About the garden
Holder Community Garden has been in operation since 2001. It has 57 plots, varying in size from 18 m2 to 45 m2. It is located on the corner of Streeton Drive and the Cotter Road, with access from Dixon Drive.
It has a very sunny, open, aspect from all sides, a great boon to successful vegetable gardening. However, it is exposed to prevailing hot north westerly summer winds, and sits in a winter frost hollow. Casuarinas planted both inside and outside the garden after the 2003 bush fires provide some wind protection and varying shade, but the most successful plots incorporate some form of partial wind barrier. The soil varies from plot to plot, depending on the age of the plot and past soil improvement practices, but is typically clay-based with couch grass as the most invasive of the local weeds.
The Holder garden has a very active gardening community. About 40 people hold plots, with a wide range of vegetables grown in all seasons, and some impressive flowers. The garden has consistently won awards in autumn for its varied and colourful produce displays, sourced from most plots and the communal plantings. Gardening methods are organic, but otherwise vary from plot to plot – heavily mulched; no mulch; vertical; horizontal; no-dig; and deep straw bale beds.
Holder has a communal orchard and a herb garden, grapevines, raspberries and perennial vegetable patch for shared use, as well as greenhouse, shed, BBQ, communal compost heaps, and some tools. All plot holders have access to leaves and grass clippings dropped off periodically by gardening contractors.
Gardeners share the allotment with a range of passing wildlife, notably field mice and bush rats; rabbits and foxes; snakes and geckos in spring and summer; many lovely blue wrens and willy wag tails; and starlings, choughs, crows and cockatoos.
Regular work parties attend to mowing and grounds maintenance, compost management, mulching fruit trees and tools repair. Gardeners enjoy occasional social BBQs on site, and there is a strong culture of regular informal sharing of seeds, seedlings, produce, gardening knowledge and local experience.