Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living


Written by Emma Brancatisano

Photography by Des Harris

Venturing into the Turramurra Lookout Community (TLC) Garden, you will find an oasis of winding paths lined with organic fruit and vegetables – from native finger limes and banana trees to bird’s eye chillies and Granny Smiths.

This is more than a garden; it has become a focal point for the community.

“We have found that there are a lot of people out there who are lonely or who have gone through a life change and are looking to be involved in something,” President John Dailey says.

“This garden is something that they can come and go from as they please.”

Seven years ago, John and a team of garden enthusiasts approached Ku-ring-gai Council with a vision to develop the space and promote sustainable gardening.

“It was around the time that the council was developing a lot of home units and people were being left without garden space,” he says.

“At the same time, we wanted to reach out to people who were going into retirement. We saw this as a strong community need.”

Today it is the only active garden of its kind in Ku-ring-Gai, hosting up to 50 members and housing 24 individual plots as well as open communal areas.

“We wanted the garden to be designed first and foremost as a communal space,” John says.

“It is open, not fenced; organised, yet relaxed. Most days, there is some kind of activity taking place here.”

Each Saturday, the TLC committee hosts a working bee for members and passers-by, as well as a morning tea to share the day’s harvest. Bi-annual seedling sales, monthly gardening talks and school visits also dot the social calendar.

Preparing for its winter harvest, John and his team continue to experiment as they strive for a self-sufficient space.

“We’ve got our own water tank with solar panels. We’re in the process of rebuilding our compost bins and our next project is building a shade house.

“We try not to draw on the resources that are available to us; we try to create our own.”

At the end of the day, his message is simple: “Veggies are much nicer if you pick them yourself!”

To become a member or enjoy the relaxed social scene, drop in at:

1328 Pacific Highway (opposite Rohini Street), Turramurra

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