We recently spoke with Stephanie and David Monroe, residents of Thornhill Park, to discover how they achieved their fully-edible and low-maintenance front garden. Keep reading to discover how you, too, can grow fresh produce from home.

What level of maintenance does the garden require?

At the minute, it requires regular watering and weeding, just like any other garden. Long-term, we’ve designed the garden around permaculture, meaning it will take the form of an edible forest. As the plants become established, they will become self-maintaining, which means they will require minimal up-keep. It’s also designed so that no particular plant gets dominance. This makes it easy to maintain with work and the kids.

Have home-grown foods always been a part of your lifestyle?

We’ve always wanted to incorporate home-grown foods into our lifestyle, and our edible garden is a bit of an extension to what we had attempted previously when we lived in Geelong. With young children, it was difficult to achieve this kind of garden. Now that our children are older, we’re able to do it.

What are your favourite ways to use your home-grown produce?

We love using our home-grown produce in our cooking. Just about everything we’ve planted can be incorporated in some way – particularly the herbs – into everyday cooking. Fresh herbs are so much tastier than dried.

What advice do you have for Thornhill Park residents who would like to begin growing their own edible garden?

If you’re looking to achieve a full permaculture inspired garden, then we highly recommend going through the landscaper Leaf, Root and Fruit. They have so much knowledge that they incorporated into our garden, such as monitoring the wind and the position of the plants so they have enough shelter. Leaf, Root and Fruit provided everything we needed, and their service was so convenient. Even going to Bunnings is really helpful, as they can advise on the right type of wood to buy for the beds.

We’d love to see more edible gardens at Thornhill Park. It’s a great way to connect with your neighbours and create a sense of community. We have the capacity and the knowledge to create gardens that are both edible and low maintenance, so it would be great to see more pop up.

Read Part One of our interview with Stephanie and David to discover more.

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