Summer 2014/15


It is time for an update on the happenings in and around MCG over the Summer. The Christmas parties seem a long time ago, but the gardens have flourished and produced an abundance of crops for us to share.

Annual General Meeting: In November we had an excellent turnout for our AGM, welcomed more new members and celebrated with an excellent dinner at Thai Kanteen.

Your new Committee members are:

  • President: Lilian Andrew
  • Vice President: Peter Hook
  • Treasurer: Diana Gibson
  • Secretary: Kerry Bullock
  • Ordinary Members: Elizabeth Luke, Gill Lee, Tina Jackson

A presentation was made to thank Tina Jackson for her role and contribution as President over the last few years.  We have been fortunate in our Committee members who have worked hard to make sure the gardens continue to operate smoothly.

Contacting us: If you wish to contact the Committee  please email us at However, please be aware that only the Committee can access this account, which is used primarily to send out notices of the MCG monthly Committee meetings and other items it is felt may be of interest.  If you wish to pass on relevant and suitable information to the broader MCG membership, you need to ask that a Committee member forward it to the whole group.

Mackie Lane: If you haven’t been to Mackie Lane for a while you may be surprised to find the construction on the ‘spare’ land.  This is to be Honeysuckle Nursery, formerly located on the other side of Military Road. It will have a plants area between the building and our garden fence, thereby alerting customers to our existence and encouraging them to explore further! Some rerouting of the waterpipes needs to be done, but in case of emergencies we have an excellent source of runoff water from the Rotunda.

Several new events have taken place recently at Mackie Lane; a botanical Art class on Wednesdays run through the Mosman Evening College, a CEFE Christmas BBQ, and a Council run workshop on “Attracting Birds, Bees and Butterflies to your garden”. MCG is always happy to open the garden to suitable events.

Middle Head: the garden continues to thrive in the wonderfully quiet surrounds of the National Park. Summer this year has seen an abundance of zucchini, tomatoes, beans, basil, silverbeet, chillies, cucumbers, carrots & potatoes. If you haven’t yet visited this lovely spot do consider doing so, working bees are Tuesdays and Sundays but the garden is always open.

Beauty Point: In late November MCG was invited to Beauty Point School for the opening of “Junior Landcare in the Community” Two years ago, MCG and Mel Tyas from NPWS instigated a project to build a 5 bed school vegetable garden with the help of children and parents from the school.  Since the initial well-supported weekend working bee, the garden has been a real success.  It is now managed entirely by the school and has expanded to one bed per class, with the teachers enthusing about the garden’s potential to enrich maths, art and science lessons.  When children pick off and eat purple king beans raw then find and cut up a cucumber to share, you know they are on the right track.

Carer’s Cafe: Once a month we collect flowers, herbs & foliage from the gardens for the Carer’s Café held at the Seniors’ Centre.  We take whatever is available, such as leek flowers, sprays of lemon verbena, marigolds and potted succulents.  We have been told that pleasant memories are evoked and the ‘whole place’ smells good after our visit.

Thank you: We are grateful to Ausgrid and Mosman Council for their continued support but MCG couldn’t manage without the involvement of the members.  Beyond participation in working bees there are many ‘invisible’ tasks at the gardens such as daily watering, offering to open and close the garden for working bees, the myriad tasks involved in planting and raising seedlings, repairing garden beds etc. Autumn is ideal for collecting those fallen leaves and bringing shredded paper along with your kitchen waste, all essential for the compost.

Projects: At the end of each financial year we need to account for our current Mosman Council grant. At the same time, over the last few years we have also successfully applied for new grants. We do need new ideas for projects to put forward for a 2015/16 grant.  Naturally, both mean form filling, but for MCG this has resulted in great benefits.

For 2014/15 MCG was awarded a grant from Mosman Council for the building of new wicking beds and also to provide solar PVC panels for the Rotunda roof.  The latter will enable us to produce and store electricity for lighting so the use of the garden can be extended in Winter and also, possibly enabling us to run small pump watering. There is to be a meeting at Mackie Lane on Sunday 22nd March to discuss the solar project at 5 p.m. after the usual working bee.  If you have any interest at all in any aspect of this great addition to Mackie Lane please do come along or let us know of your interest.

With the arrival of Autumn we look forward to cooler days and pleasanter working conditions. I’m sure you all feel, like me, the same satisfaction when you catch sight of the gardens again, thinking, “Look at what we have achieved”.

Happy gardening! 


2014 Annual General Meeting

Once again, Mosman Community Gardeners went from strength to strength. The new rotunda at Mackie Lane provided the focus for our education program as well as many celebrations; the gardens at Mackie Lane and Middle Head flourished; our partnerships deepened; and MCG continued its mission to inspire and encourage sustainability, the cultivation of edible plants and sharing of food, and the nurturing of community connections and friendships. 

For the highlights of 2014 see Tina Jackson’s President’s Report.

Autumn/Winter News 2014

Mackie Lane Update:


Enjoying the cover of the new rotunda

The last few months have seen a lot of planting, harvesting and refurbishing, as

well as a record number of visitorswho came to be inspired and learn from what we‘re doing at the garden. Mosman Council recently delivered a new load of wood chips and now all the garden walkways are covered. Our childrens program continues with Kids Cottage Middle Harbour children tending and harvesting their dedicated beds and children from nearby Kinderland visiting to learn about edible gardening. Mackie Lane garden is very family friendly with a cubby house, sandpit, bean teepee, blackboard and gardening activities to engage the kids. Students are also volunteering in the garden as part of the Duke of Edinburgh program. The planting committee coordinated by Gill Lee has developed an autumn planting plan and things are well on the way for the new season. For what to grow during autumn see here.

Individual allotments: Many IMG_6446_1024successful community gardens like Paddington, Randwick and nearby Manly Vale have individual allotments. Now that we have more land at Mackie Lane and the garden infrastructure is well established, we are considering moving to a combination of individual allotments and communal gardens. If you interested in an allotment, please email 

Native BeesWith support from Mosman Council we are purchasing stingless native bees from Ku-ring-gai Council and bee workshops are planned for the future. The hives are populated by Tetragonula carbonaria, a bee species that occur naturally in Sydney and have acclimatised to Sydney conditions. See http:/ 

Here is a fact sheet about the kind of stingless bees we will have at the garden.

Celebrations: On the first Sunday of the month we have a celebration after our gardening hours from 3-5pm. Everyone is welcome. BYO food and drinks. 

Middle Head update: Planting includes okra, artichokes, tomatoes, kale, mini cabbages, mizuna lettuce, snow peas, shallots, beetroot, carrots, daikon, many different varieties of chillies from mild to very hot and much more. As always, the regular gardeners say that Middle Head garden is a happy place!  

Farewell and thank you: This is my last news update as President of Mosman Community Gardeners. My work commitments have increased this year so I need to step aside, but Im part of a wonderful team of committed community gardeners, so I know this decision wont disrupt the ongoing operation of MCG. We have come a long way since our first meetings over four years ago when we had no land and spent most of our time lobbying for a community garden.  


Tina during the early building of Mackie Lane garden

Today we have two thriving gardens, an ever-growing membership, and importantly we have succeeded in bringing the cause of growing edible plants to the attention of the Council and the community. I will continue to be active in MCG and look forward to seeing you in the gardens sometime. My heartfelt thanks to MCG members and everyone who has supported our work over the years. It’s been a very rewarding journey.

Cheers Tina
Tina Jackson on behalf of the MCG team