Origins of SGA

In the late 1990s, Environs Australia, a Local Government Environment Network wanted to establish partnerships between the horticultural industry and local government. At the same time, members of the garden retail industry in Victoria were trying to set up systems that would enable it to understand and quantify its environmental impacts and then seek to improve them. This led to initiation of development of the Garden Product Guide – Safe for You ‘n’ Nature in collaboration with Burnley Horticultural College, University of Melbourne. Another goal was to provide environmental education and learning opportunities for customers of garden centres.

Representatives of both Environs Australia and the garden retail industry came together to form a project within Environs Australia. Eventually, on 27 February 2003, Environs Australia and Sustainable Gardening Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the relationship between the two parties. On 12 June 2003, Sustainable Gardening Australia became an incorporated not-for-profit association (SGA Inc.)

In August, 2004, the Sustainable Gardening Australia Foundation with a Public Fund to receive donations was established. SGA Inc. was to act as its Trustee. In October 2005, the Foundation was entered on the Register of Environmental Organisations giving it Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.


A healthy biodiverse planet and vibrant sustainable communities

Mission and Purpose

Our purpose is to inspire, empower and connect individuals, communities and organisations to garden sustainably in order to:

  • protect and enhance the natural environment to ensure its sustainability; and
  • provide information, education and conduct of research about the impacts of gardening on the natural environment, soil conservation, water quality, biodiversity and ecologically sustainable development

We aim to achieve this by:
– continually improving the gardening practices of all Australians to minimise environmental impacts at local, Australian and global scales
– reconnecting people to the natural world through gardening;
– encouraging responsible gardening practice and design to lead gardeners to respect the earth and the reality that we share, not own the land
– encouraging local food production to minimise “food miles” and their environmental impacts
– providing advice to the gardening profession and home gardener on sustainable practice;
– ensuring people develop an understanding of their connection with global communities and the impacts that gardening decisions about chemical and resource use have on the natural environment well beyond their neighbourhood.


  Commitment      Passion      The Fundamental Importance of Nature

enacted through:


  • Collaboration with the gardening community
  • Inclusiveness of individuals, communities and organisations involved in gardening
  • Connecting gardeners
  • Sharing ideas
  • Wide consultation


  • Acting according to our values
  • An independent opinion and standards
  • Respecting for other’s knowledge and experience
  • Transparent in our motivations and practices
  • Credibility through focus on reliable information


  • Innovation in behaviour change approaches
  • Courageous imagination
  • Stewardship & Responsibility
  • Leadership in sustainability
  • Inspiration for all gardeners
  • Highly ethical behaviour


  • Welcoming
  • Supportive
  • Fun


  • Learning through doing
  • Practical application of gardening practices

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Strategic Planning

In 2010 – 2012 a participatory strategic planning process was undertaken involving 1150 people in our constituency through workshops, conversation cafes, interviews and surveys. These identified SGA’s strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities and led to the drafting of a strategic plan.

That plan was recently updated to the 2019 – 2023 Strategic Plan