2021 Open Day Gardens

You can visit the gardens any time between 9am and 3pm on Sunday 16 May, or time your visit to join a tour with the garden host. Tour times are listed below.

Gardens are displayed in order of their distance from Brisbane CBD

Productive suburban plot

Location: Arana Hills

Accessibility and safety: Easy (sloping drive, then fully paved)

Highlights: Suburban, intensive, preserving, chickens, native bees, raised beds

Tours: 1030-1100, 1400-1430

The Green Carambola is an edible garden squeezed onto a 612sqm gently sloping suburban block in leafy Arana Hills. It all started with a little vegetable garden bed. Now the front and backyard are producing about 80-90% of Kylie and Steve’s fresh food.

What can you see at Carambola?

  • Edible garden: Fresh eggs, seasonal fruit and vegetables, herbs and flowers.
  • Keeping chickens in suburbia and native bee hives – Tetragonula carbonaria.
  • Preserving: Discussion, techniques, tips and recipes for preserving excess and seasonal produce.
  • Raised garden beds: Design, construction techniques, different materials, best placement in your garden space and filling them.
  • Compost: Compost bins, worm farm and manures.

Diversified small-scale farm – Millen Farm

Location: Samford Village

Accessibility and safety: Easy (grassy surfaces, can be uneven), bees

Highlights: Small-scale farm, commercial, diversified, market stall, organics, mixed farming, seasonal

Tours: Running every half hour throughout the day (on on the hour and half hour)

Millen Farm is a community small-scale farm originally managed by farmer Arran from Powerful Owl Permaculture.  Arran transformed a ‘blank canvas’ site around 4 years ago into productive plots for showcasing small scale urban farming.  At the end of 2020, the site was re-invented again when Arran was joined by Nick and Liam from the Mini Farm Project. The Mini Farm Project is an innovative model of small scale diversified farming that donates half of its produce to local charities.

What can you see at Millen Farm?

  • Permaculture approaches applied to a productive farm
  • Weed tea fertigation methods.
  • Highly productive and efficient market garden techniques and equipment.
  • Diversified crop planting and rotation.
  • Enjoy a picnic among the produce.
  • Purchase some of the produce at their farmers stall.

Upcycled down-to-earth garden

Location: Highvale

Accessibility and safety: Somewhat challenging (steep access driveway)

Highlights: Gardening on a slope, wicking beds, upcycling, water capture, simple gardening strategies, fruit trees

Tours: 1030-1100, 1330-1400

Trent’s enthusiasm for growing edibles is infectious.  His garden is a sloped acreage block on a hillside at the back of Highvale with lovely views but with challenges around soil quality and capturing water runoff. 

What can you see at this garden?

  • DIY up cycled raised beds and wicking beds made of spa baths and water tanks chock full of leafy greens and other seasonal veggies and flowers.
  • Mini swales running along the slope to grow vegetables and catch water.
  • Strawberries used as a living mulch.
  • Orchard using cardboard and mulch as weed suppressant.
  • Soil creation with horse manure delivered in bulk.

Landscaping for productivity

Location: Highvale

Accessibility and safety: Moderate (steep driveway, terraced garden with stairs)

Highlights: Landscaping edible gardens, organic gardening, gingers, fruit and nut trees

Tours: 0930-1015, 1130-12.15, 1330-1415

Edible gardening and landscaping are combined beautifully at John and Pauline’s 1.5 acre block in Highvale. Between them, they have a wealth of knowledge built up over years of organic gardening. NOTE: this garden can only be viewed by attending one of the 3 tours available.

What can you see at this garden?  

  • Fruit tree swales running along the contour that catch the water runoff.
  • A dwarf banana swale is the best we have seen in the valley (and this says a lot!).
  • Fruit trees planted in combination with an expansive lawn, including macadamias and citrus.
  • Meticulously designed terraced raised vegetable beds that follow the hillside.
  • A highly productive method of growing ginger and turmeric in raised garden beds.
  • An enclosed swale growing a diversified crop of fruit trees and pineapples that are protected from birds and possums.

