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Garden Insights - How Garden Choices Can Make Your Home More Sustainable

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Event description

Garden Insights + Share Table

Garden Insights: How Garden Choices Can Make Your Home More Sustainable

in conjunction with Sustainable House Day

Sunday 21 April 2024

2.00 pm - 4.30 pm
37 Gordon Avenue, Newtown, Q 4350

This event is organised by Permaculture Toowoomba Inc.

Bookings are Essential

Bookings are essential so that we have contact details and know how many will be attending.

Please note - the Garden Insights visit this month will be held on 3rd Sunday instead of the usual 1st Sunday of the month.  This is to avoid Easter, the Toowoomba Show and School Holidays which are always busy times, and also to support Sustainable House Day.

This event is part of Renew's nationwide Sustainable House Day program. View the full program here


What We'll Do

We’ll start at 2.00 pm with a welcome and introduction. We like to visit a range of different gardens, each as unique as the gardeners who live there. It’s wonderful to see the diverse garden styles, approaches, and plants that can be grown in our bioregion.

So this month Kushla Gale will take us on a tour of her edible urban garden with a focus on how garden choices can make your home more sustainable.

What We'll See

Kusha is hosting this garden visit in conjunction with Renew's nationwide Sustainable House Day run in Toowoomba by Renew Toowoomba Branch.  We visited her edible garden last September, but this time the tour will highlight how garden planning and design can help make your home more energy and water-efficient and otherwise sustainable.

Outdoor landscaping and connections to nature are crucial aspects of sustainable houses and offer invaluable support to the livability of indoor spaces.  Gardens can improve the efficiency, beauty and health of a home, and make important contributions to the natural ecology, biodiversity, and climate. This is particularly important in densely populated urban areas.

We'll see and learn about:

  • The use of shade to reduce temperature and enhance passive heating and cooling, create microclimates, and mitigate the heat island effect.
  • Water management including rainwater harvesting, irrigation, greywater, reduced release of stormwater, and drought-tolerant plants.
  • Waste management including composting food waste to build soil nutrients and reduce pressures on landfill.
  • Plantings to improve air quality, create privacy, provide windbreaks, buffers and filters, and channel air movement.
  • Local food production to support personal health and reduce food miles.
  • Saving and planting local seeds and cuttings for resilience and food security.
  • Biodiversity and wildlife habitat as part of a green network for bees, birds, insects, frogs and lizards.

Kushla will also discuss the house modifications that have increased its sustainability and earth-conscious livability, and also what could have been done differently to be more sustainable.

1960s house
1960s House

The Story Behind the Garden

Kushla's edible garden is a five-year-old suburban garden started during the drought from a blank slate of bare grass and 3 small trees; so it's still under development. Everything is edible (though not every part of every plant is edible!), and all layers have been planted, from root veggies to groundcovers, annuals and perennials, shrubs, trees and vines.

It hasn't been consciously designed using the Permaculture Principles but some of them have been incorporated. Kushla tries to plant unusual edibles, especially low-care, drought-tolerant ones with a long harvest season (or the harvestable part doesn't have to be quickly harvested).

Here's a short video of Kushla's Toowoomba Edible Garden from the 2022 Carnival of Flowers Garden Competition.  See Video

Historically, the natural ecosystem was cleared for cattle, then suburbia was built in the 1960s. One family lived in the house til Kushla's partner purchased it in January 2018. The garden was put on hold until November 2018 while the house was renovated inside and out. A few roses and azaleas were given away, and they started from scratch, starting with no dig lasagna beds.

Shading a western window
Shading a western window

Afternoon Tea (provided)

A light afternoon tea will be provided (including Gluten Free and Vegan options).

What to Bring

  • Water Bottle
  • Sun protection
  • Clothes and footwear suitable for outdoor weather conditions
  • Donations of surplus produce for the Share Table

Share Table

Do you have surplus?

We encourage you to bring your surplus produce, plants, seeds, books, craft supplies, and resources to share with others at our events.

Some ideas of what you could bring include – fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, honey, milk, jams, pickles, preserves, jars, ferments, starters, SCOBYs, seeds, plants, seedlings, cuttings, tubers, pots, tools, gardening magazines, permaculture books, recipes, patterns, manure, coffee grounds, compost additives, worms, mealworms, wool, fabric, craft supplies, soap, natural cleaning products, plastic alternatives, produce bags – the list is extensive.

Please bring whatever you can and then take home whatever you need within our culture of generosity and free sharing


Parking is available on the street.


This garden has access for wheelchairs, walking frames, and strollers if needed. Everyone is welcome including children with close adult supervision for their safety.

We hope we see you there!


  • Financial Members of Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. - Free
  • First-time Visitors to a Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. Event - Free
  • Non-Members - $10 per person
  • Children attending with an Adult - Free (but please book so we know the total numbers)


Annual Membership of Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. is due by 31 December each year. It's only $40 per person or $30 for a second or subsequent adult living in the same home.  

If you join now, membership is valid for until the end of 2024

Members can attend all events and workshops during the year at no cost. You can pay your membership at checkout when you book to attend this event.

Please complete a Membership form which will be available at the event for anyone wishing to join, or available here for download at http://www.permaculturetoowoomba.com.au/membership/

Frog hotel
Frog hotel
Shading of colorbond fence to reduce heat
Shading of colorbond fence to reduce heat
Supporting wildlife
Supporting wildlife

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