We worked closely with the Head Chef, selecting edible plant species that would cope with the harsh conditions and taste great.

We created Westpac HQ's working kitchen herb garden

Westpac contractor, Compass Group Foodservice engaged Urban GreenSpace with the thought of converting the 22 storey high balcony planter-boxes into a working kitchen herb garden.

Setting up this sky-high garden presented unique challenges. Wind barriers already existed on the site to protect the plants but we had to correct the soil and irrigation, making both suitable for growing delicious edibles. 

We improved the existing soil by using composts and composted manures to improve the fertility. An automated drip irrigation system ensures consistent watering despite the height.

We came up with a seasonal planting plan, working closely with the Executive Head Chef, selecting edible plant species that would cope with the harsh conditions and taste great. 

We chose a range of perennial Mediterranean herbs and native plants that would provide interesting visual texture.

Our strategy focused on maximising space efficiency. We used ground covers and canopy plants combined with climbing plants. Interplanting helped us make the most of limited space while promoting plant health. 

Some of the plants we chose that could thrive in this harsh environment were:

  • Rosemary: Drought-resistant and aromatic.
  • Thyme: Compact and hardy.
  • Oregano: Spreads easily, providing ground cover.
  • Native lemon myrtle: Adds local flavor and withstands wind.
  • Sage: Silvery leaves offer visual interest.
  • Elderberry: A versatile shrub that provides edible flowers and berries. Its robust nature makes it well-suited for the high-altitude environment, while its attractive foliage adds visual appeal to the garden. The elderberry's flowers can be used in teas and cordials, while its berries are rich in antioxidants and can be used in various culinary applications.

We managed installation into the level 22 garden beds, involving significant logistics with building management and security.

The result is a thriving herb garden that not only provides fresh ingredients for the kitchen but also creates a green oasis high above the city streets.


Planting plan
Soil analysis

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