Designing An Urban Oasis

Eight years ago we bought a dilapidated 1940s Californian bungalow in Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs. It was in a semi-derelict state, had a heritage overlay and flood level restrictions, and was on a long, narrow block. However, the site was extremely special, and backed onto the Merri Creek wildlife corridor.

The real value for us was not in the bricks and mortar, but in the proximity of the majestic gum trees, running water and the deep buffer of native vegetation on either side of the creek, creating a nature sanctuary in an urban environment. We began thinking about our home as part of a permaculture system that would integrate the built, interior and biological environments. I wanted to create an urban existence for my family that allowed us to connect with nature and our local community on a daily basis.