KINGSLEY resident Marie Hahn says she was “devastated” after workers removed stones from her front verge and replaced them with mulch earlier this month.
Over the past six years, the 78-year-old retired school deputy principal has made her Renegade Way front verge into a community garden where people could pick herbs, chillies and vegetables.
Two years ago, Mrs Hahn received a caution notice from the City of Joondalup requesting she remove the garden beds and gravel stones to avoid an infringement.
But community opposition saw the notice withdrawn.
Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said a ranger from the City had been responding to a complaint and was inspecting the verge that contained “cement planters, loose stones and plants that were obstructing the footpath and growing onto the adjacent road, including thorny plants”.
“At that time, the ranger discussed with Mrs Hahn the need to modify the verge treatment to ensure it is safe and accessible for pedestrians and motorists,” he said.
Two years later, on May 10, two senior officers from the City visited Mrs Hahn’s home to “discuss ways the City could work collaboratively to modify her verge treatment whilst retaining its community garden elements”.
Mayor Troy Pickard said Mrs Hahn agreed to the works the City proposed, “which included removing thorny rose bushes, pruning prickly cactus bushes, relocating river stone gravel into her property, sinking planter boxes into the verge and providing a mulch finish”.
“Mrs Hahn was informed this would be completed by a horticulture team from the City as soon as possible and the works were undertaken on May 12,” he said.
He said Mrs Hahn helped the City’s horticulture team with these works.
Mrs Hahn said she was shocked when she saw workers at her home at 8am on May 12 and believed the City wanted to get the work done quickly before community protest.
She said she agreed to two of the rose bushes being removed but not the other two that “had no thorns” but she was told they had to go.
Mr Pickard confirmed four standard rose bushes were removed and planted in containers for future use as well as a pole with three hanging baskets and a thorny cactus bush.
But what she was most upset about was the removal of her stones and weed matting, which was not put back down, and the addition of mulch, which she said was not thick enough to prevent weeds.
“I told them five times I didn’t want mulch,” Mrs Hahn said.
“Now they haven’t even put the mulch deep enough so weeds will grow through and who’s going to pull them out?”
She said her community garden was still accessible, with the planter boxes lowered in to the ground, but her concrete pots had been moved.
Mrs Hahn said she couldn’t understand why her garden beds needed to be lowered and the stones removed.
“What is the harm,” she asked.
“People (drivers) will hit the kerb before they hit my garden.
“In 28 years, no one has fallen over on the stones.
“I thought I’d finished with all this two years ago.”
Mr Pickard said the City appreciated Mrs Hahn’s community approach and encouraged her to “continue this good work”.
“This is why the City has done all that it could to minimise the impact of the modifications, which have delivered a sustainable verge garden treatment whilst improving safety for pedestrians and motorists,” he said.
Mrs Hahn said she planned to ask the City to remove the mulch.
The works cost $2222.