BY SUSAN MERRILL
Edible bush tucker plants are among those to be used in the planned beautification of Blair Street, Bondi as part of Waverley Council’s annual springtime tree-planting program.
Work on the landscaping is due to begin next month and is scheduled for completion by September. Initially, six garden beds in the middle of Blair Street between Wairoa Avenue and Military Road will be planted using a mix of shrubs, trees and groundcovers. Edible native plants that include quandong, native guava, lemon myrtle and native limes will be featured.
‘We’ve picked bush tucker plants so residents can use them to spice up or add to their meals,’ said Waverley Mayor Ingrid Strewe, a keen advocate of productive edible landscapes. ‘All the plants will be tagged so residents can easily identify what they want to pick,’ she added.
Cr Strewe grows coffee beans and olives in her backyard and makes guava jelly with guavas from a tree growing on the grass verge.
It is the mayor’s hope that this council initiative will break down the demarcation between private and public spheres, with the bounties from common land being available to share. She cites sustainability, community involvement and the rising cost of living as motivation for initiating the plans.
‘These plans uniquely address Blair Street and its wide lanes and nature strips,’ said Cr Strewe who is aware of the traffic hazards that may be involved. ‘It will be some time before the plants come to fruition. We will address the problems as they arise ‘ possibly with gating.’
Maurice Terzini, local resident and restaurateur of Icebergs Dining Room and Bar and North Bondi Italian said the idea sounded ‘fantastic’ in principle.
‘Anything that gets the local community involved is a good thing,’ he said.
His culinary suggestion: use native limes in cocktails.
If the plantings prove successful the council intends to extend them along the length of Blair Street.