Hi all, I'm interested in planting the berm with a native garden however the council seems a bit anti. Has anyone done it or know of anyone who's done it? Or are the others who would be keen to put something together to put to the council re altering the policy on berms?
i've done it. we researched plants that would be native to our area at trees for canterbury. we've got a really wide berm. on our street all the berms are planted with old cabbage trees; 3 other houses have planted their berms too.
we live between the river and the sea and i think it would be nice to create a 'bird corridor'; the next street over have barked berms with plantings.
basically, a grass berm is a waste of energy. if it is green in summer, then it's also a waste of resources...
my other dream is perhaps to plant the berms with fruit trees & create urban orchards.
Berm roughly equals the council owned grass verge between your house and the road.
I've experienced one council a some years ago that asked residents to suggest what trees they would like planted on the berm of their street, which was great.
I had a chat to someone in another council about this recently and they do have some practical concerns. One is around visibility for traffic. Another is that there are a number of services that often run under the berm - phone, power, water, etc. When they need to do work & dig up the berm, they don't enjoy getting flack from people about digging up their gardens, and it is distressing for all concerned where there are long lived species like trees that have to be removed. If you are determined, they recommended planting annuals and/or consulting traffic + planning depts about the best places to plant.
I personally love the idea of urban orchards on berms and in particularly in public parks for those species that are too large for the suburban back yard, but apparently one of the issues is people using fruit as missiles, breaking windows, injuring others, etc. I guess these days there may be a liability issue for them? Another is the amount of maintenance that many fruit trees require - fine while you're living there and taking an interest, but given that some fruit trees can live over 100 years and how often kiwis move house...