Today, we launched our directory of resources which includes verge gardening guidelines for various councils around Australia.
Most councils simply don’t allow verge gardening or don’t have a policy.
One of the most restrictive policies was Geelong Council which only allows groundcovers in a few circumstances.
Some require residents to apply for a permit, with an application process that would put off all but the very determined. The demand for submitting a plan to get a permit often assumes a single large project to landscape an area that will not change. It likens verge gardening to the professional landscape plans for a new development – a familiar process to councils but not suited to most home gardeners.
Sunshine Coast did quite well and you can see the scars of the Buderim dispute on their policy. Brisbane City Council guidelines are quite good although apart from issuing the guidelines to keep noisy residents like me quiet, I’ve seen no other signs of commitment to verge gardening from the council.
Councils in Western Australia lead the way – notably Fremantle and Vincent where they provide detailed policies that openly acknowledge all the environmental advantages of planting out verges with native plants and provide guidelines, advice, plants, and sometimes assistance.
Common points include:
- Street trees are normally provided and planted by the councils.
- Planting with low growing shrubs and groundcovers, native to your area, by residents is generally preferred.
- Ensuring safety and convenience for pedestrians is a priority.
- Access to your letterbox and other services should be included in the design
- Visibility for cars on the road and going in and out of driveways is a key factor.
These are all eminently sensible.
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These listings are a guide only – please follow the links provided in each listing to your council website to check their latest policies in detail before embarking on your verge project.