Open Gardens Canberra – Funding Support Program

Each financial year, Open Gardens Canberra has funding available from our operating surplus to assist with the establishment of a project or projects that meet our core values.

$5,000 has been allocated in the 2023-2024 financial year for projects, and applications are now being sought. Projects should meet the criteria on the 2024_Application_for_project_funding and be submitted to [email protected] by 30 March 2024.  We will assess the applications with a view to advising the successful applicant(s) by 30 June 2024.

Types of projects that could be considered include but are not limited to:

    • Restoration of native woodlands
    • Projects that will enhance a streetscape
    • Projects that will improve the garden experience for the disabled
    • Garden education projects
    • Making open gardens available to a wider audience through technology.

2023 Projects

In 2023 we funded two projects:

  • Friends of Dryandra Woodlands have been paid $3,000 for the continuation of the restoration of 16 ha of urban park bushland between Black Mountain and Bruce Ridge Nature Reserves. The work includes weed control and planting of indigenous understory species on degraded lands to replace the weeds.
  • Croke Place Wetlands Land Care Group have been allocated $1,500 to go towards the construction of 3 seats which will provide rest and pleasant viewing for visitors at 3 different sites overlooking the wetlands and Ginninderra Creek. This project is awaiting government approval.

2022 Project Reports

We funded three projects in July 2022. The funding recipients have provided the following progress reports.

St Dominic’s Garden, Holy Rosary Church

Stage 1 of the garden was completed on 22 October 2022 with the planting of over 100 Tulbaghia violacea ‘John May Special’ (a taller growing form of Society Garlic) in a previously bare area between the Parish Centre and carpark. The Society Garlic will provide a soft front border and point of contrast to larger agapanthus, roses and citrus, which were planted towards the back of the garden bed in late Winter.

Following the completion of Stage One adjacent areas were cleared, excavated and filled with imported topsoil over summer in preparation for Stage Two.

On 1 April 2023 over 80 plants were installed including a swathe of Tulbaghia violacea ‘John May’s Special’, a hedge row of Spiraea cantoniensis, and feature plantings of Arctostaphylos manzanita ‘St Helena’ and Citrus aurantium, which will grow to become defining elements of the new garden.

In May-June 2023 three additional elements were installed – a memorial wall, a concrete bench for seating, and a meandering stepping stone path to symbolise a decade of the Rosary.

Final works, involving the installation of another 100+ plants around the memorial wall, seat and path and a statue of St Dominic, are planned for winter and early spring ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Parish and official opening of the garden.

Canberra High School

Canberra High School have completed their project with funding provided by Open Gardens Canberra and their P&C. They have constructed three large raised garden beds outside their Technology block. These are accessible from the Food Technology kitchens via a door that leads directly to the gardens. They have planted a range of winter crops that are commonly used in their Food Technology classes. One issue in this space that they faced was the hungry possums that reside in the trees around Canberra High School. To overcome this, students helped to design and create a covering using poly pipe and fruit tree netting. This has allowed them to continue to monitor and water the plants, while providing protection.

Inside the Technology courtyard (outside the food tech classrooms) they filled two long raised garden beds with strawberries. Behind these garden beds, they have planted blueberries and some citrus trees. This space is designed as a ‘pick and go’ where students can pick strawberries/blueberries when they are ready.

Within the courtyard they also planted some creeping saltbush. They aim to continue to plant bush foods in the courtyard and are working with the cultural integrity team on this aspect. Over time, they will remove some of the other plants such as the agapanthus and replace these with plants that can be used for food eating/teaching purposes. Staff and students are excited to watch the progress and continue to grow the program.

Bonner Verge Garden

Construction of the Bonner Verge garden has begun with two planter boxes constructed on the verge. Filling those boxes and planting has been delayed due to ill health.

Examples of previously funded projects are:

  • Donation of advanced trees to Featherston Gardens in Weston to replace some they lost during the drought.
  • Approval of other community-based garden projects including works at Canberra City Farm and a bush aviary for Wildcare in Queanbeyan.