Vergefest 2019

I went along to Vergefest 2019 at West End on Saturday. I caught the bus to West End and walked, saw most of the items on the map, and went to the first session at Turnstyle.

Highlights


The edible container garden outside Hope Cafe is worth visiting.
They also have an impressive industrial-sized worm farm, the Worm Habitat Grande and community compost area.

Accessibility

Billed as a roaming streetfest, the program was really designed for getting from one garden to the next by bicycle. Fun for those involved, but leaves out a lot of people.

Compliance to Council Guidelines

Brisbane City Council has guidelines for verge gardening.  We saw many verge gardens, most not part of Vergefest, and most of them didn’t fit within the guidelines. Does it matter? Is saying that they should comply being conservative or pedantic?

Some guidelines are there for a good reason.

Verge garden with bench

Attractive corner garden with good visibility and bench to watch the world go by on Montague Road. Not part of Vergefest.

Low growing plants provide visibility and although you might argue that cars shouldn’t dominate, while there are cars on the road, ensuring a clear line of sight between pedestrians and drivers is prudent. It also avoids the spider web in the face when walking.

Keeping the path clear for wheelchairs and prams is also important. Strappy leaves overhanding the path can tangle in the wheels.

Mulch spilling into gutters might not be a great problem here, but it would be on my verge at the top of a hill. The trees and gardens made this a cool, shady street.

the best vergeWe came across these verges – not part of Vergefest. They show how a line of verge gardens looks even better.

So how did it measure up?  Well, that depends on what your goals are. For the people involved, it was pretty good. For me, it helped clarify some of the issues about both creating the gardens and for advocating for change.

I’m not sure that it would reach the unconverted or the wider population. It was a good start but there’s a lot more work to be done.