Blog:The hell strip by the street

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Example of a sidewalk strip - not the one in question!
I'm undertaking the taming of a hell strip, also known as a Sidewalk strip, Tree lawn, and by many other names. It's a really tough piece of land to work with under any circumstances, but this one presents specific challenges.
  • It's pretty dry, without irrigation. That's something that could be put in, but it would be nice if it were unnecessary.
  • It's in a pretty urban area. Lot's of foot traffic, dogs, litter, etc.
  • Thieves. Yes, there have been multiple incidents where plants have been stolen on or around the property.
  • Passengers getting in and out of cars, walking over the strip.

So with those limitations, I've been looking through plant after plant photo for ideas, kept my eye on strips in the neighborhood to ideas, and gone through a number of plans.

I've thought of different ground covers, including pastel colored yarrows, very low growing gazanias, various trees/shrubs, both fruiting and non, plain old grass, or just filling it in with bricks.

I think I've decided. I'm planning to put in brown cement stepping stones, with small spaces in between for a ground cover to fill in. The name of the plant, I do not know, though I have some runners of it from my friends cobbled driveway. I can't say I've ever seen it anywhere else, and I've had an eye on his all year to see how it does - it seems perfect to fit the bill. It's pretty low growing, seems to take a bit of traffic, looks okay without getting watered, and has been giving some little pink flowers for a few months. What more could I ask for? I'll have to add a picture when I put it in and see if anyone recognizes it.

The tree situation is still undecided. I have some nice small standard shaped citrus trees I can plant a few of, but it seems certain they'd be stolen, which breaks my heart. That would be my top choice, as it would be amazing to have people walk by and pick a mandarin or a grapefruit. There are trees the city provides for free I am considering. Again, an edible tree is my preference, but a tree with beautiful blooms or form would also be okay. Of the trees the city provides free - my top two favorites are bay laurel and macadamias. Any other ideas?

--Raffi 18:25, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

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