The fun way to increase your home’s value and save money 35



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What started as a counter-culture trend is set to become mainstream as city councils embrace the idea and let homeowners make use of that useless space in front of their home.

Brisbane City Council has employed Gardening Australia presenter Jerry Coleby-Williams to establish guidelines for kerbside gardening in the city.

Also known as “verge gardening”, the trend is to plant either edible gardens or ornamental gardens on the nature strip, which is typically owned by your council.

Mr Coleby-Williams told Fairfax Media, “Homes with well-tended gardens sell for around 10 per cent more,” he said.

“Several studies have shown that sought-after properties tend to be in streets lined with shade trees and nature strips. These strips of cultivation soften and brighten the streetscape.”

Homeowner who spend a few dollars on seedlings and potting mix also stand to save money, according to the gardening guru.

“Nature strips and trees help reduce household air conditioning bills. The living surface provided by nature strips and shade provided by trees help cool streets.”

The move is a turnaround from three weeks ago when a homeowner was fined $5000 for planting a verge garden. The fine was dropped when laws were changed to accommodate kerbside gardening.

For those worried about vandalism of their very public front yards, Mr Coleby-Williams said, “The best way to deal with this is (by) growing ‘sacrificial’ plants.

“Through work I’ve learned that one way to defeat graffiti (and) the destruction of new trees or plantings is by rapidly repairing the damage – ideally within 24 hours.”

Do you have a kerbside garden? We’d love to see your pictures! Would you consider planting one if your council allowed you to? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Oh . Please . That adds no value to the home what so ever .

    1 REPLY
    • You would be surprised, Dawn. Gardens are the best way to add value to a house for sale. And a pretty nature strip is a great introduction to a property.

  2. What a “great” idea. Um. how do people on the kerb side of the car, get out?

    4 REPLY
  3. So much better than the lazy people not mowing them and the council not bothering now – stand up for yourselves Aucklanders – stand up to that terrible council and plant up the berms !!!!

  4. Great idea but doomed to failure as when everything ripens it would become a treasure trove for all to help themselves.

  5. I planted out a nature strip at one house I owned but it was an odd area bigger than a normal kerbside stretch. At our current house rather than kerbside we let our garden flow onto the footpath as we have no fence. We keep it trimmed back the required footpath width. Often kerbside gardens can be a pain for people trying to get out of parked cars. Wonderful if planted thoughtfully.

    1 REPLY
    • We did that once and was told by the council we were not allowed to plant it . We told them then they could do the upkeep as it was their property. After 6 months of fortnightly phone calls to come and mow there verge so it did not de-valve our property they told us they had reconsidered and left us alone.

  6. what is to stop anyone stealing the new plants you have just purchased? I have pot plants and the pots stolen from the front of my house and someone even took half of the hose and the fittings

    1 REPLY
    • I had a garden seat stolen from outside our door and a close by neighbour managed to surprise the thieves but not before they had already taken the first of the two large pot plants they were after.

  7. I’ve always planted native shrubs or fruit trees on my verge, I have mostly lived in the country and at one time councils used to supply natives for planting. I have banksias and bottlebrush in the front and also some wattles that have self planted.

  8. Our footpath is too narrow. Barely a metre wide. We have lovely green grass though and water it regularly and mow.

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