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Verge Gardens

We encourage residents to take pride in their verges, to enhance the aesthetic value of their properties and the streetscape as a whole.

A well-designed and maintained landscaped verge can:

  • improve your property’s kerb appeal
  • absorb rainwater
  • improve community pride
  • increase local biodiversity.

Collectively, the more vegetation (and less hard surfaces) in an area, the cooler that temperatures will be in hot summer weather.

Please note: Artificial lawn or turf is not permitted on verges.

 

Apply to landscape a verge

Prior to starting any landscaping works on a verge, please ensure you have:

  • read the Verge Policy & Guidelines
  • completed and submitted the Authorisation to Landscape a Verge Application Form along with relevant supporting documentation.

An applicant must not commence works to landscape a verge until an Authorisation has been granted by the Council, and work must be undertaken in accordance with any conditions outlined by the Council.

After planting, it will be the individual or group’s ongoing responsibility to maintain the verge garden in a manner that is safe and tidy. This includes watering, mowing, weeding, pest and disease control, pruning and replacement of material/plants. It also means ensuring that there are no trip hazards for pedestrians and road users.

How to apply

To apply to landscape the verge adjacent to your property, please complete and submit the online Authorisation to Landscape a Verge Application Form below.

If you are interested in landscaping several verges or a different area on your street (eg a verge at a dead end road, or an area that isn’t directly in front of your property), please download and complete the Authorisation to Landscape a Verge Notification & Consent Form and upload/attach it to the Authorisation to Landscape a Verge Application Form.

Apply now

Authorisation to Landscape a Verge Form

Alternatively, you can download and complete the Authorisation to Landscape a Verge – Application Form & Conditions (PDF)

If your application is approved, a permit will be issued which will be valid for 12 months.

Verge planting approval

An applicant must not commence works to landscape a verge until an Authorisation has been granted by the Council, and work must be undertaken in accordance with any conditions outlined by the Council.

An Authorisation to Landscape a verge is valid for a term 21 years, commencing on the date the Authorisation is granted by the Council.

Verge Policy & Guidelines

Verge Policy & Guidelines

The Verge Policy & Guidelines should be read in conjunction with Council’s Authorisation to Landscape a Verge Application Form and Conditions.

Download: Verge Policy & Guidelines

Maintenance and insurance

After planting, it will be the individual (or group’s) ongoing responsibility to maintain the verge garden in a manner that is safe and tidy. This includes watering, mowing, weeding, pest and disease control, pruning and replacement of material/plants. It also means ensuring that there are no trip hazards for pedestrians and road users.

Insurance

For individuals landscaping directly in front of their property:

  • you may wish to extend your domestic insurance coverage to include the verge garden in front of your property.

For individuals or groups that apply to landscape several verges or an area of verge in another location (ie not directly in front of a resident’s property):

  • the Council will require you to provide evidence of public liability insurance for at least the amount of $20,000,000.00 for each claim.

For groups established under the auspices of an incorporated association (eg a local residents’ association), please ensure your group is covered by the ‘head’ organisation’s insurance policy.

Please note: If a third party is injured or suffers loss or damage in connection with your verge garden, you will not be covered by the Council’s insurance.

Small community groups with limited funds for insurance could consider the following options:

  • the group could become an incorporated association under the Associations Incorporation Act 1985 (SA) and manage its own insurance.
  • the group could explore more affordable insurance options from Local Community Insurance Services, Garden Clubs Australia or the Department for Environment and Water (through SAicorp, a division of the South Australian Government Financing Authority).
  • The group may be auspiced by another association or agency (e.g. a local Residents’ Association) and arrange to be covered by their insurance. Please note: this will depend on the terms of the insurance policy of the ‘head’ organisation, and may require the name of the group to be listed on the insurance policy.
  • several groups or associations with similar objectives could obtain insurance together, as an umbrella policy is likely to be more affordable.


Frequently asked questions

What is a verge

A verge (or nature strip) is the area of land situated at the front of your property between the footpath and the roadside kerb.

Verges allow room for important public services such as water, electricity, sewer, telecommunications and gas, and provide a place for the street trees to be planted. Verges vary in size depending on the street and are typically treated with compacted rubble (either dolomite or quartzite).

Who owns the verge

The Council owns the land between the front property boundary and the road, including the verges. The Council is responsible for planting and maintaining street trees and for ensuring that verges pose no threat to public safety.

How do I apply to landscape a verge

Individuals or groups can apply to landscape a verge.

Prior to starting any works:

  • read the Verge Policy & Guidelines
  • complete the Authorisation to Landscape a Verge Application Form.

Where can I get design and plant / native lawn selection advice

The Council does not provide assistance with design and horticultural advice. 

Recommended resources include:

When designing a landscaped verge it should not result in a net increase of impermeable material of more than 20% of a verge directly adjacent to one property.

A path, unplanted or lawned area is able to be considered for the purposes of a bin stand area for placement of kerbside bins on collection day.

