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Suburban Gem

This suburban Glendowie backyard has been transformed from a grassed slope to a food forest dream - multiple view points, layers of guilded plants, and use of recycled materials really makes this garden stand apart from your normal Auckland backyard. 

To top it off, the whole garden is designed to increase relationship with the natural stream at the bottom, encouraging biodiversity and in the future revegatation of the stream itself. 

The Plan


Lucy’s garden was devastated in the 2023 storms. Several mature Poplars from the reserve at the bottom of the garden came down wrecking the fence. With Story of Place as a starting point we recognised Lucy’s garden’s relationship with the creek and the potential for the garden owner to have a relationship with what has the potential to be a greater source of life. 

The design created a space for the humans (using the recycled fence instead of skipping it) to relate to the creek and from here the garden owner will be organising working bees to regenerate it.  Stumps and Hugel mounds have been placed along it and Lucy can sit and look at it from her sit spot and observe. In addition, the sloping grass paths have been replaced with cardboard and deep mulch to be gradually planted up with plants whose roots which will clean the runoff before it reaches the creek.

Hosting fruit trees, vegetables, flowers and chickens, Lucy’s garden is an extension to the TUMG, (Tamaki Urban Market Garden). This garden demonstrates permaculture principals around resource use, design and soil development many of which Lucy learned about during her course with the Earthworkers from ‘For the Love of Bees’.  The garden simply pumps with food!

The Details

This garden is abundant with recycled material. Including the reclaimed fence panels used to make the board walk, which connects the deck with the garden and hides a hose from bath (feeding bananas) and various trip hazards. The fence panels also form the back of the new sit spot, and this area is filled to the brim with other recycled materials like bricks, crushed concrete, stones and even glass bottles.  

The Outcomes

✓Enhanced an existing ‘Food Forest’

✓Created a new Bug Insect Hotel seating area for a relationship with the creek and its wildlife (a working bee will be organised to plant up the creek in the winter season)

✓Reduced waste and created living gardens by installing Hugel Beds

✓A Banana circle

✓Pergolas made of recycled rebar mesh to grow grapes, passion fruit and other climbers made of old rebar mesh

✓Grass Path converted to deep mulch to capture water

✓All material used were recycled

✓As an extension to Lucy’s project, Tamaki Urban Market Garden, this garden is a demonstration of Permaculture in action.

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