Forestville Farm

Forestville Farm

A landscape garden design transforming a neglected suburban jungle into a productive food forest and thriving ecology.

The vision

Full disclosure, Forestville Farm is Urban GreenSpace’s home, so we are both client and landscape designer. We like to think of it as a demonstration garden. When we bought the property in 2013, the garden was completely neglected. The vision for the landscape garden design was to transform it into a productive urban food forest and local ecology for wildlife.

Within the design, there are three main zones. The first, the front yard, was designed to improve the street appeal and property value, with a more structured design using recycled sandstone rock walls and perennials. Our favourite native gum tree is the hero of a bush garden which forms a native play space for local fauna (including our children!)

Our favourite gum tree
Our favourite gum tree surrounded by a permeable driveway


Recycled stone and upcycled pond bush garden
Recycled stone and upcycled pond bush garden

With a permeable driveway, the design maximises water capture for fruit and coffee trees, also reducing stormwater run-off. An outcome of this front yard design is that it has started a lot of conversations with locals in our community asking what we’re growing (since we’re always in the garden.) A productive front garden is a great way to connect with your neighbours.

The second zone is the backyard, which has been terraced with a retaining wall, to provide a pergola with recycled brick paving and fire pit as well as a lawn area for the kids. A productive vegetable garden has been established using Vegepod wicking beds, which has been combined with a chicken run. Decking wraps around the garage/workshop building, connecting the main cottage with the garage and studio.

Wicking bed to grow nutritious vegetables fast
Wicking bed to grow nutritious vegetables fast

The final zone of the design sits on a lower level, below natural rock ledges that we wanted to feature. This is a favourite scratch-zone for our chickens, beneath the food forest of bananas, papaya, coffee trees, native plum, grasses and macadamias amongst others.

Food Forest for our Chickens
The food forest is our chickens' happy place


Landscape design
Planting plan

Steve had the patience of a saint during the landscape design of Forestville Farm. There were quite a few random "new ideas" I threw at him, but he always made it work.

Emily W.

Steve's deep understanding of nutrition and cuisine delivered a comprehensive planting plan for my wicking bed.

Vicki H