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Streetwise and Stylish. Give your curbside strip a new look (Boxwood & other bushes)

Updated: Jan 25, 2019



Homeowners seldom think much about the area that runs between the sidewalk and your fence. At best this is a tiny patch of lawn; at worst, a weed-choked eyesore. Yet this is one of the most public parts of many properties. Planting this strip with attractive perennials, shrubs, and trees can give pleasure to passersby and visitors who park next to the curb, as well as enhance the streetscape you view from the house. (This strip is usually city owned, so check local ordinances for restrictions before you start a remake.)

It might help to think of this curbside strip as an island bed between two defined boundaries; the street and the sidewalk. These beds are divided further by a wide pedestrian walkway, providing ample room for visitors to get in and out of front and rear car doors. A pair of handsome evergreen trees form a gateway. The diagonal skew of this design keeps the symmetry of the plantings on each side from appearing staid. You can expand the beds to fill a longer strip or plant lawn next to the beds.

This can be a difficult site. Summer drought and heat, pedestrian and car traffic, and the attention of errant dogs are usual conditions found along the street. Plants have to be tough to perform well here, but they need not look tough. These combine colorful foliage and flowers for a dramatic impact from spring until fall. Evergreen foliage looks good through the winter. The planting beneath the trees won't grow tall enough to block your view of the street as you pull out of the driveway.


This can be a difficult site. Summer drought and heat, pedestrian and car traffic, and the attention of errant dogs are usual conditions found along the street. Plants have to be tough to perform well here, but they need not look tough. These combine colorful foliage and flowers for a dramatic impact from spring until fall. Evergreen foliage looks good through the winter. The planting beneath the trees won't grow tall enough to block your view of the street as you pull out of the driveway.


SITE: Sunny

SEASON: Summer

ZONES: 8-9

CONCEPT: Small but varied low-water-use planting transforms an often neglected area and treats visitors and passersby to a colorful display.






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