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

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