A SOUTH Fremantle couple transforming their verge into a community garden have copped flak over temporary bollards installed to stop cars mounting the kerb.
Gillian Henderson and her husband David Hobbs, who are funding the beautification of the Lloyd Street verge, are working with North Fremantle nursery APACE WA to put in native and water-wise plants.
After the wooden bollards were installed, Fremantle council received a complaint and threatened to remove them.
“If they come and take these away, which they have threatened to do, then I will have to put raised veggie beds right around the edge to keep the cars off,” Ms Henderson says.
There were also some false rumours circulating that an iconic Norfolk pine was to be felled, and concerns about tall plants blocking drivers’ line of sight.
“The line of sight has been allowed, it’s been planned with that in mind, so it’s all low plants near the corner.”
Ms Henderson says the response from most neighbours has been positive, and they have even requested some benches and a swing on the unusually large 26 x 10 metre verge.
Ms Henderson says the bollards are only temporary to allow APACE to prepare the land and get the plants growing.
“When we had the builder’s fences up when we were building the house, some of the cars were so determined to park that they actually drove it down,” she says.
Next door neighbour Sarah Roberts said the community space was a “great idea” and will complement the nearby Parmelia Park.
“It will be a fantastic space for the kids,” she says.
APACE designer Ann Forma has transformed verges as wide as 16 metres and says they have “a good impact in the street and are enjoyed by the neighbourhood.”
The garden design guru was excited to draw up the plans for the unusually spacious South Freo verge.
“They are all local, native plants and shrubs that would’ve grown in the area when it was all bush, before any housing was built,” she says. “There will be a couple of grass trees but most of the plants will be low, ground level which should keep the council happy.”
Fremantle council is in the process of reviewing its verge restrictions including beautification guidelines.
Ms Henderson says it would be great if the city followed Bayswater’s lead and changed the laws to encourage verge beautification.
by CHARLIE SMITH