Nature Strips & Shady Lanes
For a couple of years now, I have been gardening on the verge, or nature strip, or footpath, or whatever term you want to use for the strip of land between the front fence and the road.
It's been an interesting exploration of the negotiation of public space and neighbourhood expectations. Enthusiasts dream of turning all the wasted land on our verges into genuine nature strips threading through the suburbs for the benefit of wildlife, pollinators, pedestrians, and residents.
Governments and health organisations recognise the benefits of active transport which relies on safe, shaded, walkable streets.
Some Councils have cottoned on to the idea that nature strips support their street trees to help mitigate the urban heat island effect, and actively encourage their residents to garden on the verge.
But not everyone is a volunteer gardener, and while Councils will plant the trees, who is going to plant and maintain the other plants? And without volunteers, who is going to pay for it all?
The vision of The Shady Lanes Project is to make low maintenance, water-wise nature strips the new normal.
The Shady Lanes network and online platform supporting social enterprises, small businesses and individuals at a local level is the key to achieving the scale and reach required. See shadylanes.com.au and contact me if you'd like to get involved.
For more general gardening, see my garden at Brisbane City Life