With the interest that we have in meadows, I had to stop the car and photograph what appeared to be a natural road verge meadow in a new Canberra suburb. The simple combination of a soft brown grass and gazanias was eye-catching. The South African gazanias were gently spreading along the verge in a manner which Canberra daughter observed was bordering on weedy. Harmlessly weedy, though, in these fairly harsh, exposed conditions, as opposed to rampantly invasive.
What really shocked me as I looked more closely was the sheer volume of litter on this road verge. I was hard pushed to get photographs without too much in them because there were cans, plastic bottles and bags, tinfoil wrapping, cardboard, cellophane and all the accoutrements of modern packaging at about 20cm spacings all through it. Many months’ worth. Apparently, no locals feel inclined to keep it clean and those who walk by either don’t see it, don’t care or think it is somebody else’s problem. Were it kept reasonably free of litter, it would be a charming naturalistic planting which contributes more than mown grass while being genuinely easy-care.
People can be so CARELESS about the environment. While in Melbourne, I went to the botanic gardens and clearly people feel it is appropriate to graffiti plants. Why would anybody think it is okay to carve names and messages into this beautiful silver agave? And in the stand of giant bamboo, I could not see any stems that had not been claimed by autographs and marks. It is a form of territory marking, like dogs, but this is not their territory to mark. I just don’t get it. I really don’t.