Treechangers acreage escape

Location: Highvale

Accessibility and safety: Easy (sloping lawn, gravel paths), bees

Highlights: Beginner gardens, vegetable growing, subtropical fruits, herb garden, citrus orchard, top bar beehives, chickens

Tours: 1000-1030, 1430-1500

Mike and Imogen’s four-acre garden, nestled in the hills beneath the d’Aguilar Range, is an example of what can be achieved by a couple of beginner, weekend gardeners in a year. They bought the property with a number of established fruit trees and have since installed a huge ‘Covid’ veggie plot, chooks, a burgeoning food forest and more.

What can you see at Mike and Imogen’s

  • Simple, practical tips for beginners!
  • Established fruit trees, including bananas, pawpaws, avocados, olive trees, and a mini citrus orchard.
  • A highly productive, organic ‘Covid’ vegetable garden and subtropical cottage/herb garden.
  • Creative use of available space and structures with fence-line plantings of berries and climbers like peas, beans, passionfruit and dragonfruit.
  • A free-range flock of heritage breed chookies and a productive top bar beehive.
  • Plantings of over 1,000 (tiny) native plants to regenerate bush areas of the block and attract native insects and birds.

Mike and Imogen can show you around their gorgeous block, share tips on a huge variety of topics including keeping chooks and bees, managing water in dry and wet seasons, subtropical crops, herbal teas, seed-saving and home-made fertilizers!

Perennial permaculture garden

Location: Highvale

Accessibility and safety: Moderate (flat, narrow paths not suitable for prams or wheelchairs, fragile garden – care needs to be taken to stay on designated paths), bees.

Highlights: Permaculture, creative, diverse, soil, relaxation

Tours: 1000-1030, 1300-1330

Jenny has maintained a lifelong passion for plants and gardens. That interest has since grown into a regenerative agriculture practice and having completed a permaculture design certificate, she has applied this growing knowledge to her 2 acre home at Highvale near Samford.

What can you see at this garden?  

  • A blend of perennial and annual vegetables grown in the ground.
  • Mixed plantings to attract bees, insects and create a cottage style garden.
  • An early stage permaculture approach to an orchard.
  • An arbor growing climbing heritage gourds.
  • A garden design incorporating a winding pattern of paths and closed spaces, framed within an ever-growing and changing diversity of edible plants and decorative plants.

Food forest paradise

Location: Mt Samson

Accessibility and safety: Moderate (flat areas but uneven surfaces throughout), bees

Highlights: Food forest, unusual fruit trees, subtropical gardening, soil, relaxation

Tours: 1100-1145, 1300-1345

If you are interested in food forests, swales, soil improvement, with lots of fruit trees and companion plants, then Jason’s Maculata Grove garden might be just the property to visit. Located in Mount Samson, the main food forest area was established in 2009 and has rapidly grown into a little oasis on the property.

What can you see at Maculata Grove?

  • An edible garden designed to mimic a natural forest – including all the layers seen in a forest, from ground covers, to shrubs and trees.
  • A tree that can take high winds, provides a privacy screen, and that looks attractive producing the largest fruit in the world.
  • How microbes can rapidly breakdown organic matter for your plants and produce rich black soil.
  • A technique for using the weeds on your property to build soil and humus.
  • An array of subtropical fruit trees including, jaboticabas to grumichumas, black sapotes to mamey sapotes, panama berries to bignay berries.

Sustainable Hilltop Farm

Location: Dayboro

Accessibility and safety: Somewhat challenging (steep access driveway) and narrow path, bees

Highlights: Self-sufficiency, dairying, preserves, pickles and ferments, bush tucker, soil, bees

Tours: 0900-9.30, 1400-1430

Hilltop farm is a five acre organic profusion of edible farming and sustainable living. Six years ago the block was a vacant old dairy farm cleared of natural vegetation and covered in tall exotic weeds.  The plants and animals combined enable this couple to do soap and candle-making, and produce dairy products (cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, kefir, lassi) as well as many other foods such as bread, jams, pickles, ginger beer, kimchi, kombucha, wines, even mead!

What can you see at this garden?  

  • An orchard with 220 sub-tropical fruit trees and 80 bush tucker trees – all labelled!
  • An inspirational driveway with fruit trees lining both sides.
  • Worms and black soldier flies to help compost and use as food for poultry.
  • An aquaponics system using jade perch, red claw, and yabbies are for food and fertiliser.
  • A hydroponics system (connected to their aquaponics system) for growing their leafy greens.
  • Bees (native and honey).
  • Swales and seepage dams created for water drainage and flood control.

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