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On the verge of something wonderful

My sustainability journey brought me back to verge gardens when I attended my first Australian Conservation Foundation Brisbane Northside event and met Gayle from The Shady Lanes Project who is passionate about verge gardens.

Before that, I honestly thought of them as just a way for people to feel less guilty about not being sustainable enough and figured any veggies I planted would be pilfered. But Gayle helped me to see things differently.  She encouraged me to think of verge gardens as native plant corridors to boost biodiversity. This sounded like a win-win for the environment and the neighbourhood. So, I decided to give it a go. Afterall, it seemed like another simple, low-risk environmental action I could take to make a positive impact.

When I visited Gayle’s native verge garden at Bridgman Downs, I was delighted by the trove of native pants with colourful flowers.  But the cherry on top was the Jewel Beetle I spotted (pictured). Now I was motivated and ready to start planning my own verge garden.

I began by researching which plants would be most suitable, taking in to account local council rules and what plants would work best in my location. The Kumbartcho Sanctuary Community Nursery was a goldmine for plants and advice.  I found the staff very helpful, and their website was user-friendly too. Shopping there felt good since it ticked the box on several Sustainable Development Goals, by fostering sustainable communities and businesses.

My biggest concern was how my neighbours, and our local “postie” (Australia Post) would react. Luckily, we have very approachable neighbours who were fine about what I proposed when I talked to them.  And the postie? He was pleasantly surprised I even asked before making any changes – apparently that doesn’t happen very often.  He also had no concerns as I was leaving a clear path for him to ride through.

Next the ‘real’ work began. I double-checked the council guidelines for verge gardens and made sure the local utilities knew I would be digging in the verge. Of course, I didn’t want to damage any vital infrastructure or endanger myself. I discovered I would be fine if I stuck to hand tools and kept the digging shallow (around 20cm for tube stock).

Read more and see photos here


Local Government Area
Brisbane City Council
Area Converted (sqm)
Council Ward
Bracken Ridge
Number of street trees
Zero Emissions
Does this garden comply with your local Council Policy?
Groups and/or Projects
ACF Community Brisbane Northside