Most Canberrans are now free to grow plants on nature strips outside their homes.
New guidelines were quietly put in place in recent weeks and allow people to use the nature strip outside their home to plant ground covers, food plants, native grasses and shrubs up to 50cm in height.
The Greens had pushed for the rules for years, but they were put on the backburner when Meegan Fitzharris took over the City Services ministry from Greens' Shane Rattenbury in early 2016.
For a bushfire prone area, plant height is restricted to 20cm and non-flammable mulches should be used.
Compacted gravel may be used on up to 50 per cent of the nature strip as may organic mulch materials.
People can use temporary fencing for new grass or shrubs up to 13 weeks and can add garden edging of stone, brick and timber up to 15cm high.
Residents will need approval if they want to put in irrigation systems, synthetic turf or bollards to prevent parking on the nature strip.
Approval is also needed for temporary storage of landscape material longer than two weeks and for a second driveway.
The guidelines say ponds, water fountains, retaining walls, letterboxes, chicken runs and permanent fencing are unlikely to be approved.
The guidelines warn people to consider food hygiene and possible sources of contamination - like cars and pets defecating - and always wash produce before consuming.
The guidelines also recommend talking to neighbours about any planned changes as a courtesy.
Canberrans living in heritage precincts or designated areas may not be able to make changes to nature strips outside their homes.
These areas include a number of housing precincts in Ainslie, Braddon, Reid, Barton, Griffith and Forrest.
Greens planning spokeswoman Caroline Le Couteur said she was pleased the government had finally released the guidelines to help Canberrans better use nature strips.
"The Greens have been pushing for residents to be able to use their nature strips to either grow food, or support local biodiversity through planting small native plants, and now they can," she said.
The draft guidelines were released in early 2016 but the policy languished when Ms Fitzharris took over the portfolio in February 2016.
The government had called for public comments but never released the submissions received.
At the time Ms Fitzharris said it wasn't a priority and noted concerns from disability groups, worried about obstructions across footpaths.
The new guidelines said the adjacent landholder was responsible for some nature strip maintenance and ensuring that any landscaping development was safe and appropriate.
"For example, the landholder is expected to ensure that trees and shrubs growing on private land do not impede access to the nature strip or the footpath," the guidelines said.
"Likewise, residents who wish to landscape their nature strip may do so but only in a way that provides for safe access and use by the public."
New rules for nature strips
- Plants under a height of 50cm can be planted
- Temporary fences can be used to protect young plants
- Irrigation and synthetic turf need special approval
- Ponds, fountains, letter boxes, play equipment would be unlikely to be approved