Touring a Suburban Gardening Community.

in gardening •  9 months ago 

Over the weekend I finally got the opportunity to visit Joe's Connected Gardens. This is a small, but expanding, community of houses in suburban Adelaide who are growing food and heading towards a more sustainable life.

It started with Joe, planting fruit trees in his garden and when he ran out of room he approached his neighbours to see if they would be happy to allow him to carry on planting in their yards. Roseanne jumped on board to help with the planting and upkeep of the trees and a gate was put in for them to access each other's gardens. Another neighbour let them plant in an unused part of the garden, then when a neighbouring house came up for sale, Joe bought this and it was rented out to more people interested in growing. Other houses on the street also joined up with the ethos. This clip from Gardening Australia will tell show you a bit more about the community than I can really explain:

We walked in via Joe's house, to a veranda surrounded by pots of seedlings and cuttings. Leading off into the gardens is bridge over what was once a swimming pool, but is now a pond festooned with lilies, like an old Roman bath reclaimed by nature.



We were quickly in amongst the fruit trees and grapevines, meandering through paths amongst a veritable woodland, ducking and weaving under and around the new spring growth.



Benches make the most of the shady spots, so you can relax and enjoy the quiet. I quickly discovered that mosquitoes also enjoy the shade when I felt the first stings of their bite. Protection is definitely advised.


The occasion for the open gardens was the celebration of Joe and Roseanne’s birthdays, so our eventual destination was through the gate to Roseanne’s house. The winding paths and amazing variety of trees and fruiting plants help to add an illusion of a larger space than actually exists.


I love how this avocado has split apart and, at some point in time, reconnected higher up.

Once in Roseanne’s garden, which is actually a tiny bit longer than Joe's, there is a clear path straight through, which gives the appearance of a smaller space.

Throughout the gardens there are informational signs identifying plants and giving gardening tips and ideas. I love that they have trees growing where once the was a path.





Create edible plant bog gardens In points or in foam boxes.

It's a real learning experience and a great example of how a gardening and sustainability community can be brought into suburbia. It's wonderful that they are reaching out and sharing this with the rest of Adelaide.

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That avo tree is mad - so cool nature :)

Don't you just love it! 😁

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Thats one of the most amazing things Ihave ever seen. The potential we have locked up in our suburban backyards! If only all neighbours could get along and share the same... so cool. Must watch that Gardening Australia to see more!!!

They're inspirational. For a long time I held onto a local council magazine from when Joe was still in the early stages and welcoming volunteers to help. It's grown a heck of a lot since then. I sometimes wish I could foster something similar where we live, but our neighbours are the opposite and would rather just get rid of all the plants, or stick with ornamentals. Many are rentals too.

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It was good to see you and your mum there!

It was good to finally get to visit. I won't underestimate those mozzies again though! That's the worst I've ever reacted to them.

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Rosanne breeds them tough at her place

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Love this!! Sharing spaces for growing is something that all neighbours should do 👍

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Yet so few people even like gardening these days. They have no time for it with the rat race.

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Really cool gardening tips! I learned the hard way about raised boxes 🤣. I love your warm posts on these cold autumn days here in the North

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When we're cooking in the 40°C days, I'll have to look out for your cooling northern posts! I dream of snow drifts on those days. 😆

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what an amazing initiative and am rather jealous of their climate, especially with the threat of snow this afternoon.

It's amazing when someone just takes a tiny step towards change how infectious it can be and now a sustainable plan is happening. On top of that I always feel gardening is just the balm to heal many wounds emotionally and psychologically, it is still my favourite activity to get 'lost in'.

We're coming up to summer, so they will be having huge water bills to keep it all alive. It's a very dry climate here. Different extremes.

Gardening is certainly my therapy. I am glad we can grow pretty much year round here. I hope your winter isn't too long and cold.

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A charming idea made real with a lot of effort, I imagine. How good that he managed to extend the initial land incorporating people with the same hobby for gardening.
Wonderful post, @minismallholding.

It's inspiring, is it not?

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Too much!

Hi @minismallholding

What a tremendous initiative to talk to neighbors to take advantage of their spaces to plant, is a win-win for neighbors. It's a good thing that you share this information because that experience can be replicated elsewhere.

and would be contributing to the cooperation between neighbors where they can obtain shared benefits.


Yes, this is why I shared. It's a wonderful example of how much we can achieve working together.

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Looks wonderful 💯🐒

I've often thought about this approach to community. Several homes on the same block with the back fences taken down and neighbors sharing with each other.

There is a book, called Retro Suburbia I think, which goes into the potentials of doing this. I've only had a quick look through it, but the author feels that this is a direction we could all be heading in.

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