An Inner City Balcony Garden

May 1, 2017

While Hobart’s a tiny city compared to some, it still has dense inner city living happening. Some of our friends (David and Frances) live in a beautiful heritage building in central Hobart and while they’ve love it they’ve long hankered for some garden space beyond their pots of herbs.

Being the wonderful people they are, they eventually managed to get the rest of the body corporate equally as excited in the idea and after much planning they now have this.

And while you can make the observation that it’s more balcony than garden this is enough for their context and capacity.

Special features include:

  • Water: After having a brief chat to us in the planning stages we recommended they explore having a wicking bed system, which they went with. The whole long veggie garden is one big wicking bed meaning it’s water efficient and easy to maintain. Clever.
  • Community: Both David and Frances have been over the moon with the more invisible outcomes of the garden. Socialising with the other body corporate members has massively increased. The garden’s not just growing food, but it’s growing community.
  • Waste: Currently David and Francis have one small worm farm beneath their stairs (along with some citrus trees). On our recent visit they mentioned they want to expand this significantly so other residents could add their food waste. We think a series of worm farm seats could do the trick (watch this space).

The small worm farm hiding beneath the stairs for processing food waste. 

The balcony garden doubles as a carport for the resident’s cars

David and Frances think they’ll probably stay here forever now – it seems to have completed their idea of what a good home is. It’s amazing how some clever design thinking, a touch of gumption and community can transform spaces.

Future plans include planting some additional fruit trees at the car park level, adding some more compost facilities and I’m voting for some passionfruit vines along that hot concrete wall directly above the annual veggie beds!

* This balcony garden was designed Hobart structural engineer Jim Gandy.

your thoughts:

4 Comments

  1. Vivian Fujiura

    Building community seems to be the big idea…So the balcony itself was built, for the garden to happen? Does it get much sun?

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      The main catalyst was to build a garden, the balcony is a happy by-product. And yes, it gets fantastic sun – this is the reason it was put on the opposite wall as this is where the sun hits most on the property.

      Reply
  2. Fiona

    Terrific design. It will be interesting to see how much it changes the relationships of the people who live there now that they have somewhere that they can talk and linger. Gardens seems to bring people together in so many different ways.

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      Indeed Fiona. Our friends said that it’s already improved the sense of community so the future looks bright!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You might also like…

Reo Mesh Garden Arches

Reo Mesh Garden Arches

I'm a big fan of reinforcement mesh (aka reo mash) as a material to use for making simple and super strong and versatile structures for plants to grow on. I'm always keeping an eye out for scraps of the meh at our local tip shop, alas it's highly sort after. So...

Verticillium Wilt In Your Fruit Trees? Bugger.

Verticillium Wilt In Your Fruit Trees? Bugger.

Over the past few years I've been trying to figure out what's wrong with my two apricot trees as they've never really thrived. Symptoms included not fruiting well, sparse leaf and dead wood starting to appear in the canopy branches. Finally this year while we were...

Home Harvest: Thoughts & A Virtual Tour 2023

Home Harvest: Thoughts & A Virtual Tour 2023

Home Harvest is an edible garden trail around nipaluna/Hobart that we started in collaboration with the City of Hobart in 2020. Here’s some images and videos (further below) from 2023 to give you a taster! Over 700 people took themselves around to some incredibly diverse edible gardens and just had such a great time. Talking […]

Home Harvest 2023: Host Call Out!

Home Harvest 2023: Host Call Out!

We’re happy to announce we’re working with Eat Well Tasmania and Sustainable Living Tasmania to hold our fourth annual “Home Harvest” garden tour in the nipaluna/Hobart region!  Special thanks to the City of Hobart for funding this great initiative. Home Harvest is going to be a one day event on Sunday March 19th, 2023 in and around nipaluna/Hobart where […]

Crowdsourcing Photos For My New Book!

Crowdsourcing Photos For My New Book!

Hi Friends, I’m in the process of writing my second book about how to grow food in any climate in Australia (due out late 2023 with Affirm Press). As it’s covering the whole, vast country I would so very dearly love to include photos of edible gardens in different climates to show folks what’s possible […]

Mounding Potatoes – Or Not

Mounding Potatoes – Or Not

There are many varieties of potatoes (aka spuds) but only two key categories they all fall into. Determinate and indeterminate. Determinate potatoes don’t grow very tall and only produce spuds in one layer of soil so you don’t need to mound them. They also generally mature quicker than indeterminate types, a good thing to know […]

Eat Those Weeds

Eat Those Weeds

I’m a big fan of eating weeds. But first, what even is a weed? A common description is that it’s simply a plant in the wrong place – meaning us humans don’t want it there as it may be compromising the ecological integrity of that place or crowding other plants we want to thrive. But […]

How To Make a Fancy Clutch From Scraps

How To Make a Fancy Clutch From Scraps

I recently went to the TV Week Logies with dear Costa, representing the wonderful Gardening Australia. While we didn’t win our category, we did have a lot of fun celebrating gardening. Costa Georgiadis and I on the red carpet! Yes, he does fit perfectly in my armpit nook. We also had a lot of fun […]

How To Grow Food From Scraps

How To Grow Food From Scraps

As I have a large garden and the luxury of space, I don’t usually make time to experiment with growing food in tight spaces. But I’ve always been curious about growing food from scraps. So I made the time – thank you curiosity. I saved some scraps from going straight into the compost bin and […]

Vote For Gardening Australia!

Vote For Gardening Australia!

Hello Dear Friends, I have two bits of exciting news to share with you, which can be summed up with Costa’s (host of Gardening Australia) gorgeous smile below… After being a guest presenter on Gardening Australia since 2019, I recently became an official permanent member of their team. Oh the joy!!! This is very exciting […]