Cob oven for the garden

Hello Gardeners,

There has been talk about building a cob pizza oven at the garden over the summer months. I’ve been asked to let you know the materials required, to be gathered over the next few months.

  • Clay: The subsoil that many of you have in your backyards, neighbours excavations. Builders are have to get rid of it. Pick it up in lumps, bring it to the garden in buckets(the big ones). We can keep it there soaked and ready.
  • Sand: Beach, river, any……
  • Straw: We have a fair bit of that!
  • Water: That too!
  • Rocks: That too!
  • Empty Glass Bottles: For insulation
  • Pumice: from the beach also for insulation- collect as you go walking
  • Stone grindings (not essential) -from a stone cutting workshop
  • Fire bricks or old dry pressed bricks for the base cook surface.
  • Materials for a little roof covering- timber/tin or we could locate it under the cola.
  • Biggish Tarp
  •  buckets.
  • Small wading pool (feet wash off).
  • Drums or substitutes

Gatherings of people!! People to prepare food, people to play drums and people to play music, people to take their shoes off….. Children, teenagers, elderly …

Call me if you have any queries on this.Rhiannon 0467640833

The Secret’s Out! Working bee this Sunday

Hello Gardeners!

Last Wednesday evening we participated in Wollongong Council’s new program “Secret Suburbs”. Eight groups from Thirroul and surrounds, including Thirroul Community Garden, got 6 minutes each to tell the audience about our groups.


David, Charlie and Emma engrossed in a garden discovery

Here’s one of the lovely photos of our garden I showed as part of our presentation. Thanks to all for your photos and suggestions about what to present. I’ll post the full presentation at a later date, when I return from a quick sojourn in the north.


I’m presently in sunny Queensland, (and tomorrow planning to visit the wonderful Northey Street City Farm, where our Kazie did her Permaculture Design Certificate some years ago). So I won’t be at the garden tomorrow, but the compost turn will go ahead as usual from 9 am, followed by some work on weeding and mulching the vegetable beds.

So come along and get involved! Don’t forget your hat, and your sturdy boots (it’s still quite muddy there up the back). Look out for Jenny and Kazie at the compost piles!

Cheers Julie




Morning Tea at the Garden this Sunday May 17?

Hello Gardeners

We’ve had a few new members join up, at our open day and after. Welcome everyone! We’ve also had a few people put up their hands to help with compost making. That’s great news, since our regular compost collectors are mostly away at the moment, leaving only Linda, who can’t do the collection every week. If anyone else would like to help out, please let us know at . The job’s pretty simple – you simply take our big bins along to Cucina cafe and to the Flame Tree co-op, and decant their organic wastes into our bins, then bring the bins down to the garden, along with the cardboard from the co-op. The job can be done anytime the cafe is open (before 3 pm) on Friday or Saturday. (The co-op bins can be accessed in the laneway anytime).

Secret suburbs flyers_edited

We’ve got a presentation coming up at Secret Thirroul (download the flyer here – spread the word!) so we’d love some ideas of what to share about our lovely garden. Let’s discuss over a coffee at the garden tomorrow Sunday May 17 – around 10 am, after the compost turn. Bring coffee or a plate to share for morning tea.

See you down at the garden tomorrow – any time from 9am!

Cheers Julie

Join us Sunday April 26 for the compost turn!

Hello Gardeners

This Sunday, we’ll be turning the compost from around 9 am down at the garden. Then on to check on our recent plantings and make a plan for the next plantings. If you joined us at our open day, or are planning to join, come along! We’ll take you on a tour and induct you into our mysterious ways!

Bring a plate to share for morning tea. Kazie’s bringing coffee, Jenny’s bringing cake. Julie’s bringing cheese and crackers. So there’s some inspiration!


And here’s a little more inspiration – this photo shows Les and Dani helping Kazie move the giant mulch mountain in preparation for open day. What a great job they did, but there’s lots more mulching to be done folks! Come and join the fun.

Upcoming Events

There are a couple of upcoming events that may interest some folk:

May 1-7 is celebrate composting week. On Wednesday May 6 at 6 pm – there’ll be a screening of “Dirt: the movie” at Excelsior Hall in Thirroul, with soup for sale by Hidden Harvest. Download the flyer here. Julie and Bruce will be helping the Hidden Harvest folk serve the soup, and promoting the garden. Come along and see this uplifting movie!

