TWO NEW GARDEN BEDS have been added to the Randwick City Council training garden at Randwick Community Centre, the site of Council's course in Sustainable Gardening.
The new beds have been constructed of recycled plastic - old printer cartridges and other components - and stabilised against UV light so that the material does not become brittle and degrade. The beds will trial the plastic to assess its value for garden construction.
Built by Steve Batley and his crew from Sydney Organic Gardens, the new beds complement the existing keyhole garden that has been used for the course to date.
The keyhole garden, used for the practical component of the training, was designed to accommodate course participants around its circumference and from its keyhole-shaped path. The path was made wider than would be found in a community garden allotment or a home garden to accommodate a number of students working on the garden at the same time.
Skilling-up in gardening basics
The Sustainable Gardening course aims to provide participants with basic skills so that they can get a start in home or community gardening.
Skills developed during the course include:
- site ananysis
- gardener needs analysis
- garden design
- soil improvement and management
- compost making and troubleshooting
- setting up, managing and troubleshooting a wormery
- basic plant botany
- plant propagation
- water-conserving irrigation
- integrated pest management
- planting out and planting patterns
- use of mulch.
The course has been offered for the past five years and has been taught by Council's Sustainability Education Officer, Fiona Campbell. Recently, Fiona has assisted Steve Batley (a landscape architect) and Emma Daniell to take over training while she maintains management of the course as a component of Council's Sustaining Our City program. Emma is a horticulturist and garden designer and a long-time member of Randwick Community Organic Garden.
The Sustainable Gardening course complements the household and community skills developed in Council's Living Smart course, a skilling-up course in sustainable living.
Information about the course can be fund by contacting Randwick City Council or by accessing the course catalog of the Eastern Suburbs Community College.
Update — November 2009
A few months after being planted out with seedlings, the new garden beds at the training garden were blooming.