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Pick fresh produce at new Permaculture Garden

Permaculture Garden
Council's Darius Towner and Diane Southwell in the new Permaculture Garden.

A new garden at the Botanic Gardens is giving visitors the chance to pick some fresh produce while learning all about permaculture.

Bundaberg Regional Council’s nursery operator Diane Southwell said the new Permaculture Garden was created from a vacant block of grass.

“The area was initially a blank canvas featuring only grass,” she said.

“We incorporated a no-dig garden by laying fresh cardboard over the grass and adding lots of manures and filter press.

“Then, to help create the soil, we planted pumpkin to create a living mulch, some mustard seed and lots of legume trees which are fabulous.

“They are fixing nitrogen into the soil which helps everything grow.”

Diane said the Permaculture Garden worked with nature, rather than against it.

“We are creating our own ecosystem; we don't use any chemicals and we do a lot of companion planting, which is plants that work well together.

“We have planted quite a bit of mustard seed – it lets off certain aromas which help keep a lot of bugs away and it also helps us put that green manure back into the ground which creates some beautiful soil.”

Diane said with the Permaculture Garden situated at the Botanic Gardens, Council was providing a place for the community to enjoy nature and learn about the benefits of growing produce.

“It's really good for the community to see how things can work naturally and how they can work together,” she said.

Video: Paul Donaldson

How the Permaculture Garden works

Diane said the garden was situated in the nursery at the Botanic Gardens and visitors were free to pick ripe plants and produce of their liking.

“When the public are picking something to take home, we just ask to make sure its ripe,” she said.

“It is always nicer to have it ripened on the vine rather than on your kitchen bench.”

To get to the Permaculture Garden, head to the right hand walking track at the bottom lake.



  1. Sounds like a excellent idea, visitors and locals should enjoy the experience and the produce. Will pass information onto visitors who come to Bundaberg Visitors Centre.

  2. The idea is very encouraging. Can we get a fact sheet on this method of permaculture to try at Woodgate?

  3. We visit the gardens often and this is another wonderful innovative idea to get more people interested in this method. Well done Bundaberg Council! I am sure we will be visiting more now!


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