Tuesday May 5 is International Permaculture Day.There are a number of events around the world to celebrate.

One that may interest our gardeners is on Sunday May 3 – a Walk and Talk Permaculture and Self-Sufficiency Workshop at The Keep, a lovely garden in Buxton (about 45 minutes drive from Thirroul). See here for more details.

Then on Sunday May 10 there is a meet-up for community gardeners at the Rose Bay Community Garden. See here for more details.

And on May 27 at 6pm we’ll be presenting at the first of Wollongong Council’s Secret Suburbs events – SECRET THIRROUL. Secret Suburbs “brings happening places, people and activities out of the woodwork and into the public sphere”. We’ll be telling the world about our lovely garden, so if you’ve got some ideas of what we might present, contact us here with your ideas. Download a flyer here, and help promote this event.

That’s it for now, see you down at the garden tomorrow! 9 am!

Cheers Julie


Our lovely open day – plus Induction session times


We had a wonderful open day on Sunday April 19. Planting, bushcare, bed building, leaf bingo, flax weaving, mud-bricks – so much fun!

First we’d like to extend a big WELCOME to all those people who decided that day that you’d like to join us!

Here are the next planned induction times. Please email us here to let us know which time works best for you – OR if none of these work, we’re happy to arrange an alternative time to take you through how we work at the garden.

  • Sunday April 26 9 am – 10 am with Kazie and Vicki
  • Tuesday April 28 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm with Julie
  • Saturday May 2 9:00 am – 10 am with Vicki
  • Monday May 4 9:00 am – 10 am with Paul
  • Tuesday May 5 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm with Julie

Looking forward to hearing from you! If you’ve not yet signed up, you can do so at the Thirroul Neighborhood Centre (open on Wednesdays and Fridays) – in the Thirroul Community Centre and Library building. OR – bring your forms and correct change to your induction session and we’ll sign you up there.

Next – we’d like to extend HUGE THANKS to all who helped make Sunday such a great day:

Cath Blakey from Wollongong Council’s Green team for loaning (and delivering!) equipment, providing some great gardening and chook information sheets and booklets to give out, and of course the great prizes for kids. (And speaking of the green team, they are busy planning activities for the upcoming Celebrate Compost week – see here for more information. And in our neighborhood, there’ll be a screening of Dirt! the Movie on Wednesday May 6.  See here for bookings and information.)

Paul Hellier from Council’s bushcare team for sending along Bernadette Hodgkins to work alongside our Bushcare co-ordinator David. And also, for bringing us plants to regenerate the latest successful clearing in the “great wall of privet”.

Russell Dixon from the Niche nursery for donating (and delivering!) the fantastic flag poles (which were pressed into service to hold the tarpaulin roof on the day, but will be great flagpoles at the entrance from now on).

Emily Messieh and her wonderful team of volunteers at the Thirroul Neighborhood Centre who arranged the bake stall.

John Jones and the guys from the Bulli Men’s Shed for arranging the sausage sizzle and the coffee cart.

Lizzie Rose and Caitlin Marshall from Wild Rumpus for arranging the fantastic mudbrick workshop, run by David from Mud Fun.

And – of course, each and every one of our marvelous gardeners who worked so hard to make the day a great success. You know who you are! You’re all FABULOUS!

If anyone has photos of the day to share, we’d love to have them! Email us!

20150419_142554Meantime, here’s my favorite from the day – a young participant of the mudbrick workshop, who really immersed himself in the material – so much so, he needed some help to eat his cake from the bake stall.




Cheers! See you down at the garden soon! Julie





Open Day Sunday April 19 – Join Us!

Hello everyone!

We’re having an OPEN DAY at the garden on April 19th, from 11 am to 3 pm.

All welcome! Bring your friends, your neighbors, your kids, your grandparents!

Garden tours and lots of information on how you can get involved.

We’ll have live music, fun and games for young and old. We’ll make some plant shade structures and weave some little baskets for produce collection. We’ll build a new vegetable bed and plant it with autumn vegetables and their favorite companions. We’ll have information about the bushcare work we do, and you can help plant some local plants in the bushcare zone.

Our friends at Wild Rumpus will be running a mud-brick workshop – see here for information on how to register.

