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Lithgow NSW


High level of self-sufficiency in fruit and veg. Kid friendly. Reduction in need to buy fresh produce.


The site was a large suburban block, mostly lawn. The clients were already growing vegetables but only in a small corner of the lawn that they wanted to expand.


Privacy was needed from the south neighbour and from the front. Strong sun came in from the west and made the back room of the house too hot in summer and cooked the veg in the garden. Strong winds came in from the western corner


The large front yard has been transformed into a raised bed vegetable garden. These are both aesthetic and productive.

Travelling down the side of the house to the back shed, the driveway is lined with fruit trees. The shed itself collects water into a 7500 tank that supplies the large vegetable garden. Shaded by the shed is the children's cubby house. Deciduous vines growing over trellis provide greater shade for the play area. Eventually this can be converted into a chicken house and run.

The vegetable garden is situated so it gets good sun, and is irrigated automatically from the water tank.

The back patio and large back windows are shaded by grape and kiwi vines growing up trellises. These are deciduous so will allow in the light in winter, while providing shade and produce in summer.

The kids play area is kept as lawn and is separated from the vegetable garden by a wide path leading the shed and cubby

A native windbreak is placed in the western corner. Although this was where the view was enjoyed, the destructive and drying winds were decided to be a priority to block.
A pond is situated under the existing eucalypts and bordering the native wind break. It will naturally be a feature of the garden and will provide habitat for frogs and fish and some edible water plants. 
Fruit trees on swale border the kids play area. This will function as a mini food forest, with nitrogen fixing plants feeding the productive fruit trees.
The front yard is proposed as having raised garden beds to provide more space for production.
The small south yard is perfect for mushroom growing as it is perpetually shaded.

Using permaculture thinking, a design has been created where all elements flow and support each other. The strong sun is used where it will do good, and blocked where it is a problem. The slope of the block is taken into account to maximise water efficiency. Shade is used to our advantage. A beautiful and functional space like this is possible in the urban environment. We can meet our needs right in our own backyard.