No, this is not a story about rabid Collingwood supporters or even the Melbourne Storm ones who can now see their team playing for points…..it’s about gardens.
Over recent years, local Councils in the newer suburbs have decreed that developers in those areas must landscape their new properties using native, drought resistant plants. This was an initiative that would see less water being used to water gardens and in the drought that Victoria was suffering from at the time, a very sensible move.
When opening new properties for inspection two summers ago (you remember summers) in 40C+ heat when no-one would turn up, we would fill in our 20 minutes at each property doing the normal property manager thing by pulling out the weeds that seemed to grow before our eyes. Nothing else was growing, just the weeds.
The ‘landscaping’ that had been provided by the developers consisted of a few mangy-looking strappy plants and a couple of equally sad looking Grevilleas stuck in the ground, surrounded by bark. The reticulation systems were not turned on and the plants all looked like my husband when told that my mother was coming to visit….for a month. Sad, dejected and looking for a drink!
Despite the lack of street appeal, all properties eventually leased and for the following 6 or 7 months, we would drive around the areas issuing Notices to tenants to ‘maintain’ their gardens. Basically, this meant weed removal and not much else as none of the sad and dreary natives had grown.
What a transformation 12 months on with our traditional Melbourne weather returning. At properties now coming up for re-letting you almost feel like a jungle explorer beating your way through the bush to the front door. Those sad strappy plants are now meters high and flourishing whilst the grevilleas are meters across and high covered in magnificent bird attracting flowers.
Now, when issuing Notices to tenants about maintaining their gardens, it’s more about cutting back the natives and if there are weeds, they are well hidden beneath the native canopy.
Natives gone mad….and for once, the local councils got it right.
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