Verge gardens

verge garden

Nature strip planting

Council-owned land on the road reserve, located between the kerb and the property boundary is known as the nature stripStreet/verge gardens form an important part of our Urban Forest and have the potential to make your house and street look great, engage with the community and produce a range of environmental benefits.

How to get approval

  1. Complete the verge garden checklist to ensure your plans comply with Council regulations and to ensure a successful garden.
  2. Once you have completed this quick tick box process and you have answered Yes or NA to all points, you are ok to proceed with your plantings.
  3. If you tick No or have submitted any questions, please wait for a response from our team before proceeding.

What are the benefits?

  • Encourages neighbours to engage and learn from each other.
  • Promotes human health and wellbeing.
  • Filters the air, reduces stormwater runoff and absorbs carbon emissions.
  • Creates shade, providing pleasant spaces and reduces the urban heat island effect.
  • Provides habitat and food for insects, birds and bats.
  • Improves the appearance, economic value and liveability of our cities.

What can you plant?

Soft landscaping

Verge gardens should only involve soft landscaping. These are low-medium growth shrubs and ground covers that do not change the soil profile.

Hard landscaping

Verge gardens should not include hard landscaping. These include built/raised garden beds, terracing, changing the soil profile or introducing a hard surface. For these you will need to apply to Council Application for private use of Road Reserve.

What to plant?

A mixed planting of native trees, shrubs, grasses and groundcovers that are well suited to local conditions and that grow under 1m, will provide habitat for local wildlife and pleasure to all who pass it. Visit a local nursery which grows plants indigenous to our region and can provide advice like our Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Nursery. View complete plant and resources list below.

What not to plant

Fruit and vegetables are not recommended due to contamination from traffic, dogs and other animals but if you are keen, consider having your soil tested for heavy metals and contact the DPI. Raised garden beds can lift veggies into cleaner, less compacted soil (out of reach of dogs). However, you would need to apply to build this under the hard landscaping section above.

Access to services

Please be aware that as essential services can be buried under nature strips, utilities can dig for access any time and are only obliged to replace topsoil and grass.


Nurturing our Urban Forest 

Our environment is made up of trees, shrubs and ground cover along with the soil and water that support these - together they create an Urban Forest. Read our Urban Forest Policy and explore how much tree canopy your suburb has with our drone mapping reports. 


Please get in touch with any questions at or 9424 0179.