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Sustainable Garden Awards (SGA)

The Sustainable Garden Awards recognise and celebrate the importance of sustainable gardens and landscapes in our City’s urban environment.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Sustainable Garden Awards!

View winning entries>

2020 Sustainable Garden Awards

Nominations (closed)

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Free events and activities

Workshops, webinars, tours and more (closed)

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2020 Sustainable Garden Awards

Watch sustainable garden tour

The Sustainable Garden Awards program is open to all residents, business owners, schools and community groups, who have a ‘sustainable story’ to share.

The 2020 Award sponsors were The Diggers Club and Jeffries



Recognising gardens or landscaped areas in residential properties from small balcony gardens to large suburban gardens.  

Sponsored by The Diggers Club


Recognising commercial gardens and landscaped areas in internal or external commercial settings, including car parking areas, atriums and living green walls.


Recognising any form of communal space which is accessible to the public or individual community groups or organisations, including schools, churches, community gardens and public areas tended to by community groups.

Sponsored by Jeffries

Mayor’s Award

Best overall garden or landscaped area.


The Diggers Club logoThe winning entry in each category will receive a framed certificate and professional photos of the winning garden. In addition, the winners of the following categories will be awarded:


A two year membership for the Diggers Club (valued at $79) and $100 voucher for use at Adelaide Diggers Garden Shop.


$150 gift voucher for your choice of Bunnings, Mitre 10, The Diggers Club or Norwood Garden Centre.

Jeffries Logo no taglineCommunity

Garden products to the value of $500 from Jeffries


Criteria and judges

All nominations must address at least one of the following criteria:  

Design, innovation and creativity
Use of landscaping materials and plantings to integrate with the site and its buildings from concept to completion, and inventive or creative use of space to create a garden
Greening Garden and/or landscape that has retained existing trees and/or increased trees and other shade providing or cooling plants
Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) Use of permeable and porous surfaces, storm water capture and reuse, smart irrigation design, green roof or walls, swales and buffer strips, rain gardens and other WSUD features
Biodiversity and habitat Plantings have been used to encourage native birds, animals and insects, reduce use of pesticide and pest tolerant species
Self-sufficiency Plants, animals or systems are used in a way that supports self-sufficiency and are drought tolerant
Waste management Use of repurposed, recycled content, locally sourced (low mileage) materials and home composting systems
Nature play A garden or landscaped area which has been specifically designed to encourage children’s interactions with nature 

Our expert judging panel

Ms Jill Woodlands

Jill grew up in a family plant business in Sydney and studied at Ryde School of Horticulture. She has worked in many facets of the industry including a stint in England managing a Garden Centre as well as running a garden restoration business.

She moved to Adelaide in 1990 and for many years was a member of Hindmarsh Greening, a group dedicated to greening the Brompton area. She has a strong interest in environmental sustainability, and worked for 12 years at The Conservation Council and now at the Nature Conservation Society working on the Festival of Nature.

For the last nine years Jill has been a co-manager of the Diggers Garden shop in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. She shares a similar ethos to The Diggers Club mission which is to encourage and inspire gardeners to create beautiful and productive gardens for a sustainable future.

Jill is a committee member of the Mediterranean Garden Society and a selector for the Open Garden Scheme.

Mr Jon Lamb

Jon Lamb draws on a wealth of practical experience gathered during a career interwoven with horticulture and journalism.

A graduate from Burnley Horticultural College in Melbourne, for the past 25 years he has run his own agricultural and horticultural communications business where he spends much of his time talking to agricultural researchers and presenting their information in ways targeted at farmers and gardeners.

As a strategic communicator Jon has worked with the Grains, Wine, Dairy, Pig and Meat Research Corporations and in 2008 was awarded the grain industry’s prestigious ‘Seed of Light’ award for outstanding research communication.

During his career as a journalist he ran his own rural radio program, presented TV weather on the ABC, received numerous awards for relevant rural and horticultural journalism and interviewed one president of the United States. Jon is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Sciences and an official SA Rural Media ‘icon’. 

