We encourage residents to take pride in their verges, to enhance the aesthetic value of their properties and the streetscape as a whole.
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).
Why landscape a verge
A well-designed and well maintained landscaped verge can improve your property’s kerb appeal, absorb rainwater, improve community pride and increase local biodiversity.
Collectively, the more vegetation (and less hard surfaces) in an area, the cooler that temperatures will be in hot summer weather.
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.
What can I plant on the verge
Householders are encouraged to ‘take ownership’ and landscape their verge, but approval is required and a number of conditions must be met to ensure that the proposed works will not:
- detract from the amenity of the streetscape
- pose an undue risk to public safety
- interfere with or compromise existing infrastructure including street trees.
For more information, read the Verge Garden Guidelines
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.
Verge planting approval
Prior to any works commencing, complete and submit the Landscaping a Verge Application Form and have it approved.
Before applying, make sure you read the Verge Garden Guidelines
Alternatively, you can download and complete the Application to Landscape a Verge Form
Verge Garden Guidelines
1. Plant selection
To minimise the amount of time and effort you’ll need to dedicate to maintaining your verge garden, the Council encourages plants that are:
- suitable for local site conditions considering the existing soil type, rainfall and site orientation
- hardy and long lived species
- 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.
To maintain safe lines of sight along your street, select plants that don’t grow taller than 750mm. Low groundcovers are ideal as they create a dense cover which discourages weeds and allows clear sight lines.
To protect public safety, select plants that do not have prickles, spines or thorns. Similarly, do not use plants declared as pests or that are poisonous.
If installing lawn, it is important to prepare the soil beforehand. The Council encourages choosing water-wise turf varieties that will cope with heat and drought.
Artificial turf is not permitted.
3. Passenger access
The design needs to allow for passengers to be able to exit vehicles parked at the kerbside without stepping on plants. This can be achieved by:
- installing a path at least 1.2m wide, and/or
- leaving an unplanted area on the verge adjacent the kerb (extending at least 0.5m from the kerb).
The unplanted area or path may comprise gravel, lawn, paving, mulch or a similar material and must not create a trip hazard. Note that the only pavers that will be approved are the Adbri Masonry’s Hollandstone 60 Exposed Aggregate paver in the Port Blend colour (Length 220mm x Depth 110mm x Height 60mm). Depending on stock levels, it may be possible to purchase the pavers from the Council depot.
The path or unplanted area can also be used for your kerbside bins on collection day.
Prior to digging, contact Dial Before You Dig on 1100 to determine the presence and location of underground pipes and cables under the verge.
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 greater than 50mm diameter are damaged.
Keep tools and other items off the road and footpath to prevent obstruction and safety hazards. The area must be kept safe at all times. If you need to temporarily close off part of the footpath, you’ll need to obtain an Authorisation to Alter a Public Road Permit from the Council before you do so.
To prevent stormwater pollution, materials such as soil or mulch must be swept up from hard surfaces such as the footpath and gutter.
The applicant is responsible for all works and costs associated with the planting of the verge, including the replacement of existing verge material with appropriate soil and the proper disposal of any excess material.
When preparing the verge, ensure that soil levels are flush with the adjacent footpath or ideally, slightly lower. You are encouraged to shape the soil level into a slight depression in middle of verge. This will assist to collect water when it rains and will also assist to retain soil and mulch in place.
To help retain moisture and reduce weeds, consider applying mulch to a depth of 50-100 mm. However, ensure that mulch is not heaped around or placed against plant stems or tree trunks to avoid risk of decay and disease from excess moisture.
Drip irrigation is permitted, however the pipework will need to go under the footpath at the resident’s expense and will need prior approval in the form of an Authorisation to Alter a Public Road Permit. Please note the footpath will need to be reinstated to match the original. Ensure the irrigation system does not pose a trip hazard.
After planting it will be the residents’ 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.
To maintain safe sight lines for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, the resident must keep plantings lower than 750mm in height. Also to maintain public safety, the resident must ensure that verge plantings do not encroach on the adjacent footpath or roadway.
The Council encourages removing grass from the collar of street trees by hand or by spraying; edge trimmers are not recommended as the nylon cord can damage the trunk.
7. Other safety conditions
Built structures and sharp objects such as rocks, stakes, star pickets, bollards, supporting frames, raised garden beds, retaining walls and lattices cannot be placed on the verge.
All landscape work shall comply with all applicable industry standards and with health and safety standards.
8. Rights of the Council
At any time and without notice, the Council maintains the right to access and maintain street trees and underground services located within the verge. Please note that other service providers also maintain the right to access underground services located within the verge at any time and without notice.
The Council may adjust the verge as part of a road upgrade or for any other reason.
Where the verge is not maintained in accordance with these conditions, or there is a public safety risk, the Council may remove the verge garden and reinstate the dolomite or quartzite rubble. Compensation will not be provided to the property owner
9. Other conditions
- authorisation does not confer on the Applicant any exclusive right, entitlement or interest in the Council Land and does not derogate from the Council’s powers arising under the Local Government Act 1999
- the applicant shall indemnify the Council, its servants and/or agents against all actions, costs, claims and demands for injury, loss or damage arising out of any negligent act or omission of the Applicant in relation to the alteration to the verge
- for the purposes of Section 221(6) of the Local Government Act 1999, approval of this application constitutes authorisation for the act of undertaking the approved works.
- authorised works must be carried out within 12 months of the date of approval, otherwise the authorisation will lapse.