Way back in September 2012, members of the Brighton Group planted a messy, weedy verge in our street with indigenous plants from one of our council’s Biodiversity Kits. You can read all about this project at SCSA Brighton Group – Verge makeover. The pictures below show the transformation in just 20 months.
Kate and Tony planting native Lilac and Pigface
The same corner in 2014
There are many advantages to planting indigenous plants in our suburban gardens and verges. In South Australia, our long, hot and dry summers really test plants’ ability to survive. Holdfast Bay’s coastal situation creates further challenges with salt spray, sandy soils and strong south-westerly winds. By planting trees and medium size bushes, we create protective wind breaks and cooling shade during heat waves. Planting hardy local species can also save us unnecessary labour, disappointment and time, as well as keeping our gardens alive and attractive throughout the summer months.
Our South Australian coastal indigenous plants are water-wise and increase biodiversity by attracting and sheltering native insects and wildlife. Plant roots also capture rain water and hold soil, preventing erosion and water runoff. All plants sequester carbon dioxide and lush gardens and verges can act as a ‘carbon sink’. Once established, indigenous plants should require no extra watering and very little maintenance.
Following last week’s ‘Indigenous plant use in your backyard’ workshop, this year’s Biodiversity kit is now available to residents, local schools, community organisations and businesses in our area. You can pick up your kit from Holdfast Bay Council at a subsidised cost of $10. If you team up with another 3 households in your area, you can have up to 48 plants to play with and right now is the ideal time to plant. The soil is rain-soaked and the plants’ root system should be well established before the summer heat arrives.
Each kit contains:
12 assorted indigenous plant seedlings
An ‘Adelaide – the nature of our city’ DVD
A 14L flexi bucket
An Adelaide gardens planting guide
A coastal gardens planting guide
If you have not already embraced our Australian native plants, why not start experimenting? Getting together with a few like-minded neighbours to plant native species in your area builds community and helps to create an environment we can all enjoy on our neighbourhood walks.