St Luke’s Community Garden

Design Feature
Type of Project
Landowner Strategy
State
Western Australia
Location
Urban

St Luke’s Community Garden is situated within the historic precinct of St Luke’s church, rectory, and hall designed and constructed in 1899-1905 by Talbot Hobbs. Originally a tennis court, then a vacant block for nearly 40 years, the garden site has been transformed since 2008 into a productive garden and communal green space initiated and run by community members. Based on the allotment concept in villages and towns across the United Kingdom, it provides space for those wishing to grow vegetables as well as a demonstration site for organic food production and sustainable urban living.

Supporting the community

The project was the initiative of two community mothers seeking to create a productive vegetable garden and communal green space - then rare in Perth. St Luke’s parishioners adopted the project as a community outreach initiative, providing seed funding and access to the land. Grants, donations and in-kind support from local businesses and community members helped to complete the project.

The Community Garden includes 27 raised beds that are allocated to local people to grow a variety of vegetables and flowers for themselves and their family.  The rest of the garden has been planted out with a selection of native plants, a small orchard, a communal herb garden and seasonal crops. These sections and a pergola designed to conform to the historic precinct are for all garden members and visitors to enjoy.

St Luke's Community Garden provides access to fresh and healthy food
St Luke's Community Garden provides access to fresh and healthy food

Garden membership is open to anyone interested, offering various costs and conditions for bed holders, general members and friends. Members share a wealth of knowledge on vegetable growing, companion planting, organic practices, composting, soil improvement and native plants.  

St Luke's Community Garden prrovides a venue for community events
St Luke's Community Garden prrovides a venue for community events

Busy bees, informative talks and social events are regularly held in the garden along with occasional workshops for school children featuring activities such as potato planting, vegetable hunts, soil workshops and worm appreciation courses.  The garden was also the site of popular Eco fairs run in conjunction with the local council, schools and community groups.

The garden is managed by a six person volunteer committee elected by members, however all our members are encouraged to participate in the physical management of the garden during Busy Bees that happen at least four times a year. Operation is separate to St Luke's Church but the church administration and parishioners continue to be enormously supportive.

Project Team 

  • Community volunteers initiating the project and providing long-term support 
  • Glen Sproule, retired head landscaper at the University of Western Australia for 25 years who designed the layout and assisted with the selection and planting of natives plants  
  • St Luke's church parishioners and Anglican Diocese (land owner)
  • Local schools
  • Local businesses and service clubs

Project Cost 

  • Set up - $20 Thousand (approximately)
  • Costs ongoing 

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