poked my head into the tending project the other day and I just thought I’d share the photos with you. While I was there, students came in and picked and ate sugar snap peas, two council cleaners came in to eat their lunch, and various other folks mooched in and out of this unique space.

Stashed in one corner was a wonderfully strange cart-thing, which contained a native beehive – the bees were buzzing throughout the garden and that particular corner smelt of their honey. It’s the resting place of an artwork by Makeshift, and it is a lovely thing.

Pancake cart with native beehive by Makeshift
Native beehive entrance. Strong honey aroma here!

While I was there I found out that Betty, who is the creator of that fabulous food forest in marrickville we visited, comes in here all the time, just to potter and plant and tend.

Turns out Betty’s a good friend of Lucas and Diego’s. Huh. There you go.

Betty harvesting some banana leaf at the Tending project. Photo by Lucas Ihlein

The blackboard down one wall of the garden, which functions as the main communication device for the project

If you’re ever in the area, go take a peek. I can call this place a permaculture garden because both Lucas and Diego have been through Milkwood permaculture courses as part of our informal artist in residence program, so i can claim influence, you see.

Great to see such a hive of creativity in early spring!

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  • wildstories

    thank you for your kind words Kirsten, and YES please do claim influence most, most definitely!!
    also, have a look at what I’m doing these days: collecting wild stories>

    still embryo of a project..
    me? always sowing something :)


    • milkwoodkirsten

      Thanks Diego, glad to hear i can claim influence on such wildness :) – new project looks great – thanks for the link x

  • rhondajean

    Wow, did this bring memories for me! I used to work there, 40 years ago, when it was Callan Park, the notorious psych hospital. I’m so pleased those wonderful buildings are still there surrounded by that productive and beautiful garden. Under that garden there are tunnels and rooms where they used to chain up some of the patients – well before my time, I should add. It’s sad down there.

    Well done to everyone who made the garden and who keep tending it.