Vergie Garden

January 7, 2009 § 6 Comments

Inspired by another family on our street, we’ve recently planted some tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and herbs on our verge.  Why would we do this when we have a perfectly decent-sized back yard for such a garden?  Well, the neighbours and their kids love sharing the produce and it greens up the verge while providing us with some home-grown fare.  Then there’s the passers-by who come by and pass comment on it as we pick, garden, and hand water.   So there’s  an element of community about it.

My Italian Father-in-law swore we were crazy because dogs would do what dogs do on it.  We give everything a good wash and so far haven’t suffered any ill effects.

Then there’s the laughable situation from the Cottesloe council. Thankfully we don’t live there.

They will require ratepayers to submit a plan, and a $100 permit fee.  On top of this, a $500 bond in case the council have to reinstate the verge if said garden should fall into disrepair. Surely the council’s views and resulting legislation don’t represent those of the wider community?  Or do they?

Verges: for lawns or lettuces?

Cottesloe’s ‘verge-o-crat’ policy wonks

Home-Grown Lunacy

Neighbours produce

Neighbour's produce

Our mentors garden

Our mentor's garden


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§ 6 Responses to Vergie Garden

  • Fantastic, fabulous, should be more of it. A Cottesloe councillor tells me that the council has come to its senses and will be abandoning its proposed policy. But let’s wait to see that in writing. Apparently the council was worried that people might stake themselves in the dark on a zucchini rampaging across the footpath, or that passers-by might avail themselves of verge-gardeners’ produce! God forbid that verge gardeners might want to share some of the fruits of their labours…We will drop off some artichoke roots for you. Keep growing.

  • alexmillier says:

    Hi there. Yes the Cottesloe argument was “verging” on the faintly ridiculous. Glad to hear there’s an update to the situation and hope as you say, that it is down in writing.

  • squitch says:

    I’m inspired! We already have a small vegie patch in our backyard but I’ve been think about delawning our verge for a while, and this looks like a perfect alternative. People I share the idea with seem to mostly be concerned about the produce being nicked – the main point is to share so I don’t mind that at all, though I would prefer it get eaten than used in food fights . . .
    Now to see if the inspiration will last long enough to prepare the verge over the next few months and plant in spring. Here’s to our potential “vergie” garden in St James :o)

  • alexmillier says:

    Hey! Good luck with it. Winter veggies time. Apparently a bit of pea hay can work wonders for the soil. Send me photos of yours! 🙂

  • Chezza says:

    I think growing on the verge is a great idea. I was wondering if anyone knows of a group that garden share. I have a large backyard (by todays standard) and while I would love to fill it with fruit and vegies I have the original black thumb. I would love to have some one who likes to garden and would be happy to purchse the plants and to share the produce with I would even like some chickens, but I work and am a death sentence to healthy plants.

  • alexmillier says:

    Thanks for the reply. Try contacting Ben Mitchell from He’s the full bottle on gardening and could get you set up in no time.

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