There will be a sausage sizzle and coffee cart courtesy of the Thirroul Men’s Shed. (Gold coin donation, proceeds to the Mens’ Shed).

There will be a cake and lemonade stall, hosted by our parent organization Thirroul Neighborhood Centre. Proceeds to TNC to help in the great community work they do. For more info, see their facebook page here.

TNC logo2


Please help to spread the word! Download a flyer here!

Regular Bushcare Meetup this Sunday

Hello Gardeners,

Tomorrow (December 7) is the first Sunday of the month, so we’ll be doing our usual Bushcare meeting at the garden from 9 am. After compost making efforts will move to our Bushcare zone beside the creek.

David F will be co-ordinating this time, come along and help out!

We’ve been planting a few new bushfoods over the last weeks: two Macadamia trees, and a line of Riberries along the fence near the compost heaps (Watering Roster please note – these new plantings need some TLC if it stops raining!). Some more Illawarra Plum Pines are ready for planting this week.


And we welcome a gift from a friend of the Garden – Fiona Martin – a beautiful Midyim Berry bush. Fiona fondly remembers these from her time in northern NSW and has donated this lovely one for us to grow here.

Last week Mary and Julie attended the Wollongong City Council’s annual “Rise and Shine” Awards Presentation. We each collected a certificate and a cheque for $100 (one for the Gardeners, and one for the Bushcare group) – an expression of thanks from Council for our work. Our Treasurer Paul has already deposited our cheques – one will cover our garden rent, the other we can use for plantings, and materials. When we get the photos from the awards night, we’ll post some!

Cheers Julie

Sunday 28th November Spring Cleanup and Coffee

Hello Gardeners!

On Sunday 28th November Thirroul Community Garden will hold its annual spring clean up day, part of Wollongong Council’s Rise and Shine program. Our Bushcare group started the work at the beginning of spring, and now we’ll finish it on Sunday, from 9 am. Wear gumboots if you plan to get close to the creek, or sturdy footwear otherwise. And a hat of course – the rest we’ll provide (gloves, bags, tools). Bring a plate to share. We’ll stop for a coffee break around 10 or 10:30.

By participating in the program, we not only help clean up our lovely local area, we also earn a little reward, which helps us pay the rent for our garden. So come along and help out!

On Thursday December 4 at 6 pm, the Rise and Shine Environmental Awards will be presented in Wollongong. Julie and Mary will be going along to represent the Bushcare group and TCG – anyone care to  join us? Let us know here as soon as possible so we can RSVP.

We’ve been busy planting in the garden, and with the hot weather upon us, we need to have a good watering roster in place so that we don’t lose plants on hot days. Watch soon for a post about the watering roster.

See you on Sunday!


BushCare + Rise and Shine Cleanup Day

Hello gardeners! This Sunday October 12, starting at 9 am come along to the garden. We’ll have our BushCare hats on this weekend (we missed last week because of the long weekend). And moreover, we’ll be cleaning up our section of Hewitt’s Creek as part of the Wollongong Council’s Annual Rise and Shine Spring Cleanup campaign. And for our efforts, our bushcare group will receive a small payment!

We’d love to see you there, no matter if you haven’t rejoined the garden yet, come along and catch up with everyone, help us clean up.

WEAR – sturdy boots (rubber ones if you plan on going into the creek area), good protective clothing (the lantana is scratchy!) and sunscreen and hat. We’ll provide gloves and tools and bags.

BRING – a plate and or a beverage to share for morning tea.

See you there gardeners! The marvelous Vicki M will be co-ordinating.

Remember – 9 AM SUNDAY OCTOBER 12.

Cheers Julie

Spring is here … Bushcare Bee this Sunday 7 Sept

Spring is here and it’s the first Sunday this weekend so time for another Bushcare Bee – 9am – 11 am. Please come along and lend a hand or two!

We will need to get down into the lower banks of the creek so bring your gumboots. If you’re interested in planning a new native planting come along with ideas and we will organise a plant order for planting next month (October Bushcare Bee will be 12 October because of the long weekend).

If you would like to work in the garden there’s lots to do there as well.

At the AGM last Sunday members voted to implement a stewardship system for the garden beds – so if you would like to ‘adopt a bed’ come along to the garden or contact us by email –

More news from the AGM and events team coming soon …