Introduction – How to build a community micro-forest in 8 steps

This on-line seminar is for people interested in knowing what’s involved in starting a climate-cooling micro-forest in a public space in Australia. You don’t need to be an expert in horticulture or botany to start a public micro-forest, just possess a sense of curiosity and a willingness to build a team of volunteers to manage the project. I step you through the 8 steps based I learned whilst prototyping the Downer micro-forest in Canberra and mentoring the Watson and Holt groups. The steps include

  1. Having conversations in your community and building a team
  2. Fund raising – we explore different methods to get financial support including sponsors and crowdfunding
  3. Community consultation
  4. Developing a Landscape Plan and Water Harvesting Plan
  5. Obtaining approvals from local authorities
  6. Earthworks
  7. Community planting days
  8. Maintenance

With your ticket you’ll be sent a free handbook setting out the steps.

Participants across Australia describe the session as ‘exciting and inspiring’.

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We sometimes offer residential garden design workshops for beginners.

‘Getting started – learn how to design your own cool outdoor haven’ in 6 weeks

In 6 weeks I’ll show you how to design a cool outdoor haven for your home. This outdoor space will nourish you and will help you ride out future heatwaves. You’ll learn how to look at your site with fresh eyes and create a space filled with a thriving layer of plants (nature’s air conditioners) and places for you to sit and rejuvenate. And I’ll share with you my method of choosing the right shade tree for a hotter, drier future. I’ve taught hundreds of students a landscape design method that builds confidence quickly. This is a great course for people who’ve never designed before and think they can’t draw. You will learn how to create a base plan and analyse your site, develop a grid to guide your design, create a cool outdoor ‘room’ and draw a section through it, assess your design for enough shading and cooling and select the right plants for your climate and outdoor space. After each lesson, exercises are set which will help students get the most value from the course. The course is delivered in six ‘lectures’ via Zoom. Powerpoint presentations and video recordings are shared with you each week after the session. Informal tutorials are held each week at lunchtime Wednesday. The next course starts – TBA. Minimum class size: 6 students.


Frequently Asked Questions


“Thank you so much for creating and delivering this course. I found it both inspiring and practical. While I personally needed more time to think and draw I learnt a lot about creating a cool haven as an adaptation to climate change.” Astrida, July 2020 course.

“The short, simple structure, with a different theme each week helped motivate me to continue planning our garden and provided useful information to consider. The interactive nature of the classes were fun to.” Morgyn, July 2020 course.

“Thanks Edwina – the course was great”. Alice, July 2020 course.


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I’m a Landscape Architect and founded the The Climate Factory in 2019 to empower people to create climate-ready outdoor spaces – that cool the landscape, provide habitat and enhance well-being.

I trained in Landscape Architecture and Ecology, have designed hundreds of sustainable gardens, taught landscape design at University of Canberra, managed urban wetland retrofit projects and worked in community development.