The "hellstrip" garden

Richard Dollard
13 days ago

Have any of you tried planting along your hellstrip(the area between the sidewalk and the road). I am looking at this old post from Buffalo and theirs are simply beautiful. I don't think I want to go this far, maybe stay with mostly low growing plants. Buffalo hellstrips I am in zone 6 CT.

Comments (13)

  • corunum z6 CT

    Next to the street, Ritchie, I took all the 'extras' including seeds, and made what I call, "Streetside Meadow". Anything that promotes the welfare of bugs, birds and butterflies while giving you pleasure is worth it.

    And at the end of the season, after the last monarch has left, I mow the whole thing.

    Just do it. :)


    Richard Dollard thanked corunum z6 CT
  • Richard Dollard

    suzabanana and Jane, Thank you. Jane, your strip is beautiful and inspiring!

  • Sue W (CT zone 6a)

    I also have a garden by the road CT zone 6a. It started out as a holding bed for shade plants when I moved to this house in 2016. Every year I make tweaks. The garden is 250 feet from my house so my biggest problem is lugging water if it gets really dry. Also, plants nearest the curb need to be able to take road treatments.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA

    We don't have sidewalks so our small front garden covers the area between the driveway, walkway and street. It's the only place on our property that gets full sun, so it is the most active bed. I've ended up experimenting a lot over the years and it's been fun. The summer photos were from 3 years ago and I've changed it up a little since then. The fall photos were from last fall.

  • Sue W (CT zone 6a)

    Wow PM2 that looks fabulous! Nice to have the full sun. We don't have sidewalks either. I've sort of backed off the street garden for now because the underground utilities line are slowly being upgraded in the neighborhood and I think it will only be a matter of time before they dig up in front of our house.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA

    Hi Sue - Thanks, that was my best summer out there. It didn't last long. I ended up taking out the Mondarda due to mildew and the lilies were crowded and had to be divided. I bought new lilies and put two Dwarf Hydrangea Little Limes and three roses out there with more spring bulbs.. So last year, it was looking very disjointed and preliminary. I'm hoping this year, it will fill in and resemble what I was hoping for.

    Our street had a serious upgrade the year before last. They took up all the pavement, repaired pipes and gas lines and added new curbs that took about a foot away from the property line. So we never put the rock edge back and it slopes with mulch now. I may go back to the rocks if I ever get around to it. Not the best gardening year out front with equipment, noise and a big mess off and on all summer. But it really needed it and I'm happy it's done.

    You have a really pretty shade garden there and your gardens always look so well cared for. I'm looking forward to spring, which seems like not that long a wait now, but we've had so little precipitation this winter, I'm wondering how that is going to play out in the gardens this season. Still time to get more, hopefully.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA

    Richard, I just read over your OP and see you were thinking of doing low growing plants. I do have low growing plants along my edge. Chrysanthemums, grasses, Annual Dianthus that reseeds, California poppies and some ajuga on the shady corner. A lot depends on whether you have sun/shade and whether you are able to water if needed.

  • Richard Dollard

    My hellstrips are on the east and south sides of my house. I am on a corner. I actually have a mini hell strip near the end of my driveway and I threw in some daylilies or I call them tiger lilies and some coreopsis and some dwarf zebra grass. The soil out there gets dry as a bone and these plants have survived for years. This is what it inspired me to try the bigger hell strips next.

  • Sue W (CT zone 6a)

    PM, the garden is ever changing, isn't it? If only all plants behaved as we expect. I hope this upcoming season isn't as dry as last year. We're on a well here so I have to water by hand. Most of my garden is only a year or two old and require more watering than I usually like to provide.

    Nepeta has always done well for me in sun near the road. And as an added bonus the cats won't roll in it out there. I added about four inches of compost to the curb garden a few years ago which really seems to have helped it get through dry periods.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA

    Sue - we have a small lot with 5 mature Silver Maple trees on two sides about 5-10ft from our lot line in the neighbor's yards. On a 3rd side - one neighbor has 6 spruce trees lined up on the other side of our fence 5 ft away, not exaggerating. And a mature sycamore 10ft away and a pine tree just about on the lot line. [g]. So what we are constantly battling is dry soil. The Maples especially suck everything out of the soil and travel up into my vegetable beds that are a good 20ft away from one of them.

    We don't have a well, but in a dry season, we end up spending a lot on water and a lot of energy dragging the hose all over the place. I bought 3 rain barrels and I use them to water by hand and that helps some.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA

    Richard, that garden I posted photos of is facing East.

    You should post a photo of your strip with the zebra grass/coreopsis/daylilies.

  • Richard Dollard

    prairiemoon2 z6b MA There isn't anything there yet. It's all gone for the winter.

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