Thursday, 11 July 2013

Stripping For Nature

  The weird thing about so called “nature strips” is that they are usually completely devoid of anything remotely natural. They are usually patches of stringy looking “exotic” grass mixed with spiky burrs of weedy bindi-eyes....a nightmare for every late night, bare footed, rubbish bin putter outerer. And of course they take up loads of time trimming, mowing and landscaping to preserve their barren, unloved, bleak ambiance.
Call that a Nature Strip?

It needn’t be like this. Nature strips could easily be verdant, beautiful, borders of biodiversity and wonder. In my case I have planted endemic (to Sydney’s Northern Beaches)  species including the grass-like Lomandra and Dianella plus low growing trees-Tristaniopsis Laurina (Water Gum), Angophora Hispida (Dwarf Apple) and Angophora Bakerii (Narrow leaved Apple). Your local species can be purchased from a specialist native nursery...ask for plants that are indigenous to your suburb.

 Prior to planting, I completely removed all foreign grasses and weeds and continued to remove re-growth whenever it appeared. Now that the natives are established, maintenance is virtually nil. Costa Georgiadis from the ABC TV Show Gardening Australia has built a “verge garden” in Dulwich Hill, Sydney using a mix of fruit, veggies and natives"What's Costa done to my verge?"

 Don’t forget to leave enough space for domestic requirements such as “chuck out” items and check with your local Council first for advice re planting policies and the location of underground utility cables and pipes. Also when you have planted your nature will seem to create a magnetic attraction for tossed rubbish items and “dog walkers”...but perseverance will pay off. You will be the envy of your neighbours as you sit back, beer in hand and watch them drag out their Victa mowers in futile regularity.
THIS is a Nature Strip !