Design of the landscaped verge needs to consider any existing trees and must allow permeable and / or un-planted area around the tree of at least 1.5 square metres or elative structural root zone.

When digging, be very careful not to damage the root system of any street trees. To achieve this, excavate by hand around the base of the tree and ensure no roots are damaged.

Plant selection

The Council encourages the use of plants that are:

  • suitable for local site conditions considering the existing soil type, rainfall and site orientation
  • hardy and long lived species
  • non-invasive
  • drought tolerant
  • able to withstand occasional pedestrian traffic.

Consider using local native species that are well adapted to the climate and provide valuable food and habitat to birds and other wildlife.

For information about local native species and their maintenance requirements, download: Common Local Native Species of the Adelaide Plains Brochure.  Your local nursery can also assist with species selection.

Native lawn selection

The Council encourages choosing native grasses or water-wise turf varieties that will cope with heat and drought for example:

  • Dichondra repens (common names Kidney Weed or Tom Thumb)
  • Microlaena stipoides (weeping grass)
  • Themeda triandra (kangaroo grass)
  • Bothriochloa Macra (red grass)
  • Austrodanthonia caespitoss (wallaby grass).

Can I apply to landscape several verges or a different area on my street

Yes, you can. If you are interested in landscaping several verges or a different area on your street (eg a verge at a dead end road, or an area that isn’t directly in front of your property), you can submit an application form for the Council’s consideration.

You will also need to complete a Notification and Consent Form to confirm that you have the agreement of the adjoining property owners to your proposed verge landscaping.

If you are a tenant and want to landscape the verge in front of your property, you will also need to complete a Notification and Consent Form to confirm that you have the Landlord’s approval.

To landscape a verge in a different area on your street, please download and complete the following form and upload/attach it to your online Authorisation to Landscape a Verge Application.

Please see the Apply to Landscape a Verge section on this page for more information and to apply.

Can I adopt a verge

Where an Authorisation Holder is unable or chooses not to maintain the landscaped verge, the Council will consider an approach by another individual or group (e.g. a neighbour or a Residents Association) who wishes to assume responsibility for maintenance of the verge.

A new Authorisation will be required to be entered into with this individual or group.

For more information, contact: Works Coordinator Parks & Gardens 8360 9008.

Who can plant trees on verges

Street trees are the responsibility of the Council. Residents are not allow to plant street trees.

If there is no tree in the verge and you would like to request a tree, contact the Council on 08 8366 4555 or email townhall@npsp.sa.gov.au

If a street tree can be planted, it will be planted in accordance to the Council’s Street Tree Policy

How do I apply for the no weed spray register

The Council regularly sprays weeds on footpaths and on compacted rubble/dolomite verges.

If you do not want your footpath or verge sprayed, add your address to the Council's No Weed Spray Register by contacting the Council’s Works Coordinator, Park & Gardens on 08 8360 9008.

Note: the Council won’t spray verges that have been landscaped by the resident. Once a verge is landscaped it is the resident’s responsibility to maintain the verge.

Can I lay artificial lawn or turf - no you cannot

Artificial lawn or turf is not permitted (for current and retrospective applications).

Artificial lawn or turf affect soil health, creates a hazard on very hot days for animals and humans due to its heat retention and leads to an increase in the urban heat island effect by absorbing the heat from sunlight and then emitting this built up heat at a later stage. It also reduces water infiltration, which leads to less available water for street trees and an increase in stormwater runoff, and is made of materials that cannot be recycled.

If the Council identifies a verge with artificial lawn or turf it will request in writing the removal of the material.

Can I cultivate food on the verge

No. The Council does not allow water based edible plants (including tree species) that can absorb herbicides from current and historic spraying of weeds and other contaminates through the soil profile. 

Furthermore food cultivation on the verge is not considered hardy and long lived or drought tolerant species.

If residents are interested in food cultivation in public spaces, contact: Linde Community Garden.

What happens to leaf litter on landscaped verges

The Council uses leaf blowers to move leaf material away from property boundaries, footpaths, verges and from underneath parked vehicles to the middle of the road, where it can be collected by the street sweeper.

Landscaping of a verge will result in modification to the street sweeping program. This service will no longer be extended to Authorisation Holder properties as this service has the potential to damage vegetation, or cause loss or contamination of mulch to verge gardens.

It will be the responsibility of Authorisation Holder to ensure leaf litter and other organic material is not swept, blown, hosed or left on the verge, street or gutter. Instead, rake or sweep garden waste, use it as mulch, compost it or place it in your green organics bin.

Can built structures be placed on the verge

No. Built structures and sharp objects such as rocks, stakes, star pickets, bollards, supporting frames, raised garden beds, planter boxes, retaining walls and lattices cannot be placed on the verge.

Landscaping materials must be flush with the adjacent footpath and not mounded higher. It may consist of paths, stepping stones that are accessible and negotiable by pedestrians.

Contact

For more information call our Customer Service Centre on 08 8366 4555 or email: townhall@npsp.sa.gov.au