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Thursday, October 22, 2015


That's what NZ Gardener editor, Jo McCarroll is calling the movement to plant the verges and berms of Auckland. "Herbs on curbs" too. The magazine has a petition aimed at the Auckland City Council on behalf of would-be street-side gardeners in the city and signatures are flying in. I wrote to our Southland Times editor in support of Jo's initiative and that of Aucklanders who are already verging on revolution. 

The Auckland City Council has dug itself into a hole with its silly restrictions on street-side planting.

Cultivating flowers, herbs, vegetables and even berries alongside of the footpath is a growing phenomenon in towns and cities everywhere - an unstoppable trend in a world where supermarket food is losing its appeal and growing your own is increasing in popularity.

The magazine I write for, NZ Gardener, has stepped up to represent Auckland gardeners and I guess, gardeners in every New Zealand city, with a petition to make the council see sense and relax its rules.

Thousands of people have signed up already and by the time this letter is published, numbers will likely have swollen to include every sensible gardening New Zealander.

Good on the team at NZ Gardener and well done those people who know when their freedoms are being unnecessarily taken away.

All this excitement over planting and growing has me wondering what our own city council will do when faced with newly cultivated street-sides and rows of broccoli and parsley along the berms.

Not what their Auckland equivalent did, I hope.

Robert Guyton


Philip Todd said...

Bureaucratic bullshit is about the only thing you can say about this stuff. Trouble with creating a mega city is you create a monster that loses touch with the daily reality of communities and people lives. Would our city go the same way? I think our parks department is progressive and has clear strategies about creating a greener place with trees and other plantings. Should just be a simple test of does it obstruct vision, does it impede pedestrians or does is shade another property. If not the people should be encouraged

robertguyton said...

I'm encouraging Dave. Hope he takes it up :-)

Philip Todd said...

I remember the long acre between the road and railway from Brydone to Edendale which was once used for growing oats. They used them mainly for chaff and I understood it went to a community group in the area. It been pretty much unused for the last few years but was a good example of making full use of the land.
We once got lost driving through Switzerland many years ago and driving along small roads around villages that had large stacks of wood alongside the road. Looked like posts to me but found out it was firewood and could be used by anyone in the community. After years of Rodgernomics I fear to do the same in NZ would see all the wood gone and end up somewhere with a for sale sign on it a week later.

robertguyton said...

Great points, Philip. At a meeting between ES and ICC this morning, I quizzed Darren Ludlow about this issue and he assured us all that the ICC is 100% for bermaculture and will apply no restrictions at all, in fact he encourages everyone with a city verge to grow, grow, grow - you gotta admire that enthusiasm. Shadders was not present at the meeting. Probably at home, herbing-up his curb :-)