Open Garden / Trudy’s year-round, edible garden

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Trudy Yogini… “I’ve created a microclimate which benefits urban life, improves the air and is my small contribution to a cleaner planet.”

OVERFLOWING with veggies and vines, fruit trees, pots of herbs and fragrant flowers, Trudy Yogini’s densely packed, productive garden has evolved through hard work and research.

The lush Ainslie garden will be open to the public on the weekend of February 9-10 through Open Gardens Canberra.

Trudy’s focus on sustainability, composting, water collection and year-round produce has created a space that envelops the house with climbers, shade and foliage, with hidden paths to follow and edibles at every turn.

“I want to eat organic food with no food miles if possible,” she says.

“I’ve created a microclimate which benefits urban life, improves the air and is my small contribution to a cleaner planet.”

Having learned the principles of permaculture, renewable resources and producing no waste through study, observation, interaction and trial and error, Trudy says the garden ties in with her sustainable lifestyle.

“I nurse my plants carefully. I’m out there every day so I’m very much in touch with what they need.

“Gardening gives me peace and satisfaction, and I love being in touch with the rhythms of nature.”

The courtyard near the house is abundant with herbs and citrus, and is a favourite spot that Trudy uses for meditating and her yoga practice.

Trudy harvests veggies year-round, thanks to underplanting varieties that might otherwise suffer in extreme heat or frost, with salad greens available any time, beans and peas in spring and masses of summer veg including sweetcorn, tomato, zucchini, carrot, beetroot, ginger and asparagus.

Her fruit trees include cherry, mulberry, apricot, pomegranate and persimmon, and the herb garden has coriander, lemongrass, basil, chives, rosemary and more.

“Everything has been chosen to thrive in the Canberra climate, as well as providing food every season,” she says.

Native plants create boundary hedging, trees provide shade to the house and courtyard, and protection from wind as well as sun. Roses and camellias provide biodiversity, colour and perfume, and bring in the bees.

“The more you get into the sustainable lifestyle the more you find you can do,” Trudy says.

“I collect all my household water for the garden, as well as using rainwater tanks. I cycle everywhere and try to be a healthy member of society.

“I love to inspire people to garden. It’s truly a joy to me.”

Photos: Holly Treadaway

18 Hawdon Street, Ainslie, open 10am-4pm, Saturday, February 9, and Sunday, February 10. Admission $8; free to under-18s and Open Gardens Canberra members. It costs $25 to join Open Gardens Canberra and gain free entry to all open gardens until August 31, 2019. More information at

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Kathryn Vukovljak
Kathryn Vukovljak is a "CityNews" journalist.

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