Willsmere Kitchen Garden
A Community Garden in Yarra Bend Park
The Willsmere Kitchen Garden is a partnership between the community and Parks Victoria - a safe and welcoming space to enjoy gardening and food production, strengthen community bonds and share knowledge.
The Willsmere Kitchen Garden (WKG) is a community garden located in Yarra Bend Park in Kew - the largest area of natural bushland near the heart of Melbourne. This park, located where the Yarra River and Merri Creek join, has been an important site for the Wurundjeri Aboriginal people for a long time before the arrival of Europeans in Melbourne. This is commemorated by the Koori Garden on the western edge of the park, near Dights Falls.
The Willsmere Kitchen garden was established in 2017 as a collaboration between a group of residents from the neighbouring Willsmere Estate and Parks Victoria and provides a unique and cherished place to share a vision of growing our own food, strengthening community bonds and sharing gardening knowledge. We take pride in its openness and welcome everyone in the community to enjoy our beautiful gardens, but ask that you respect the produce of individuals.
The garden’s first stage is designed to pay homage to the formal gardens of the neighbouring asylum and the site’s recent history as a kitchen garden that supplied food for the inmates and staff of the asylum.
It features a central talking circle surrounded by seats that are designed to encourage conversations and community. Above-ground beds were donated by Bunnings Hawthorn in November 2018 and smaller community herb beds around the inner circle were created with recycled local materials. In 2019 a variety of herbs were planted for all to enjoy, including a tea garden that can provide relief from sleeplessness, arthritis and rambunctious cats.
The inaugural committee have a vision and a grand plan for the future that involves a second set of above-ground beds mirroring the first, a heritage fruit orchard, a garlic farm, many more in-ground beds, grape vines, communal spaces with paving and chairs and tables as well as a series of workshops and community days designed to celebrate the space and share knowledge.
Join Our Community Garden
• A general joining fee of $50.00 AND
• Potager garden above ground bed $75 per year or pro rata amount OR
• Potager garden smaller beds $50 per year or pro rata amount OR
• In ground garden beds $75 per year or pro rata amount
**You do not need to pay until you have been allocated a plot. **
Membership Rules and Responsibilities:
As a Willsmere Kitchen Garden Member I understand that:
● I will pay a joining membership fee of $50 (available for each household).
● I will pay a further rental fee of $75 or pro rata if joining past July 1 (or other amount specified) according to plot size by July 1 each year.
(Failure to pay by July 30 will forfeit your plot.)
● I will join Parks Victoria Volunteer Group “Willsmere Community Garden” and abide by Parks Victoria Volunteer policies.
● I am expected to attend working bees on the third Saturday/Sunday of each month and to contribute to the upkeep of communal areas. Failure to attend at least one working bee a year will forfeit my garden plot
● I am expected to maintain my personal plot in a tidy manner. This includes weeding around the edges.
● I am expected to actively maintain a crop in my plot. If my plot appears abandoned for two consecutive seasons (checked by committee at the end of each season) I will forfeit my plot and the annual rental fee for that year.
● I cannot sub lease or give my plot to others.
● I am expected to behave respectfully and inclusively to other members and guests of members at all times in the garden and at meetings and working bees regarding the Willsmere Kitchen Garden.
● I must gain approval for the planting of new plants in communal / shared spaces before proceeding
● I must not plant any plants outside of my allocated plot nor construct any extensions to my plot that may impede the walkways.
● I am expected to be responsible for the supervision of any child/ren I bring to the Garden
● I am expected to be responsible for the supervision of any dogs I bring to the Garden. I will scoop up any droppings and dispose of such droppings off the Garden site
● My participation at the Garden is at my own risk and that I need to be responsible for my actions. Neither the Willsmere Community Garden Committee nor Parks Victoria will be liable for any injury to me, any friends that I may invite, nor for the loss of any of my possessions.
The information you provide in this application will assist us to communicate with you and keep
records of our members.
Should you choose to submit an incomplete form, processing your application may be delayed and the quality of our service to you may be affected.
Your privacy protected
This information will be stored securely. The information you provide will be used to process your
application for membership and only used or disclosed for the following purposes:
1. general administration relating to communication with you
2. reporting purposes for funding applications and similar
3. for any other purpose required by law.
You may access or update any personal information by contacting the Committee. If you have a concern or complaint about the way your personal information has been collected, used, or disclosed, you should contact the Committee.
Taking photographs of you can constitute a collection of your personal information. Occasionally photographs are taken of individuals and groups of individuals at the garden and are used to help promote the garden. We will seek your permission to disclose your identity or publish other information about you.
Once your application is received, we will put you on the waiting list for a garden plot and contact you when a plot becomes available. Thank you!
Willsmere, Wiltshire Drive, Kew VIC Australia 3101