Low maintenance, waterwise native gardens are getting the edge over lawn on many verges and nature strips across Perth.
Perth’s drying climate and the amazing array of Western Australian plants now available have made verge gardens more practical than ever before. A verge planted with native ground covers is far more attractive than lawn or synthetic grass and actually becomes an extension of your liveable area. Sustainable Outdoors can transform the look of your house with an amazing, low maintenance verge garden. Here’s how:
- Give us a call for a consultation and design.
- We’ll spray and remove or rotary hoe the old grass.
- Amend the soil with compost and bentonite clay.
- Install drip irrigation.
- Mulch using rough, course mulch to a depth of 100mm.
- Plant waterwise, Australian native plants.
It’s that simple! We’ll have your verge garden growing in no time at all.
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More information about Verge Gardens
- Council RegulationsMany councils now days are encouraging people to transform their verge into native gardens, they see the benefits of doing so. Regulations vary greatly between councils so please contact your local council for details.
- PlantsWe recommend mass planting (a small selection of plants planted on mass) of low ground covers, grasses and small shrubs to give visual impact.
- MulchWe will only install rough, course and irregular mulch. A common mistake is that mulch is meant to hold water, the best mulches actually let water drain through whilst providing an insulating cover over the soil to prevent evaporation. The overall thickness we aim for is 100 mm.
- Soil AmendmentsDepending on the soil type you have, most of Perth is on grey Bassendean sands. From our experience it is absolutely vital to bring your soil to life by adding some organic matter, moisture and nutrient holding minerals and breaking the compaction. We rotary hoe good quality compost and bentonite clay as a minimum into all of our gardens, zeolite can also be used. The compost contains heaps of humus and beneficial bacteria. Bentonite is a type of clay and by adding a small amount of this to sand it will help retain the moisture and prevent water repellency. Zeolite is another natural mineral that acts like a sponge to absorb nutrients, locking them into the soil profile, preventing them from being washed away.
- Removing or leaving the grassThis basically depends on whether the levels are at the right height below the kerb to prevent the mulch from spilling over. In both cases we would need to spray the grass to be sure it isn’t going to come back. If necessary, we may need to remove the top layer or we can create a small undulation with the excess soil from around the edges which can look quite good. The grass thatching can be mixed in with the soil in some situations without a problem using a rotary hoe, it all adds to the organic matter in the soil.
- Garden FeaturesNow this really brings the garden to life. Grass trees, small pathways, undulations, rocks or logs give the garden something special. Grass trees look good in small groups, they don’t need to be monstrous, small ones look good too, pathways winding around or even across the verge gives it structure, shape and most importantly access to enjoy it. Limestone rocks work great near the coast and coffee rock or granite in the hills. But remember that this must be done in a way that meets the council regulations.
- ReticulationWe recommend installing a drip irrigation system. It can easily be retro-fitted to an existing sprinkler system or we can install a new system for you. Drip is one of the most efficient systems available, preventing evaporation and runoff as it is installed underneath the mulch layer and can save up to 60% more water than a conventional sprinkler system. It has the added advantage of watering the surface evenly, allowing the plants to spread their roots in search of water and in turn making them stronger on hotter days.