Rooftop Food Garden | Chippendale Mews

Chippendale Mews
  • Converted warehouse
  • Completed 2004
  • 14 residential lots
  • 3 residential levels
  • 1 carpark level
  • Common roof area

Residents of a 14-lot warehouse conversion complex implemented a rooftop garden featuring edible plants and using mostly recycled materials for garden containers.

Project Overview

For some time we’ve been improving the common roof area with plants, but having limited cash we were looking for a cheap way to grow more (including some food).  We have the advantage of a retired gardener living here who provides invaluable advice.

Having participated in the Chippendale ‘green up the nature strips’ project (organised by Michael Mobbs in Myrtle Street) where we were encouraged to plant edible plants along the nature strips, we decided to take the project to our own roof.

Given that we had no significant money we investigated cheap / free options for planter boxes and noticed that Sydney Council were in the process of changing over from segregated crate-type recycling bins to a single wheelie-bin type, and thought that the old crates would be perfect as planter boxes.  We approached Sydney City which was more than happy to give us several of these boxes and by stacking them 2 and 3 high we made planter boxes.  We bought the cheapest compost we could ($5 per bag) and supplemented it with coffee grounds collected over several weeks from a local café at closing time.


$12 per planter (Compost) plus a few seeds. Initially interested owners all joined together and after phase 1 there was a contribution from the Administrative Fund.

Decision-making process

The Executive Committee in conjunction with interested owners made the final decision to proceed.

Results & Savings

 We had fun doing it and now get herbs, fruit and veggies off our roof. The roof terrace is also used more and has become more social.


The project was ongoing for about a year.

Last Updated: 
Sat 13/10/2012

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