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Nature strip landscaping guidelines

Download the guidelines

Download the nature strip guidelines as a PDF.

What you must do

  • Let your neighbours know what you are planning to do.
  • Contact Dial Before You Dig to find out about the pipes and cabling under your nature strip.
  • If you are renting the property, you must have permission from the owner/landlord before undertaking any work.
  • You must consider sight lines for vehicles using the street
  • You must allow access for:
    • pedestrians
    • bicycles
    • prams
    • wheelchairs
    • motorised scooters
    • Australia Post representatives
  • If you do not have a footpath, your letterbox will need to be at least 1.2 metres from the back of the kerb.
  • Ensure there is enough space for your rubbish and recycling bins, and hard rubbish collection.
  • Choose hardy plants as watering is only to be done by hand.

Size of your garden bed

The maximum length of a continuous garden bed, or planting, is 20 metres. You must then include a break of 1.5 metres to allow pedestrian access to properties from cars parked on the road (driveways count as a break).

Planting or garden beds must also be kept 500 mm clear from each driveway.

What you must not do

  • Do not start digging in your nature strip without calling ‘Dial Before You Dig’ on 1100, or visit the website. This will tell you about the pipes and cabling under your nature strip.
  • Do not use any of the following on your nature strip as they can be a tripping hazard:
    • rocks
    • pebbles
    • bollards
    • sculptures
    • pavers
    • built up edges
    • permanent structures such as fencing
  • Do not use any plants considered to be environmental weeds (see our Weed Identification Guide for clarification).
  • Do not use plants that are prickly or sharp.
  • Plants should not exceed 500 mm, including the flowering height.
  • Sub-surface irrigation systems or above ground irrigation systems are not allowed.
  • Be cautious when considering the potential use of herbicides or pesticides on your nature strip as these products may have unintended and detrimental effects on the local environment.
  • Do not obstruct or plant around fire hydrants, fire plugs or access pits.

naturestrip rocks
Rocks such as these are not appropriate on nature strips as they are unstable under foot and a safety hazard.

Parking on a nature strip is illegal.

Where you cannot plant

  • You must not plant within 1200 mm from the back of the kerb.
  • This area must be kept clear as a pedestrian movement zone.
  • The pedestrian movement zone is to be granitic material, graded mulch or grass.
  • If using graded mulch it must be laid at least 75 mm deep.
  • If using granitic material it must be compacted to a depth of 75 mm.
  • No planting or garden beds are permitted within 10 metres of a road intersection, to allow sufficient sightlines from the roads.

Council has the right to remove any landscaping deemed inappropriate under these guidelines.

Planning your nature strip

Planning your nature strip is the best way to start. Remember that Council will care for your street tree, but all other associated landscaping costs, including ongoing maintenance of the nature strip, are your responsibility.

Damage to your nature strip

Service providers may access their services located in your nature strip at any time, without notice. This may include the following companies:

  • telecommunications
  • water
  • power
  • gas

This can often be due to an emergency or essential maintenance work. They will often take no responsibility for replacing any landscaping if damage occurs. You should also check your insurance policy to see if it covers nature strips.

Choosing plants

Indigenous plants (native plants that are local to your area), such as the Tall Bluebell (Wahlenbergia stricta), are easy to grow. This is because they have already adapted to the soil, climate and other local conditions. They include attractive wildflowers and groundcovers, and are often available in tube stock which is cheaper and quicker to establish.

There are also many native plants that may also perform well on your nature strip. The Australian Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne has a large selection. You can look at these before you decide on what you want to plant.

Our Indigenous Plant Guide includes a list of local indigenous nurseries in your area.

Get advice

Free, expert advice on plant selection is available from the Volunteer Master Gardeners at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne. Comprehensive planting lists are also available to give you suggestions and further ideas for other areas of your home garden.

Low-growing plants

There are many low-growing plants available, including:

  • succulents such as Sedum spp.
  • hardy herbs such as Thyme
  • native ground covers such as Creeping Boobialla (Myoporum parvifolium)
Sedum sp. and Echeveria sp flowers

Sedum sp. and Echeveria sp. make colourful, low growing water wise ground covers.

Purple Fan flower Scaevola albida, Purple Fan flower is a long flowering, hardy native ground cover.
Creeping Boobialla flower Myoporum parvifolium, Creeping Boobialla.
Cut Leaf Daisy and Kalbarri Carpet flowers Bractyscome multifi da ‘Cut Leaf Daisy’ Eremophila glabra ‘Kalbarri Carpet’ are native, low growing ground covers.
Common Everlasting flower

Chrysocephalum apiculatum, the Common Everlasting is an indigenous plant with bright yellow button flowers in spring.


Lawn is fine but you will find that it requires more maintenance (including mowing), water and fertiliser than most native plants.

We do not recommend artificial turf for naturestrips as it does not help the environment and requires ongoing maintenance.

Bulbine Lily flower

The Bulbine Bulbosa, Bulbine Lily is a beautiful lily indigenous to the City of Casey.

Avoid weeds

Perhaps the most important consideration when choosing plants for your nature strip is to avoid environmental weeds, including plants like:

  • Agapanthus (Agapanthus praecox ssp. orientalis)
  • English Violets (Viola odorata)

These plants invade bush land and threaten indigenous biodiversity.

The City of Casey, Cardinia Shire Council and the City of Greater Dandenong have a combined Weed Identification Guide.

Any garden by definition is a maintained environment, and this includes your nature strip. It is important that you keep it weed free, with no foliage on the kerb or foot path. You should also remove rubbish and consider any fire hazards, especially during the warmer months.


Example of a nature strip with a 1.5 metre footpath

diagram of naturestrip with 1.5m footpath

diagram of naturestrip with 1.5m footpath

Example of a nature strip with a 2.5 metre footpath

diagram of naturestrip with 2.5m footpathdiagram of naturestrip with 2.5m footpath

Example of a nature strip without a footpath

diagram of naturestrip without footpath

diagram of naturestrip without footpath

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