45 Bilambil Street
We have been happily transforming the verge at 45 Bilambil Street. In this post, I am excited to give you a brief overview of our progress on this verge.
At the start, the verge was only a street tree and a pile of soil.
Before commencing, the resident had some initial discussions with her neighbours to let them know she was starting a verge garden in the front of her property. It’s really important to get a feel who will be using the verge, and what kind of responses they may have. We decided to start small and slow, this way everyone who uses that verge could get used to new landscape. In doing it this way, we could then wait and see if anyone has any objections to what we were doing without having invested too much time and energy.
To date, we have not received any complaints, in fact the only comments we’ve had are positive, we have even inspired the next door to do their verge too. This is how we transform the streets from barren streetscapes into biodiversity corridors, one verge at a time. By us getting out there and having a go, we have inspired others to do that too.
We started with a team of wonderful community members (mostly from Bilambil Street) by simply digging small holes into the ground and planting native small shrubs and understory. The method we used is called the “slow gardening method”. You can find out more information about our first working bee and the slow gardening method here. Below is a picture of how it looked after our first working bee.
he work we did on the first day had minimal disruption to the area where we planted. We didn’t want to disturb the tree roots under the ground. We have a number of instructional videos on the website on how to get started on your verge if you need a little encouragement or assistance.
In our next working bee, the resident had removed the pile of soil on the other side of the street tree and planted native plants in a similar manner. It’s not necessary, but we decided to add a little bit of mulch around the plants. If you do decide to use mulch, please ensure that it won’t end up in the water drainage systems when it rains, as this will affect the quality of the water going into our rivers and creeks.
On the other side of the street tree, we removed the grass surrounding the plant and added mulch around the area. We avoid using mulch at the centre of the plant.
The last working bee we had was Wednesday 19th April. We focussed on removing the grass in between the plants and added the mulch to suppress the weeds. There were a few other reasons why we decided to do this. Firstly, to make it easier for mowing. The mulch also defines the verge garden area so people can avoid walking on it and enjoy seeing it grow and flourish. Below is the photos’ we took at the end of that day.
Slowly but surely we are transforming the streets of Banyo to secure a healthier environment for future generations and the wildlife that live among us. Some of the things that I really love about working on the verge is the sense of doing something so simple, and yet so impactful. If done in a respectful way, it can really bring community together. Verge gardening is a slow process, but in a way I really believe that working slowly and carefully is the only way to build an equitable, socially just and thriving future here on the planet.
Anything that is built on unstable conditions is bound to fall over. If we want to build healthy and strong communities, we also need to work like roots in the soil….. slowly. Working slowly has taught me many things, but the best thing I’ve learnt about it is that I’m not as scared to make mistakes, and it means that I don’t actually make as many mistakes anyway as I get to really think about things, and let opportunities arise on their own. Verge gardening is becoming a way of life for me. It truly is a wonderful experience.