FIVE YEARS AGO Nicolette Boaz planted a verge garden on her adjoining neighbour’s side nature strip on Simpson Street Waverley.  According to the interview in the Wentworth Courier, she said the verge, “wasn’t being used & resembled a “sandy wasteland.”

So she planted veggies & herbs & allowed anyone to take what they wanted.  As what tends to happen with verge gardens, people came & told her how great the garden looked – because verge gardens improve the streetscape.

Two weeks ago Ms Boaz received an order from Waverley Council to remove the verge garden because she did not get approval.

“The neighbour must give consent.  In this case, the neighbour has complained & brought the matter to council’s attention requesting removal of the garden.”

This is a wide verge with a small garden planted.  The garden has been here for 5-years.  It brings beauty to the street.  It doesn’t appear to obstruct anyone’s use of the land, including the person who complained.

Obviously, if people started planting trees in front of other people’s homes without permission it may be a problem.  Same if they decided to hold a garage sale on someone else’s verge it may be a problem.  But a small veggie patch & to insist that it be removed?  I find this very sad.

Ms Boaz was doing something that was beneficial to the community on public land & the community was responding positively.  What hope do we have for the future with this idea that the area outside one’s land is also theirs to do with what they wish, even if it is to leave it as a sandy wasteland?

“Ms Boaz said it was important to keep community gardens. “(It’s) not just for me … It represents a way that I think we’ll all have to head towards, otherwise we’ll be in crisis.”  

To read the article & see a photo of the verge garden – http://bit.ly/SUeCh0

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