Milson Community Garden was officially opened on 8th November 2009 by the then Mayor of North Sydney Genia McCaffery.
We work together as a co-operative to grow a wide range of seasonal vegetables, herbs and flowers, and we do not have allotments. Our garden is a wonderful community activity in the picturesque harbour-side setting of Milson Park, Kirribilli (behind Ensemble Theatre and Sydney Flying Squadron).
We meet each Sunday at 10:00am until lunch time (and Wednesday 5:00pm – 7:00pm during the daylight saving time) to work in the garden. We also have a roster for watering during summer.
The fluid and casual nature of our gardening seems to suit everyone. The harvest is shared amongst all those who contribute to the maintenance and activities of the garden after the working day. However, we are happy for people to pick small amounts of herbs; one reason why we have so many parsley, thyme, oregano, sage and rosemary plants!
Our garden is organic and we mulch with lucerne straw. We use worm wee and Bokashi juice as fertilisers which are donated by local community members. Bokashi juice is a recycle food waste using the Japanese Bokashi system which we are turning into compost once it is fermented.
The garden design, based on research, is a medieval one which allows wheelchair access to 50% of the garden area. The raised beds help everyone get involved as they are 600 mm in height, so you can be seated or small children can still have easy reach.
A North Sydney Council grant has given us initial support for building the garden. The timber beds were designed and constructed by local community members. The timber was sourced within Australia and is sustainable Australian native hardwood. We wished to give an Australian mill the business rather than buying cheaper but unsustainable imported wood.
A small committee of local community members chose the first planting plan and other community members raised the plants from seed sourced from Diggers Seeds in Victoria. To cut down on transplant shock, most seeds were sown in coir pellets. This has proved a great success. Children under five planted the potato beds but they are really interested in the heritage strawberries. Everyone keeps an eye on them to catch the strawberries when they are at their ripest!
Some plants often growing in the garden include: carrots, beetroot, radishes, chives, kale, bush beans, broad beans, sugar snap peas, sweet peas, chillies, sweet corn, arugula, mesclun mix of lettuces, tamarillo and lime. Our herbs include: perennial basil, variegated sage, parsley, pot celery, thyme, lemon scented thyme, oregano, golden marjoram, rosemary, lemon grass and mint.