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January Garden Insights

5 January, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Garden Insights Visit

Charmaine and Peter Williamson’s Garden

Sunday 5 January 2020

2.00 pm to 4.30 pm

30 Rhyde Street, Mount Lofty

Many thanks to Charmaine and Peter for inviting us to explore their garden this month.

See the Facebook Event

What We’ll Do

We’ll start at 2.00pm with a welcome and introductions.

Then we’re in for a treat!  Charmaine and Peter will take us on a tour of their vibrant, sustainable suburban garden.  The garden consists primarily of Western Australian Natives at the front, ornamental, tropical and secret garden in the middle garden area, and fruit trees in the back area of the yard.  But there are surprises at every turn, amazing productivity, and clever ways to use water efficiently.

We’ll finish with Afternoon Tea and an opportunity to chat with others.


  • Financial Members of Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. – Free
  • First-time Visitors to a Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. Event – Free
  • Non-Members – $10 per person
  • Children attending with parents – Free

This is a Family-Friendly event.  Everyone is welcome including children with close parent supervision for their safety.


Annual Membership of Permaculture Toowoomba Inc. is $40 per person or $30 for a second or subsequent family member.  Membership forms will be available on the day for anyone wishing to join, or available here for download.


Please bring a water bottle and wear clothing suitable for the weather conditions (sun, wind and rain protection) and closed shoes.


The garden is accessible for strollers and walking frames if needed.


Parking is available on the street.

The Story Behind the Garden and What We’ll See

Charmaine was born in Rangoon, Burma. Her family were political immigrants who arrived in Perth, Australia for asylum in 1976. She has a Doctorate in plant microbe intersections and a Diploma of Horticulture.  Charmaine’s main focus is on further creations within her garden as well as her home nursery “Charm’s Dream Garden”. The nursery is open to the public and contains any excess ornamentals, succulents or plants from her 25 years of collecting plants in this garden.

Peter’s passion revolves around creating energy and water efficiency within the home including experimenting with ways to obtain the best quality grey water for use in the garden. Currently, soap and shampoo are separated from the bathroom grey water and re-routed to a tank in the backyard where it is solar pumped into the watering system. It is estimated that this saves a minimum 100 litres water daily. A no-dig compost system has been created through necessity and has been very successful. Lined with mesh to keep rodents out, the compost bin is a continual receiver of green and brown waste. Water is added on a regular basis which seeps through the waste and drains to a bucket at the bottom. This liquid is fed via a venturi system through the garden watering system. Installed solar power makes the watering system environmentally friendly.

The tool shed, shade house, veggie garden and hydroponic systems were built by Peter and Charmaine using recycled materials from wherever was able to source them.  The greenhouse has enabled them to extend their planting/growing season in the cool Toowoomba climate. A recent chicken coop will enable a more integrated self-sustaining lifestyle.

Interspersed throughout the entire garden are food plants which are harvested and used in the kitchen, including Turmeric, Coffee, Lemon Myrtle, Strawberries, Okinawa Spinach, Patchouli, herbs and veggies. The many fruit trees include Coffee, Hass and Wurtz Avocados, Star Fruit, Jack Fruit, Thai White Guava, Black Guamachama, Lychee, Lilly Pilly, Wild Current Tree, Curry Leaf Tree, Eureka Lemon, Tahitian Lime, Naval Orange, Emperor and Imperial Mandarins, Brown Turkey Fig, Pomegranate Tree, Blueberries and a Camellia hedge whose tips make a great cup of tea.

Afternoon Tea

After a tour of the property, we’ll share Afternoon Tea and have a chance to chat and connect with others.


5 January, 2020
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Permaculture Toowoomba Inc.


Charm’s Dream Garden
30 Rhyde Street
Mount Lofty, Queensland 4350 Australia
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