Community gardens

Community gardens provide an opportunity for residents to grow food, connect with nature, learn about plants and enjoy social connection with others.

There are many types of community gardens across City of Port Phillip including:

  • Formally managed community gardens.
  • Raised planter boxes in parks and reserves for communal use.
  • Community spaces where residents can engage in gardening.

Formally managed community gardens

Formally managed community gardens typically:

  • are managed by a not-for-profit incorporated community group
  • offer individual plots and require paid membership
  • are fenced and include water tanks, composting facilities, and communal areas
  • may have waiting lists but also offer activities for those waiting to join
  • are located on Council-owned or managed land.

Each community garden is run individually and has different membership information so please contact each garden directly for further information about how to get involved.

Starting a community garden

Groups wanting to start a new community garden on land owned or managed by Council can refer to the assessment guidelines for licenced community gardens. These guidelines outline the application process and the important factors to consider, including planning, responsibilities, governance and long-term management. Refer to the associated application form and checklist.

Raised planter boxes in parks and reserves

There are some local parks and reserves where planter boxes have been installed for communal use.

These types of community gardens typically:

  • are part of a mixed-use reserve where you may also find play spaces and seating areas
  • are unfenced and no membership is required
  • the raised beds are available anytime for public use and for sharing of produce
  • have community groups involved with maintenance of the plots.

Community groups such as South Melbourne Sustainability Group (SMSG) and Port Phillip Community Group (PPCG) help local residents with maintenance of the plots as well as composting and educational activities.

You’ll find planter boxes at the following parks and reserves:

  • Centenary Reserve – Fisherman’s Bend
  • Lyell Iffla Reserve – South Melbourne
  • Foundry Site Park – South Melbourne
  • HH Skinner Reserve – South Melbourne
  • Newton Court Reserve – St Kilda
  • Te Arai Reserve – St Kilda East
  • Pakington Street Reserve – St Kilda

Gardens on lands managed by other authorities

Other ways to get gardening in Port Phillip

Help and support

Soil contamination

Soil contamination is common across inner-Melbourne due to historical industrial land uses and historical landfill practices. In most circumstances, gardeners address soil contamination through raised beds, providing a physical barrier between the bed and ground, and by using clean purchased soil.

Contact us

For more information contact or phone ASSIST on 03 9209 6777.