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Lessons from the Rain and Flood

Living near the top of a hill meant that our Brisbane house was safe from flooding and the garden was relatively unscathed in the 2022 extreme rain event. The deluge from above combined with sodden soil and runoff from higher properties to create rivers flowing through the garden toward the lowest points – especially the […] Read more

Why nature strips and not just private gardens?

Short Answer: You can make any changes you like in your garden and nobody will take much notice. To be effective for change-making your actions need to be in public. Being public land also adds flexibility for funding larger projects. Long Answer: What’s So Special about Verges and Nature Strips […] Read more

Instead of charging to list your services or organisation on this site we ask that you create a verge garden and list it first.  The experience of planting out your own strip is different to planting inside the garden and the experience will show when you talk with others on collaborative projects. Our goal is […] Read more

Why native plants and not food gardens?

Short answer: To tackle climate change we need to increase tree canopy and biodiversity with an emphasis on native plants as much as possible. This also suits the multiple purposes for this common land. Most disputes with verge gardens involve food gardens. For a more comprehensive answer see Why I Won’t Be Growing An Edible Verge that […] Read more

What’s Shady Lanes got to do with Urban Design?

Re-engaging residents with their streetscapes gradually changes the way people view the streets makes them more open to advocacy about alternatives to the status quo. Spending time in this place doing “slow gardening” means you notice more and have time to contemplate the possibilities. It moves the focus onto the shared street and away from individual […] Read more

Sharing your story about your nature strip

Stories and conversations are the way to bring about change. Now you can list your gardens and tell your gardening story and why you are doing it on the Shady Lanes website. This is the listing for my nature strip. It includes reasons why I started planting and some experiences and lessons along the way, […] Read more

Nature Strips – Biodiversity and Habitat in the Burbs

I started this journey as a verge gardener. I decided I’d had enough of mowing the grass in front of my house. And then the Brisbane City Council changed their rules about planting verge gardens. No more mowing! And a free street tree planted by the Council. And even more benefits than I expected! It’s […] Read more

Maintenance of Verge Gardens

Grass maintenance is easy to do without thinking and easy to outsource. The thousands of mow/edge/blow workers driving around the city are evidence of that. My neighbours’ buzz-men disturb my peace with their noise and fumes during the week.  They work quickly and produce reliably neat results.

Financial Benefits of Verge Gardening

It’s hard to assign monetary values to many of the savings and benefits but here are some suggestions that also show how to maximise the benefits and avoid pitfalls. Costs and Savings for the householder Time – the greatest cost in time is in setting up the garden. In some locations, you can reduce this […] Read more

Feedback from Passers-by

I’ve overheard conversations of people telling young children what the flowers are, seen an elderly lady reaching out to touch the pink cosmos, and I never know whether the missing flowers are the work of the possums or people. Either way, it’s good.

Council versus Resident-planted Verge Gardens

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has released a report, Temperature check: Greening Australia’s warming cities, by Monash University researchers, which shows increasing urban vegetation will become essential for our three largest cities – Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – to reduce serious heatwave impacts by 2060-2080. I did an interview with ABC (story here) about the part […] Read more

But what about neglected verges?

This is a common question from people who oppose or are unfamiliar with verge gardening. What if they don’t look after it? Well, here are some photos I took of the council-maintained “grass” verge near my bus stop. It’s on a major road with houses backing on to it – which is presumably why council […] Read more

Why your verge should include flowers

Flowers are ambassadors for verge gardens. They help to make people comfortable with the initial disruption to the ubiquity of grass nature strips. Here are two main types of flowers to include on your verge.

Plants on my Brisbane Nature Strip

Like most councils, Brisbane has a list of suggested plants as part of their policy. You can use it as a guide, ask advice from your local community nursery, or look around to see what plants are growing in nearby gardens. If you asked me how many different species I have on the verge I […] Read more