Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Speaking of gardens in public places...

Read this and get inspired.

As the blurb says:

"Lynden Miller proves that beautiful public spaces, planted and maintained to high standards, have the power to transform the way people behave and feel about their cities".

And as she herself says:

"Make it gorgeous and they will come, keep it that way and they will help!".

Amen, sister. Can you come to Perth and talk to us? Seriously, Councils, get together and pay for her to come. She will show you how to utilise private money to create the public open space the public wants. And she can show you how to get all the players on board. Do it while you can. She 'aint no spring chicken no more ;)  But I bet she'd be up for it. Clearly she's not the sort to shirk a challenge - nor take "no" for an answer (!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

We need more HIGH maintenance POS dammit!

I'm currently reading "Head Gardeners" and am convinced: we need proper gardens in our public places. Sure they involve lots of maintenance. SO WHAT? Let's (as a community) pay the price. The payoff in terms of our collective wellbeing is huge. Definitely worth the money. I know I bang on it about it plenty, but Bryant Park in New York is the best example I've seen. We should just flat out copy it. Why not? It WORKS (dammit).

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

McEnroe Square (Part 3)

The problems really began when it was decided to call it Yagan Square. 

It's a bit like dedicating 50 Shades of Grey To Shakespeare.

The fact is we've already completely desecrated Yagan's land by building a concrete city all over it. Naming a little pocket of that concrete after him is a bit insulting really. Far better to dedicate a natural area to him and place that (rather magnificent) statue of him in it.

Once you name the place Yagan Square, you also have to plant accordingly. You can't use Planes and Liquidambars - you know, things that actually work - and instead have to resort to silly choices like WA Peppermint. I love WA Peppermints by the way - just not growing out of concrete.

Anyway, well-meaning perhaps, but wrong.

The irony is, Yagan himself wouldn't even be pleased with it.

Monday, August 27, 2018

McEnroe Square (Part 2)

"Once a jolly swagman camped in the spinifex, out in the open where nothing else grew…"

Of course it doesn't say that, does it?

It says "once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong, under the shade of a Coolibah tree"

It's not rocket science:

Water + Trees = Place where humans want to be.

Even a jolly swagman can get it.

Photo by Emma Young

Sunday, August 26, 2018

McEnroe Square

That's what I think we should rename Yagan Square. 

Because my first reaction on seeing it was:


Wow. So this is the best we can do. Wide open expanses of paving with no shade.

If you can't plant trees - and sometimes you can't due to lack of soil depth - you MUST at least provide shade artificially. Who in their right mind would want to be anywhere near this place in Perth's summer?

Or autumn, spring or winter for that matter.

Millions of dollars spent here for no result.

The really sad thing is that this is the new norm for public places in Perth.

We just don't get it.

No, really, we don't.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Hooray (I hope)

A reader contacted me to advise of a new Senior Urban Forest position at the City of Stirling. Good to see urban forest finally getting the recognition and resources it warrants. Hopefully other councils will follow suit. Hopefully also the City of Stirling will now pay more attention to making sure the trees it plants actually get through to maturity. Neglect that and you're kidding yourself.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


Good to see the old Perth "no" reflex getting challenged and, in this case, beaten. 

The environmental umpire said "nothing to see here" yet local residents apparently knew better.


And that's what the court has found - that you don't own views and you don't own adjacent parkland. They're public assets and the public interest will be served in the use of them.

I don't know why so many Perth people have trouble understanding that their property ends at their fence.

Maybe now they will.