Every Saturday morning he can be heard presenting Talkback Gardening on ABC Radio, he has been The Advertiser’s garden writer for the previous 30 years and currently co-publishes Good Gardening, a free weekly gardening e-newsletter. 

Mr John Sandham

John studied an apprenticeship at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1972 and went on to develop his horticulture career at University of Durham Botanic Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

He moved to Australia in 1989 and first started working for the Botanic Gardens of South Australia as the Curator of Conservatory Displays and Plant Propagation. He moved into Living Collections Officer and as a primary educator. John now hold the role of Collections Development Officer and plays a pivotal role with the Australian Centre of horticultural Excellence.

An active member of the Botanic Gardens Australia New Zealand (BGANZ) Association, John was President from 2015 to 2017.

Conditions of entry

All garden or landscape project entries into the 2020 Sustainable Garden Awards must be located within the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters.

Final judging will be carried out by an expert panel of judges who have been appointed by the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters. The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

All nominations will be eligible for the Mayor's Award and will be awarded at the Mayor's discretion.

Access will be required to winning gardens for photography purposes. Entrants agree to have professional photographs taken of their nominated gardens, to be used in awards promotion and future promotional activities at the discretion of the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters.

Previous winners of the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters Sustainable Garden Awards are not eligible to nominate the winning garden, however previous recipients of encouragement awards are eligible to nominate.

Entry into the Sustainable Garden Awards is free.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there will be no awards presentation ceremony held for the 2020 Sustainable Garden Awards program. The Mayor will personally present awards to each winner.

Nomination form

Nominations open 21 September and close 30 October 2020.

Please ensure that you have carefully read the criteria and conditions of entry in the 2020 Sustainable Garden Awards before completing the form below.

Nominations must address at least one of the judging criteria. Nominations must include a written submission of up to one double sided page or two single sided pages addressing the criteria and supporting photos and plans (minimum of three, maximum of ten).

All nominations will be eligible for the Mayor’s Award.

Online nomination form

Free webinars and plant pack give-away - closed

Get the most out of your patch webinars

Four webinars that will inspire and help you to create a sustainable and productive garden:


Date and time


Injury Prevention for Gardeners

Watch now

Live streamed on Wednesday 14 October 2020.


Presented by Angela Zerella, The Physio Clinic Marryatville

Gardening is a favourite pastime for so many people and a great way to stay active and healthy. Join Angela Zerella, a physiotherapist from The Physio Clinic Marryatville, to learn how to avoid injury in the garden. Whether you’re digging, mulching, fertilising, pruning or planting in your garden, Angela has advice for you.

Water Sensitive Urban Design for Your Garden

Watch now

Live streamed on Tuesday 20 October 2020

Presented by Mellissa Bradley

Learn a range of practical solutions to cost effectively maximise rainwater harvesting and reuse in your home and integrate stormwater and greywater into your garden to reap rewards such as water conservation, local flood mitigation, improve stormwater runoff quality and landscape benefits

What’s the Dirt on Soil?

Watch now

Date: Friday 23 October 2020

Time: 12:00pm – 12:30pm

Presented by Professor Tim Cavagnaro, University of Adelaide

Healthy soils sustain life. Soil provides us with the food we eat, filters the air we breathe and the water we drink, and supports biodiversity. Soil is one of the most complex materials on Earth, and is home to arguably the most diverse terrestrial communities on the planet. While soil takes countless years to be formed, it can be lost in moments. In this talk we will explore the wonders of the world beneath our feet, and ask the question: can we afford to treat soil like dirt?

Creating a Wildlife Friendly Garden

Watch now

Live streamed on Tuesday 27 October 2020

Presented by Green Adelaide

Join Green Adelaide Nature Education team for a live Q&A session to ask in-depth questions about designing and building your wildlife friendly garden.

Watch Creating a Wildlife Friendly Garden video on the Green Adelaide Facebook page prior to the Q&A session to find out how you can attract and support healthy populations of our beautiful and unique native wildlife by providing areas for them in your yard.

Native plant pack give-away


Create a more sustainable garden with plants that are native to the Adelaide Plains region.

The seedlings selected are drought tolerant, provide a source of food and habitat for local wildlife and contribute towards preserving biodiversity across the City.

