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Permaculture Expert Ben Shaw's Gorgeous Geelong Home (+ Garden!) Hits The Market

On The Market

If you’re a keen gardener, you’re going to want to take a look at this Geelong home that’s just hit the market!

This property currently belongs to permaculture expert Ben Shaw, who has lovingly turned the backyard into a thriving, edible paradise. We’re talking 30 fruit trees alone! 

After 12 years in the home, Ben, his wife Kerryn, and their daughters Maeve (7) and Clara (4) are moving on from their beloved 1920s home, offering it up to a new owner for only the third time in history.

9th July, 2020

Living rooms looks out to the his home’s abundant backyard. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

The 1925 house was built by the original owners who lived here until Ben Shaw and his wife Kerryn purchased the property. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

‘We love the beautiful original timbers used throughout the house, especially the floorboards!’ says Ben. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

The north-facing dining area also looks out to the garden, enabling this lush area to feel part of the interiors. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

The home exudes warmth and charm. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

Character fills this entire home. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

The property contains three bedrooms and one bathroom. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

The 624 square block contains a covered outdoor dining area, lawn, and thriving garden. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

In the backyard you’ll find a diverse array of seasonal plants including edibles and mature fruit trees. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

‘The garden is really hitting its prime with established fruit trees and incredible soil that makes veggie gardening so much easier!’ says Ben. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

Ben designed the garden based on permaculture principles. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

Not only is this garden productive, it’s also beautiful! Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

Amelia Barnes
Thursday 9th July 2020

‘The joy that the garden has brought to our cooking, health and happiness is immeasurable.’ – Ben Shaw

It’s been 13 years since Ben Shaw and his wife Kerryn made the move from Melbourne to this 1920’s home in Geelong’s Manifold Heights. Ben completed his permaculture certificate shortly after, and has gone on to create one of the city’s most productive suburban gardens!

In the backyard you’ll find a diverse array of seasonal plants, including edibles and mature fruit trees. ‘The garden is really hitting its prime with established fruit trees and incredible soil that makes veggie gardening so much easier!’ says Ben. ‘The new owners won’t have to do any back breaking work – just plant seedlings and watch them grow.’ There’s also a chicken coop, water tanks and composting systems to support the most self-sufficient lifestyle possible. (You can read all about Ben’s garden in our feature on it late last year!) 

The house itself is double brick, and was built by the original owners who lived here until Ben and Kerryn purchased the property. Over the following years, the couple have updated the property to incorporate sustainable design features, such as double glazed windows, water tanks and solar panels. The north-facing living and dining areas look directly out to the garden, enabling this lush area to feel part of the interiors. ‘We love that we have created a home which doesn’t separate the garden from the house; they link beautifully together and bring the people along for the ride,’ Ben says. 

Ben and his family are now entering a new chapter, which means this three-bedroom, one-bathroom home on a 624 square metre block is currently up for sale. ‘The joy that the garden has brought to our cooking, health and happiness is immeasurable,’ Ben says. ‘Hopefully the new owners will enjoy all that an abundant edible garden can offer: relaxation, connection and wholesome food!’

See the full listing for 34 Sydenham Avenue, Manifold Heights

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net