Proof gardens make us happier and healthier

One of our favourite reads over summer has been ‘Happy City’, a book by Charles Montgomery. The book draws on initiatives in urban design that have transformed the lives of urban populations. It’s been a fascinating read and to the dear friend who brought it to our attention, we are eternally grateful!

At Victory Gardens, we see first-hand the benefits that gardens bring to the lives of people of all ages. The Hunter St Mall Victory Garden, once a tired and uninspiring spot in the Newcastle CBD is now a lively, rambling edible garden, enjoyed by many living and working in the area. Our corporate, residential and aged care installations have also been well received by staff, families and elderly residents.

But what is at the heart of why people love getting their hands dirty? We decided to dig a little deeper and explore the scientific evidence around gardening and its impact on health and wellbeing. What better place to start than Montgomery’s book.

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“Happy City” by Charles Montgomery shows us how gardens, big and small, perform an important role in our health and wellbeing

Pause to celebrate: Victory Gardens turns 1!

…We can’t believe we almost missed this auspicious occasion!!! Yep! It suddenly occurred to us while on a short break that Victory Gardens first birthday was just about to pass by unmarked! Whoops!

It has been an incredible journey getting our social enterprise off the ground and wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of our supporters and collaborators.

When we embarked on the creative process of establishing Victory Gardens we knew we wanted to revolutionise Newcastle. We wanted to provide simple solutions for city food production. Twelve months on we now have projects rolling out in residential, corporate, aged care and public spaces. We couldn’t be happier.

Our placemaking project at the Hunter St Mall has enabled us to meet many like-minded people. We hope this is the beginning of many more projects like this.

So here’s a little visual diary of the last 12 months which acts as a reflection of how far we have come in a short amount of time and how much further we have to go.

Explore our website for more information about the packages we offer for you to start your own edible garden.

Original sketches by the wonderful Liz at


Experimenting with wicking beds with Group D at The Esplanade, Newcastle Beach


Artwork by Pocket Design ready to go up at The Hunter St Mall


Hunt & Gather Markets


Rooftop planting in the city


East End Edibles with Connectability Disability Services


Hunter St Mall Victory Garden