Book to receive a free plant pack which includes six native seedlings, 30L bag of Jeffries Organic Compost and information about local native plants.



Date: Thursday 8, Friday 9 and Saturday 10 October 2020
Venue: Norwood Green (Thursday), Payneham Library (Friday) and St Peters Library (Saturday)
Time: 11.00am–1.00pm (Thursday), 3.00pm–5.00pm (Friday) and 10.00am– (Saturday)

Free, bookings essential (limited packs)

Plant packs are sponsored by Jeffries

Book now


Terms & Conditions:

  • available to City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters residential properties only
  • limited one pack per household
  • proof of residency is required to be presented upon collection e.g. rates notice or valid licence.  No proof, no plant pack
  • registration is required via TryBooking
  • Council will not be held responsible if you are unable to obtain a pack due to the unavailability of stock
  • seedlings for the plant pack are selected at random and the Council does not guarantee your preference.

Creative workshop

Garden photography with your mobile device

DescriptionChild and plant

Hosted by Heidi Wollf Photography.

Unlock your inner creativity and unleash your artistic skills as you learn about the many features of mobile devices (e.g. phones and tablets) that you can use to take and share enviable photos of your garden! Join professional photographer Heidi Wolff for a two hour workshop at Felixstow Reserve. The workshop will cover theory as well as practical learnings. Topic will include:

  • mobile device basics (how to take a photo, zooming, different settings and when these settings should and shouldn’t be used)
  • composition
  • lighting
  • editing app to make your photos pop.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this workshop may be cancelled at any time depending on updated health advice.

All participants must comply with all State and Federal Government directives and must ensure at least 1.5 metres in between other participants. If you have recently returned from overseas or interstate, feel unwell, have COVID-19 symptoms or have been instructed to self-isolate, please do not attend.

Public toilet facilities are available on site. Please dress appropriately for an outdoor setting, bring a hat, sunscreen and water.


Date: Saturday 24 October 2020
Venue: Pavilion, Felixstow Reserve, near Langman grove and Cardigan Avenue

Time: 10.00am–12.00 noon

Free, bookings essential. BYO chair

Book now

Free guided tours - book now!

Virtual Tour of Award Winning Garden

Payneham South - Winning Sustainable Garden - November 2018-1Description

Virtual tour of the joint-winner of residential garden from the 2018 Sustainable Garden Awards.

Join Alan Shepard on a tour of his garden which was designed to be sustainable as well as a pleasant and relaxing outdoor space. The garden comprises of ponds, fruit trees, vegetables and herbs interspersed with companion plants to attract beneficial insects and animals and repel pests.

Tour of St Peters Billabong

St Peters BillabongDescription

Hosted by volunteer group, Friends of the Billabong

The St Peters Billabong is a hidden gem. The adjoining land has been used for a variety of purposes over the years but in recent times the pre-European woodland and grassland communities have been painstakingly re-created using plants that are native to the area.

The Billabong is once again a haven for native wildlife and is recognised as an urban biodiversity 'hotspot' on the Adelaide Plains as well as a wonderfully tranquil and beautiful place to visit.

The area is a rare example of a well-restored natural environment and is an interesting and tranquil place to visit. It is also home to the Council’s first native bee hotel.

One hour guided tour involves walking and standing on unsealed paths with minimal opportunities to sit down. There are also stairs along the route.

Please wear enclosed shoes, sunscreen and hat. Bring a water bottle.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this workshop may be cancelled at any time depending on updated health advice.

All participants must comply with all State and Federal Government directives and must ensure at least 1.5 metres in between other participants. If you have recently returned from overseas or interstate, feel unwell, have COVID-19 symptoms or have been instructed to self-isolate, please do not attend.


Dates: Wednesday 30 September AND Saturday 3 October 2020 (three sessions available)

Time:10.00am–11.00am and 11.15–12.15 (Wednesday) 10.00am–11.00am (Saturday)

Venue: St Peters Billabong, St Peters

Meet at the River Street carpark, located between 21 and 25 River Street, St Peters.

Free, bookings essential.

Book now


Naomi Doolette, Sustainability Officer
T: 08 8366 4532