Sustainable Gardening


With a little planning, it’s easy to create a beautiful garden that suits our local climate, enhances biodiversity and provides a range of health and wellbeing benefits to you and your family.

Check out the Sustainable Gardening in Stonnington booklet for information and inspiration to create your own sustainable garden in the City of Stonnington.

sticky everlasting flower

Designing a sustainable garden

A sustainable garden will attract local wildlife, suit your local soil and climate, conserve water and look beautiful.

Garden design tips

  1. Find a style that you like which also suits your garden so the paving, pots, water features and plants match. Find design inspiration on the Sustainable Gardening Australia website.
  2. Do a site analysis and work out what you can do in your garden. Focus on soil quality, sun, shade and privacy.
  3. List what you need (shed, washing line, kids play equipment, entertainment area) and what you want (vegie garden, shade area, pond, fruit tree/s).
  4. Develop a scaled plan or mark out in the garden the locations of your garden elements. Consider locations that are practical and also look good.
  5. If your block is on a slope, consider building a retaining wall or contouring your garden to prevent water and mulch runoff.
  6. Make the most of your space and include bigger garden beds and smaller lawns. This can protect and attract small birds to your garden such as the Superb Fairy-wren while deterring bossy birds such as the noisy minor who are attracted to large lawns.
  7. Plant dense shrubs (prickly will help keep cats away!) where birds can shelter.
  8. Reduce your use of chemicals to create a healthy garden for you, local wildlife and our waterways.
  9. Include a cat-safe bird bath 

Sustainable-gardening_green-roof-and-wall.jpgGreen roofs, walls and facades

Learn to create quality green roofs, walls and facades with Growing Green Guide: A guide to green roofs, walls and facades in Melbourne and Victoria 

This guide is for those involved in the design, construction and maintenance of green roofs, walls and/or facades. It is also for developers, home owners, and local and state governments. 

Growing food at home

Growing your own food at home has many benefits including:

increased physical and mental wellbeing improved diet and nutrition a greater connection with the local community through a common activity and purpose support for, and from, local businesses cost savings

Read our Home Harvest Guide to get tips and advice for planning, planting and maintaining your own home produce garden.

Keeping poultry in Stonnington

Chickens and quails are a great way to turn waste into food, increase the nutrients and health of your soil and get a daily supply of nutritious and delicious eggs.

In Stonnington, residents are required to obtain a Poultry Permit to keep chickens, quails or other bird species. This is to ensure poultry are kept in a safe and humane manner and neighbours are aware and approve of the situation. The permit is free and requires inspection of your property and coop.  

You can apply for a Permit through e-services or contact our Animal Management Unit on 8290 1333 or via email.

Top tips for keeping poultry:

  • Read up! Be sure to educate yourself on what chickens require especially when it comes to an enclosure, space, feed and ongoing maintenance and cleaning.
  • Chickens love company, aim to have at least two.
  • If you are new to keeping chickens, consider renting to see if they are for you. A rental company will provide the coop, chooks, food and support and advice to ensure you have happy and healthy chickens.

If you’d like to know more about keeping chickens, download our Poultry Permit Conditions (link) or Keeping-of-Poultry-Fact-Sheet.doc(DOC, 37KB)

Bee keeping in Stonnington

Bee keeping is a great way to produce your own delicious honey and beeswax, enhance the productivity of your garden and support local biodiversity. 

In Stonnington residents can only keep two recreational beehives. To keep more than two hives you must register as an apiarist with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries. Your hives, the positioning and the maintenance of them must be compliant with the Apiary Code of Practice May 2011

Top tips for urban bee keeping:

  • Read up! Ensure you educate yourself on what it takes to start up and maintain a bee hive or colony. Neglected hives can be dangerous to you, your neighbours and local bee populations.
  • Always position the hives so that the bees do not become troublesome to neighbours or passers-by.
  • Hives are best placed in a sunny but sheltered spot out of the wind.
  • Always comply with the Apiary Code of Practice.
  • Join an association or club that can provide ongoing support and advice. Try local groups: Victorian Apiarists' Association or The Beekeepers' Club
  • Lacking the time or experience to keep bees? Host a beehive through Backyard Honey. They provide training, equipment and ongoing support required for urban beekeeping.

For information on hobby beekeeping including tips on getting started, tools and protective equipment, obtaining bees and legal requirements, visit Agriculture Victoria.

Worm farming and compost

Worm farming and composting is a great way to minimise food waste by turning your food scraps into nutrient rich plant food for your garden.

It’s also a great way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When organic materials are sent to landfill, they begin to rot anaerobically (without oxygen) and release greenhouse gases, primarily methane (CH4), which contributes to climate change. The impact of methane on climate change is around 25 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2).

Stonnington is part of the Compost Revolution and offers residents 40 per cent off plus free delivery on worm farms, bokashi bins and compost bins.

Access the discount and learn more about worm farming and composting.

Community Gardening

An increasing number of our residents are feeling inspired to grow their own food at home, however, not all residents are able to do this. Through our Sustainable Environment Strategy, we’re committed to improving community access to locally grown produce. 

Armadale Baptist Church Community Garden


Stonnington’s first community garden is located at Armadale Baptist Church at 88 Kooyong Road, Armadale.

  • Participate in sustainable gardening and local food growing
  • Become a member (various levels of membership are offered)
  • Get involved in events, group activities and workshops
  • Recycle your food waste at the garden anytime and help create valuable fertiliser and soil for the community garden. Compost bins are located at the entrance to the garden at 88 Kooyong Rd, Armadale.

For more information on the Armadale Baptist Church Community Garden, follow them on Facebook or contact the committee at   

King Street Community Garden, Prahran


Union Street Community Garden, Windsor