Garden inspiration: your local streets!

Well, what strange days these are. We're all coming to terms with life in the time of COVID-19, not allowed to go outside except for very limited reasons, and keeping well away from fellow humans for all our sakes. It's resulting in some interesting phenomena: roads more or less empty of cars while cyclists and pedestrians are out at 5 to 10 times the 'normal' rate. 

The disruption is tremendous, and I know there's a lot of uncertainty now and coming up, but I can still spy a slender silver lining here. We can get out and enjoy what there is to see in the streets around town. Here are a few shots that GIN contributors have taken over the years. More to come I hope - please share if you have good photos!
One of the region's classic trees, Native Celtis (Celtis paniculata), growing in Minnamurra. (The ferns at the base of the tree are handsome, but I think they're Fishbone Fern, which isn't a local native.) Image by Byron Cawthorne-McGregor. 
One tree species that was planted in the sixties and seventies, but hardly ever since, is the Kurrajong (Brachychiton populneus). It is uncommon in Illawarra east of the escarpment cliffline, but does grow here, and it is one of the hardiest trees of the region. It will cope almost anywhere in the region, the hotter and more exposed the better as far as I can tell. Image by Keith Horton. All rights reserved.  
Another of the region's toughest trees, this is Red Ash (Alphitonia excelsa), which is flowering magnificently around the place at the moment. It casts beautiful shade and is pretty low maintenance for a street tree. Image by Byron Cawthorne-McGregor. 

Even more classic! The Illawarra Flame Tree (Brachychiton acerifolius) is not actually flowering now, but this is what it can look like at its very best. Right now if you see this species in the street, it is putting on masses of new foliage and shedding a proportion of its young leaves as it goes. You'll see some truly gorgeous little leaves abandoned on the verge or footpath. Why?? Image by Tracee Lea ©.
Looking closer to the ground, here's a tiny verge garden featuring local sedges (Carex. spp.). Image by Helen WIlson. I love how the red wall sets off the foliage!
I think that's my most obvious local street photos. Here's one last shot from Mount Pleasant, with a verge that is really rather over-grown. Messy yes, but a great place to spot insects and lizards! 
On the verge of madness?!? Image by Emma Rooksby. 
Stay safe, and keep walking!


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