CDU gardening event draws community 

Plants on display and for sale at the event

Emily Stevenson's presentation gives a close-up opportunity for attendees to inspect CDU's

There was no reward for staying in bed on the Anzac Day long weekend, especially at Charles Darwin University (CDU).

More than 400 people got a head start on growing their own produce at a productive gardening event held as part of Australia’s Open Garden Scheme at CDU’s School of Horticulture.

The event was geared to provide helpful tips and advice to gardeners on how to have a productive Top End garden.

And though CDU VET lecturer Emily Stevenson kicked off the Saturday program with a presentation on “no-dig” gardening, lazy gardeners didn’t get a look in, with standing room only at her talk.

Emily gave step-by-step instructions on how to create an organic, no-dig garden bed by first laying down cardboard or newspaper on top of any porous surface – even concrete, if it has sufficient drainage – and then layering organic material on top, gradually building up a garden bed.

Novice gardener Suzanne Cameron and her daughter, Jessica, attended Emily’s presentation, wanting to pick up practical pointers on how to grow organic home produce.

Suzanne and her family are moving to a two hectare rural block and Suzanne wants to make her first attempt at gardening productive.

Xavier Lane-Mullins and his partner, Jackie Garbutt, attended the Open Garden event looking for advice on establishing their own tropical garden paradise.

Until recently, Xavier and Jackie lived in Tasmania, but moved back to Darwin after a long absence.

“There’s a lot of books available on southern gardening, but it’s hard to find sound advice on establishing a tropical garden using native Australian plants,” Xavier said.

“That’s why an event such as this is really important.”

Xavier and Jackie have a long-standing interest in gardening, and have participated in several gardening courses in the past, but until now, they haven’t had the opportunity of putting their learning into practise.

“We did quite a lot of community gardening courses in Hobart, but because we were renting, we didn’t get to apply what we learnt. But now that we’ve bought our own place, we’re here to get some advice on tropical gardening.”

CDU’s Horticulture and Aquaculture Group will run short gardening courses on a variety of topics on weekends and evenings during the dry season.

Emily Stevenson will conduct an organic veggie-growing class over three Saturdays.

All classes are geared towards the home gardener, but are also suitable for people working in industry, or wanting to get into the industry.

For further information, or to register your interest, contact Shevonne Rose on 8946 7513.

Visit the event photo gallery >>