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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.

The Sustainable Garden Awards is a biennial initiative of the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters.

The Awards showcase local gardens which make a positive contribution to the environment and well-being of our community through sustainability principles, design and innovation.

In the lead up to the Awards, a series of free workshops and tours are available to every shade of green thumb.

Watch video

Watch a video of Alan Shepard's garden. Alan was a joint-winner of the 2018 residential award.

Previous winners - view image galleries

2020 winners 

Residential Winner

Margherita (Rita) Pietrobon
Payneham South

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Rita has lived on her traditional quarter acre block in Payneham South since 1971. 

For almost 50 years, Rita and her late husband tended their garden together, planting and harvesting, bottling their own tomatoes and making wine. 

Around 20 fruit bearing trees were planted in the 1970s and 1980s that produce an abundance of fruit to this day, which Rita generously shares with her neighbours.

Since her husband passed away, Rita has continued to enjoy and maintain the garden but with a greater emphasis on non-food producing, drought tolerant plants.

Rita has created a garden with water conservation in mind, storing rainwater harvested from the house roof in a large rainwater tank and using moveable drainage pipes to distribute it to front and back lawns and fruit trees. In fact, in summer Rita doesn't use a drop of tap water on her lawn!

The garden is also home to a grape vine that shades the pergola and provides a cooling effect on hot days.

Rita controls weeds in her insecticide-free garden by hand while her happy chickens peck at and eat weeds and other pests. 

Mayor’s Award Winner

Prince Alfred College
Early Learning Centre, Kent Town

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Inspired by Reggio Emilia education philosophy, staff at Prince Alfred College Early Learning Centre encourage students to learn though exploration, discovery, questioning and experimenting, so it’s no surprise that they have invested in creating a garden firmly based on sustainability principles.

Children are encouraged to explore the garden where they can learn about the importance of urban greening, sustainability and biodiversity.

The garden features a number of large shade trees, including gum trees which also provide valuable habitat for native wildlife and a bug hotel attracting native bees and other insects.

Water conservation has been carefully considered, with permeable and porous surfaces allowing water to soak into the soil.

A 4000L rainwater tank provides Award-winning gardensSustainable Garden Awardswater for the veggie garden and even the popular water pump in the nature play area.

Food produced in the veggie garden and citrus orchard are used in the classroom to provide children with an understanding of where food comes from and encourage participation in gardening from a young age.Resident chickens close the gap for this sustainable garden, creating a circular garden as food scraps from the on-site kitchen are used to feed chickens which then produce the manure used on the veggie garden.

The nature play area, built using recycled materials and natural elements, has been designed to develop children’s balance and core strength, and also features a mud kitchen and decking area.

The Prince Alfred College Early Learning Centre garden also received a commendation in the Community Category.

2018 winners

Residential winner

St Morris

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For more than 30 years, Pete and Maggi Boult have enjoyed tending their garden. Four years ago they purchased the house next door, subdividing the property and extending their back garden to create a sanctuary in which fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, natives and ornamentals thrive.

Around 95 percent of plants were raised from seed or cuttings, with 60 percent of all vegetables and annuals grown from the previous year’s seeds.

Pete and Maggi have created their garden with water conservation in mind, implementing features such as trenches to promote deep water soakage; the use of autumn leaves year round to promote moisture (which has the added bonus of reducing weeds); and harvesting rainwater from the house roofs. Organic compost and fertiliser is made onsite from horse and chicken manure.

Insecticide free, pests are managed through companion planting, physical traps and by simply hosing them off, while homemade dormant oil is applied to fruit trees to control insects.

Residential winner & Mayor’s Award

Payneham South

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Alan Shepard’s garden is designed to be sustainable as well as a relaxing outdoor space. The wildlife friendly garden comprises 20 fruit trees and a variety of vegetables and herbs all interspersed with companion plants to attract beneficial insect or repel pests.

Food scraps and garden waste are recycled in worm farms and compost bins which together with locally sourced manure, is used to fertilise the soil.  The garden is mulched with straw and organic garden vegetation to reduce evaporation.

Many of the plants were chosen for their tendency to attract birds, and the garden is home to many local frog species while native bees, wasps, insects and lizards are encouraged to live in bee, insect and lizard hotels. Bats and owls are also regular visitors to Alan’s garden.

From plants to garden paths, everything is carefully selected on its ability to maximise rainfall retention, promote moisture and prevent weeds.

To help manage heat within the home and outdoor area, the rear of the house features a grapevine-covered pergola which provides shade in the warmer months and allows sun into the living room during winter.


Royston Park

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First established by Terri and Philip Heath so their son Ollie could learn where food comes from, their garden now flourishes with produce that feeds the family all year round. Ollie even has his own patch which he tends to with care.

Using permaculture design principles, the garden is designed to attract beneficial insects, bees, wasps, butterflies and birds while corners of the garden are intentionally left to grow wild to provide habitat for native animals such as blue-tongue lizards and hopping mice.

In the garden all plants have a purpose - they either provide food for the family, food and shelter for wildlife, or help manage the garden’s microclimate. Rainwater is captured and used strategically through the garden, compost made on site and chickens turn food scraps into nutritious fertilizer.

Terri and Philip share their abundant produce to inspire family, friends, neighbours and passers-by to grow their own food too.


Manager, Urban Planning & Sustainability
Eleanor Walters
T: 8366 4521