A sculpture found in the cloud garden, made from old horse shoes. Image by Peter Layton.

Alowyn has had a strong emphasis on recycling since it was first built. John and Prue share a philosophy that what can be recycled, should be recycled.

This is a value as well as a necessity. Water is such an important part of the garden we have developed an extensive drainage system to re-direct all run-off water

into a purpose-designed wetland area to prevent enriched run-off into the dams.

To conserve water and reduce evaporation from the soil, we compost heavily on all garden beds

(with cafe waste being recycled into compost). A series of solar-powered pumps operate some of the fountains and water features.  

Most of the materials used to build the gardens have been recycled, many from the local area. Bricks, red gum sleepers, fence palings, power poles, large rocks, concrete pavers, and even wrought iron 1950s fly screen doors have been used as features in the gardens.  

We maintain the edible garden as close as possible to organic principles, for instance composting all organic matter, including prunings, weeds and leftover produce. Incorporating animal manures such as cow, chicken and horse into the compost produces a rich, friable mix within about three months, which goes straight back onto the garden beds for soil improvement. Leftovers from the edible gardens are also fed to our Isa Brown chickens, who repay us in lovely brown eggs.