The Victorian town of Hamilton created a win-win situation when it used herbs and fruit trees to spruce up the central business district.

Story By Gretel Sneath

There are swings and roundabouts ... and then there’s spinach and roundabouts – particularly if you’re driving through one of Victoria’s largest country towns. Leafy greens are popping up in the middle of some of Hamilton’s busiest thoroughfares, giving new meaning to the concept of ‘lunch on the run’.
Oak leaf lettuce lines car-park borders, rosemary and thyme hedging is taking shape outside the public toilets, while espaliered lemons, limes and tangelos trail down a laneway linking key shopping precincts. The edible civic landscape is a stark contrast to the more traditional en masse plantings of petunias and marigolds, but the Southern Grampians Shire Council says it makes sense to stock public spaces with useful produce.
“The vegetables can be eaten, but they are still an aesthetic feature, and the cost is no different to annuals, which can take a fair bit of maintenance,” parks and gardens coordinator Jenny Hurse says. “We want to be the most healthy, liveable shire, and this makes a real statement about sustainability.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #92

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2014