Green verges & planting guide

Greening Verges Incentive

Applications for the 2020 Greening Verges Incentive have now closed.

We thank all Unley residents who have applied. Applicants will be contacted regarding their submissions once all sites have been assessed.

If you have missed applying and wish to be contacted regarding potential future greening verge incentives, please submit your email below.

Greening Verges Incentive terms and conditions

Click here to view form.

Greening Verges

The City of Unley encourages residents to take ownership of the strip of land in front of properties and add plants to support tree health. Benefits include:

  • Providing a healthier environment for street trees
  • Softening the effect of hard surfaces such as roads and footpaths
  • Improving air quality
  • Working at natural air conditioners through moisture in leaves
  • Reducing stormwater run-off and
  • Providing habitat for small creatures like bees and butterflies.

Before you begin greening your verge

Before you Begin

Prior to starting any works:

If you currently have dolomite that needs to be removed and replaced with soil, decide if you plan to complete this work yourself, engage a landscape contractor or have City of Unley complete the work for a fee subject to a quote.

Please note, even though verges are classified as part of a public road under the Local Government Act 1999, and as such are owned by Council, your property can benefit directly from improved kerb appeal in your street. 

Selecting the right plants 

It's important to make sure your project will not inadvertently harm street trees or other users of the area.

Our Verges Planting Guide(PDF, 2MB) provides useful ideas and suggestions on planting your verge including:

  • planning advice

  • landscaping rules 

  • garden design ideas

  • plant suggestions for greening your nature strip 

Top Tips 

  • Plantings are to be kept lower than 600mm in height to ensure adequate vision for vehicles entering and leaving driveways.

  • Inform Council if you are planning on installing irrigation to the verge. The pipework will need to go under the footpath and Council will need to be aware in advance.

  • Locate underground services like pipes and cables before undertaking any type of works involving digging in the ground. Contact Dial before You Dig on 1100 before you start.

  • During landscaping works, special consideration should be given to preserving the vital root system of any trees within the verge.

  • Keep tools and other items off the road and footpath to prevent passers-by from tripping on them. The area must be kept safe at all times.

  • To prevent stormwater pollution, materials such as soil or mulch must be swept up from hard surfaces such as the footpath and gutter.

  • After planting it will be your responsibility to care for your new verge garden. Keep them watered, free from weeds and pruned if they start spreading too high or onto the footpath.

  • Please note artificial turf is not an approved material to be used on the City of Unley verges effective 14 December 2020. 

Display verges for inspiration

Our display verges at Edmund Avenue showcase a variety of plants and treatments that you could use to transform your verge into an attractive garden feature.

Take a stroll down Edmund Avenue, Unley and be inspired by contemporary, cottage, natural and formal layout examples, including different path ideas. All meet the guidelines of safe plant choices and low plant heights to ensure good sight lines for road users.

A guide to planting

We're keen to help you identify plants which are native to Unley so that you plan your own native garden. We have prepared a photograph guide which you can access below.  

Another useful tool prepared by the Botanic Gardens is the Plant Selector Plus website where you can view suitable plants based on your postcode.

You can also read more in out planting guide below.

Adelaide Gardens Planting Guide(PDF, 4MB) 

Urban creeks

Before European settlement, the Kaurna people depended on the Willa willa—the winding creeks lined with Red Gum—for their food, shelter and water. 

Approximately 90% of our creeks now run through private property. Over time changes to the land have greatly altered the landscape which has made us prone to flooding and pollution. Many creeks have also been altered to control flooding.

There is a range of things that land owners can do to create habitats for local wildlife and improve water quality in local creeks.

Property Owner's Guide to Managing Healthy Urban Creeks(PDF, 869KB)

Learn more about local creeks

Patawalonga Catchment

The Patawalonga Creek was once connected to the Torrens River and Port River through the reed bed system bounded on the west by a wall of sand dunes and to the east wetlands.

The Patawalonga Catchment covers 235 square km and takes in parts of the City of Adelaide, the eastern, western and southern suburbs and a portion of the southern Adelaide Hills. There are six sub catchments or surface drainage systems; two in the City of Unley being Brown Hill Creek and Keswick Creek.

Brown Hill Creek Catchment

Brown Hill Creek drains an area approximately 36 square km. The creek rises near Stirling in steep country which, although not urbanised, has been largely cleared. The rural catchment contains Brown Hill Creek Recreation Park. Within the urban area, the catchment is defined by council drainage systems. In Unley, Brown Hill Creek has retained a natural flow path and has a number of linear parks along its banks and for significant lengths is in private property.

Keswick Creek Catchment

Keswick Creek drains approximately 31 square km and has two main tributaries, Glen Osmond and Parklands Creeks, both of which contain some rural catchment. The catchment of Glen Osmond Creek includes a significant part of the South Eastern Freeway while the Parklands Creek drains part of the southern section of the City of Adelaide.

In Unley, Glen Osmond and Parklands Creek are both highly engineered and in many reaches have been confined to concrete culverts for flood mitigation purposes.

Environmental Groups and Community Gardens

The following groups share information and resources to encourage sustainable contributions to our local environment.