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Bye bye grass!

I’d toyed with the idea of planting a verge garden for years but after reading the council requirements didn’t feel confident in starting one. I think I plonked a pentas bush up against the fence, but it wasn’t much more than that. I worked on other garden projects around my house including removing all the grass in the front yard and planting (mostly) natives.

My next-door neighbour was so impressed by the front yard that he decided to put a garden bed over his side of the fence. We worked together to plant his vision and connected his new plants with my lonely pentas that was technically “on the verge”. While we had all the shovels and picks out I decided to just start digging the roadside verge. It starts at my driveway and continues across onto the neighbour’s property.

I’d already got a dial-before-you-dig report so knew there was nothing under the grass. Turns out the concrete kerb sloped back under the grass so there was only 10cm of “soil” in some places.

I can’t remember what I first planted, it was a bit of trial and error. There’s a street tree a few meters away on the neighbour’s property (a non-native drunken parrot tree –  Schotia brachypetala) which provides very little shade and has roots everywhere. So full sun/bad, shallow soil was a challenge but I tried tubestock and a couple of Bunnings discounted dead plants that I’d revived.

I transplanted some wild growing lomandra from my backyard along the gutter side to stop mulch washing away as there is a bit of a slope from building up the soil. It grew better than expected and made it’s own border. It occasionally needs a trim to make it look tidy. On the footpath side I used sticks as an edge to avoid using ‘manmade materials’ and this has stopped most of the grass from spreading back into the garden.

Currently growing is a fine-leaf myoporum, a westringia, a hibbertia, a brachyscome, a grevillea liliane and some persistent weeds. It’s attracted many butterflies, birds and even a peacock spider! I have chatted with several neighbours about it that I normally wouldn’t have interacted with. The future plan is to continue the garden to under the tree, which hopefully will benefit the tree with better soil and provide a shady patch for other plants to thrive in.

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Turrbal and Jagera People
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ACF Community Brisbane Northside
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Chermside West