Verge garden concept growing, with green light given for six in the north

The Coledale verge garden outside the community hall

TWELVE successful applicants are set to receive a $250 voucher to help fund new verge gardens for their community. Among them are six from the northern suburbs.

Wollongong City Council’s Connecting Neighbours Grant – Verge Gardens Pilot is a trial program that encourages residents to green public land, between people’s property and the kerb.

The program will fund low-cost demonstration projects to inspire other residents to create their own verge gardens that contribute to sustainability. These gardens will join three existing demonstration gardens established by Council at Coledale, Bellambi and Port Kembla. The Coledale verge garden is located outside the community hall and is made-up of native plants on Lawrence Hargrave Drive. The Bellambi verge garden sits outside the neighbourhood centre on Cawley Street and is made-up of ‘bush food’ plants.

The successful applicants in the northern suburbs:

  • Fernhill Verge: A vegetable and fruit garden to share with neighbours at Fernhill.
  • Lyndon Street Grocer: A herb and flower garden in Lyndon Street, Corrimal
  • Brickworks Bees: A communal garden in Wallbank Avenue, Bulli.
  • The Shady Spot: A native garden at Fairy Meadow.
  • The Goodrich Gardens: Native gardens at the corner of Goodrich and Fifth Street, Scarborough.
  • Sturdee Gardens: A cul-de-sac garden in Towradgi.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said that he hoped to see many more verge gardens pop up around the city.

“Last year, we released the new verge garden guidelines as part of Council’s Urban Greening Strategy,” he said.

“These guidelines support residents who want to create appropriate and successful gardens. These pleasant spaces add to the vibrancy of Wollongong.

“Planting shrubs, vegetables, herbs, flowers and ground covers on verges is a simple way to make our communities more liveable and offer opportunities for people to connect with their neighbours.

“All 12 applications to the Verge Gardens Pilot propose creative opportunities to bring much needed greenery to their front yards that would benefit their community.”

The trial program aims to achieve key goals laid out in Council’s Our Wollongong 2028 community strategic plan to value and protect our environment and connect with our community.

“We want to make Wollongong a beautiful and liveable place that’s attractive for everyone,” Cr Bradbery said.

“Adding plants to the space between your house and the street is a great way to help keep our streets cool in the summer, use less water and provide habitats for native birds, insect and lizards.”

Wollongong Botanic Garden holds regular Native Plant Sales for Wollongong residents to purchase a wide range of ground covers, grasses and shrubs native to the Wollongong area. Their next sale is Saturday 6 March and is held at the Botanic Garden Nursery at 65 Northfields Avenue, Keiraville.

To purchase a plant, simply bring your current rates notice as proof that you’re a resident of the Wollongong City Council area.

Find out more about Council’s Greenplan Plant Sales by visiting the Wollongong Botanic Garden website.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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