The hellstrip is that narrow area between the street and the sidewalk which many regard as impossible to plant successfully. On the face of it this is a battle that you are unlikely to win, but with a little determination and careful preparation it is remarkable what can be achieved. Take a second look is the advice from Susanne Talbert in her article which I found on Dave’s Garden website and she suggests twenty-five plants that can thrive in this area.
If you’ve already given up on growing something nice in the area between the sidewalk and curb, take a second look.
Hellstrip is a rather evocative word for the area between the street and sidewalk or driveway that is nearly impossible to keep verdant. Plants in a hellstrip, also known as a parking strip garden and boulevard garden, can suffer from drought, excess heat, root competition, salinity from road salting, and car exhaust. A hellstrip is really not a friendly place for plants. People will often struggle for years to keep grass alive; but if you don’t want landscaping rocks, what can you do?
For starters, you need to amend the soil. Soil full of organic material will better retain water and nutrients for plants in that desolate location. You could till in compost, make a raised bed, topdress with amendments, or build a lasagna bed. You’ll also want to remove weeds and grass from the area to give new roots a fighting chance. If you have street trees planted in the hellstrip, a raised bed is advised.
Once the soil is amenable, you must pick out the right plants. You should look for plants that are drought tolerant or xeric, which can usually survive just about anything. Check out this list for some suggestions:
Plants for your Boulevard Garden
These plants are extremely tough and can thrive through drought, excessive heat, salinity, and just about any other abuse your hellstrip can throw at them.
See more at Dave’s Garden