Could your street use a facelift? Try planting a verge garden. Live for Less takes you through the steps.

Brisbane City Council encourages residents to plant gardens on the verges outside their homes and has released a set of simple guidelines for residents to follow. This is a great benefit for the many enthusiastic gardeners who have been waiting to beautify their street frontage.

Brisbane City Council’s Environment, Parks and Sustainability Chairman David McLachlan says that Council has made the guidelines simple and user-friendly.

“There are some rules we’ve included in a checklist and we’ve provided a suggested list of suitable plants. After that, it’s up to you. Verge gardens are a great way to make a more beautiful Brisbane and build community spirit in our neighbourhoods.”

If the idea of verge garden piques your interest, here are our top tips for getting started.

Know the rules

Read the Verge Garden Guidelines (Word – 119kb) to help you make sure your garden is within Council rules (for example: make sure you won’t encroach on the footpath width of 1.2 metres).

Talk to your neighbours

Good fences make good neighbours, and so do good verge gardens. Tell your neighbours what you’re planning and show them a copy of the Council guidelines. You’ll minimise the chances of conflict later, and might even get your neighbours interested in helping to build and maintain your garden.

Choose the right kind of plants

See the Recommended Planting List (Word – 100kb) from Council. Any plants chosen for use in verge gardens must be groundcovers or low growing species. Choose species that will not impede verge users or obstruct the visibility of motorists on the road or in driveways.

What about planting vegetables?

These are permitted if they comply with Council guidelines, but plants that need stakes are not permitted. Vegetables may require more watering and maintenance on your part, so think carefully before you commit. A successful vegetable verge garden can be a great way to build community spirit in your street and create a local source of fresh food.

You’re the head gardener

You’re responsible for maintenance of a verge garden adjoining your property. It must be well-maintained and safe, must keep the footpath accessible, and must not impede access for utilities such as optic fibre cable, water and power. Before you build, make sure to contact Dial Before You Dig on 1100 or www.1100.com.au to locate any underground pipes and cables and confirm that there none in your way.

Would you like street trees instead?

If your street frontage is looking bare you can request Council to plant a street tree (PDF – 96kb). These trees are maintained by Council and planted to suit the site conditions and complement the character of an area. View the types of street trees that Council currently uses.

Learn more