Getting Inspired: Edible Gardening with Karen Sutherland


In this blog I have written about a good friend of mine, Karen Sutherland. Karen is the woman behind Edible Eden Design, who inspires me and many others with her work in edible gardens. Karen is a regular and popular guest on ABC radio Melbourne 774, talking all things garden, and writes for Organic Gardener and Green magazines.

I met Karen many years ago at an open garden, she was hosting a Q&A with visitors about the garden she had designed and grown. Immediately I was taken with her passion, interest and knowledge in creating productive food-based gardens. I encourage anyone (client, friend, or colleague!) with even a slight interest in growing plants just to begin! I have found that when my clients have foodie interests like gardening they are more likely to be strongly engaged with their emotional and physical health, and they greatly benefit from home grown foods. Even a few pots will do!

Karen has recently co-written this amazing book: Tomato – know, sow, grow, feast. I highly recommend it! It is written in her own voice; warm and genuine, and the book is encouraging and accessible to the novice or experienced gardener.  I have learned a lot from my first few chapters about growing a variety of tomatoes: getting the best crops, growing great flavours, and using organic processes in keeping my plants healthy.


She is an amazing innovator in her own ever-changing garden space, from hydroponics, to aquaculture and bee keeping. I love attending her open garden annually in Pascoe Vale South, and I highly recommend a visit. See her website for more information, her next one is Saturday 2nd- Sunday 3rd March 2019.

My family engages Karen to work with us on our home garden with great success. She is full of ideas and is very interested in how everything is coming along. It is an ongoing collaboration as our garden matures.  In the past 12 months I have started many edible adventures such as sweet potatoes, Japanese parsley, Alexander herb, Lebanese cress, as well as a couple of indigenous edibles – bush and finger limes and salt bush.

I recently caught up with Karen at her edible nature strip garden; she has a pistachio tree, kale, parsley and amaranth all flourishing, creating a wonderful shared picking garden for neighbours to enjoy.

The way Karen lives and practises inspires me so much, and it has made me think recently about how much our friends influence us, and I count myself very lucky!