A Brief History of Gunyah Community Garden
The Gunyah Community Garden is located on the grounds of Northbridge Uniting Church, on Gunyah St, Northbridge.
The Aboriginal meaning for Gunyah is an Aboriginal bush hut, typically made of sheets of bark and branches. Or sometimes referred to as a meeting place.
The Gunyah Community Garden evolved from a Uniting Innovative Community Grant in 2015. The area available for the Gunyah garden was covered in rubble and weeds, which presented an exciting prospect, as we could design the garden from scratch. It had limited exposure to the wind and lots of sun. It also had a garden shed and a water tank donated by Margaret Hill. Geoff West cleared the grass and weeds, established pathways, positioned wick beds and laid granite. We also built a herb spiral out of old house bricks, planted fruit trees and passionfruit vines along the ugly wooden fence. Borage and nasturtiums now tumble onto the sides of pathways creating an essential element of softness.
Terracotta pots full of succulents add an element of surprise and appear unexpectedly throughout the garden. As one season finishes there are more seeds or plants ready to be planted. The cumquat tree not only provides visual interest but there is also the satisfaction of making jams and pickles from the harvested fruit. Even though we try to have control over the Gunyah Garden, Mother Nature has the final say. In 2021, Gunyah Garden received a grant from the Help Street Foundation to establish a Bush Tucker Garden on the south side.
When I think back to the beginning, I feel blessed that we had the support and knowledge from many people like Susan and Philip Peake. Jan Loiterton continues to bring her inspiration and practical skills to the garden every week.
Wandering around the garden is enjoyable and watering is relaxing. Whether you are a new or an experienced gardener, young or old gardening can ease stress, keep you limber, and even improve your mood. Come join us!
- Sarnie Hay