There is a reason homeowners and landscapers call it the hell strip. That patch of real estate between the sidewalk and the curb, also known as a parking strip, is frequently a catchall for patchy grass, weeds and trash. It is hard to keep and irrigate — but it’s also one of the first things people see as they approach your house.
Arterra Landscape Architects
Transforming a strip is not always hard, but it does have problems. Since the patch is narrow, water may easily run off until it soaks into the soil, and keeping up an area farther out from your home is likely not the most fun garden task. The soil can become compacted from traffic. But do not be discouraged — advised is forearmed!
Before you plant:
• Check with your local association, homeowner’s association or local code enforcers to find out what is allowed locally.
• Some areas now need irrigation in these spaces to be drip irrigation to prevent runoff and excess evaporation. Check with your local authorities to be certain you know what kind or irrigation, if any, is required or allowed.
• Use a contractor-quality weed barrier fabric under any rocks to keep weeds to a minimum. You will still have weeds in this region, but whatever you can do to decrease the rate is suggested.
• Plants in this field have to be tough as nails.
• Remember that this space is, in most locations, a public room and not your private property. If your city needs to widen your street or do work in that region, you will not have much say in the outcome. Remove any materials or plants you would like to keep before they’re removed to you.
• Take some pruning material (concrete, steel, rock) to keep your mulch or rock in place, but keep it low to prevent tripping hazards.
Gregory Davis & Associates
Design suggestions for your Parking Strip
Try those options for your own strip to flip it out of hellish to heavenly.
Produce landing pads. Your guests will generally pull up to the curb when they’re stopping by, so if you thickly plant this area, they will be made to step on your plants merely to exit their vehicle. Give them a place to measure onto instead. Use oversize flagstone pieces to make landing pads or pour concrete insets into many areas along your strip.
Jocelyn H. Chilvers
Insert evergreens. There is no need to get all fancy with your own plant material, especially if the rest of your front yard has plenty of appeal. It could make sense to decide on a few low-growing evergreen plants, such as junipers or other dwarf shrubs, to make textural interest year-round. Read the plant tag carefully to prevent accidentally purchasing shrubs that shed their leaves over winter.
Eric Aust Architect
Keep it neat with grass. Turf grass is a conventional substance to use in those strips, and while it is a legitimate option, it is not the only alternative. Should you choose to go with turf, be sure to keep it neat and edged, weed it regularly and do not let it become an eyesore.
In some cases a well-maintained strip of turf may be the ideal foil to additional front-yard landscaping, such as the courtyard wall and strands in this example. Pick turf grass in this strip if it makes sense to your general aesthetic, not because you lacked creativity when making the choice.
Of course, a lot of people are considering low-maintenance alternatives to conventional lawns. Get some ideas for moving lawnless here.
Lazar Landscape Design and Construction
Start simple. Little trees give a narrow space vertical appeal, but be sure to read the tree description to produce the best option. You do not want to have the tree at its mature height to hit people getting out of their cars, so search for trees that are in the 10- to 15-foot-tall range. Bonuses are textural bark, fall leaf color or springtime blossoms.
Browse tree profiles in the Gardening segment
Falling Waters Landscape
Insert some rock. Little river rock or cobblestones are an attractive complement to simple plantings, and they can effectively take the place of natural mulch. When this works especially well in areas with heat and drought, it’s a wonderful alternative for any curbside garden. Be sure to use river rock that’s at least 1 inch in diameter (not miniature pea gravel) to prevent its spilling on the sidewalk or washing away during a heavy rain.
How to pick a mulch and your soil wants it
KL Designs Residential Landscape Planning LLC
Get vivid. There is no reason to prevent low-growing flowering perennials in this public space — in reality, they create an extremely friendly and joyous welcome.
Pick plants that have a very low profile or possibly a slightly mounding or cascading habit, and make sure these plants mix in with all the other plants on your front-yard garden. Avoid plants that have long tendrils or vining customs if you don’t plan to keep them neatly edged.
Find flowers and see where they will flourish
Produce islands. In case you have the chance as you’re constructing a house or remodeling your front yard, consider developing a type of island mattress instead of the more anticipated long rectangle. You will have more opportunities for design and planting if your mattress is a different form and bigger than the conventional suppress strip.
Insert soft plantings. Those pulling up for your suppress won’t want their cars scratched by overgrown spiny plants, so be sure to use plants that have soft foliage, such as ornamental grasses. Start looking for short to medium-height blossoms (18 inches or shorter), such as blue fescue or a different variety that’s appropriate for your region. Steer clear of any plant with thorns or spines, such as yuccas, agaves and roses.
Planting ideas: How to receive 4 stunning looks for a slim planting strip
Tell us How do you have changed the hell strip?