A sustainable and productive country-style market garden in a city backyard
There is nothing more satisfying than nibbling on a crisp, sweet carrot or biting into a luscious, juicy strawberry … unless you’ve grown it in your own country-style market garden backyard!
Of course, not everyone has a traditional quarter-acre block with a backyard big enough for massive veggie gardens and a few fruit trees. Houses have gotten bigger, plots of land smaller, leaving less space to accommodate everything people want today — but with some clever thinking you can achieve a lot, and do it in an eco-friendly, sustainable way.
Thanks to the construction expertise, horticultural knowledge and eco-savvy of Graham Taylor, Director of Distinctive Landscapes, one very happy family is able to enjoy the benefits of a country-style market garden — replete with a bee hive, chooks and seedling hot house — in the heart of Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
“The garden has the potential to provide all the organic produce the family desires while being a usable space to relax in. The owners often enjoy a morning cup of tea out in the garden, listening to the buzzing of the native bees from the hive and the clucking of happy chickens,” explains Graham.
From the outset, the aim was to create a new organic growing garden — and lifestyle environment — that would feel like it had been there for a 100 years. “Using quality recycled materials, the backyard was transformed into an edible garden oasis —one with lashings of old world charm which can be seen in the recycled wharf decking, recycled railway sleepers, reclaimed French doors and the repurposed bathtub that is now a worm farm,” says Graham.
The backyard doesn’t just provide for edible garden beds, it also incorporates a bevy of functional features, including areas for producing compost and fertiliser, and a seedling hot house so the owner can be part of the entire process, from sowing the seeds to picking the organic produce — and what a range of produce. There are apples, pears, citrus, mulberries, plums and mangoes as well as herbs and vegetables.
The shed was built using only recycled materials and was split into three spaces: one for equipment, one for storage and the other for growing orchids. The shed frame is recycled Oregon timber, the cladding is recycled wharf decking and the roof is recycled corrugated sheeting. Recycled French windows and doors also feature.
Recycled bricks were used for paving, retaining walls and garden beds. The garden beds also include recycled timber paling screens for the climbing plants and decorative metal screening as a design feature.
The garden provides the owners with exactly what they wanted. A modern take on a rustic, country veggie garden and a backyard that shows the beauty that can be achieved when you integrate recycled materials into a design.
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This project is an entrant in the Outdoor Design 2022 NSW Landscaper of the Year Awards, celebrating residential design innovation and construction excellence. All entrants were featured in Outdoor Design Issue 42, with winners to be announced in Outdoor Design Issue 43.