Planting the Strip: The Results are In!

Earlier this month I wrote about the pros and cons of planting the sidewalk strip.  I included a poll and asked readers to vote as well as comment on the idea.

As of today, the vote is split down the middle:

  • 42.31% said yes
  • 42.31 said no
  • 15.38 were on the fence.

The comments were incredibly helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read, comment or vote. There were many things I hadn’t thought of. Here are a few:

Boomdeeada wrote: I voted to plant the easement but everyone here has great comments. I’d be tempted to put in a perennial of some kind more than vegetables…a bed that begins with tulips, then lilies then iris’s….I also liked the beds of Rudbeckia, alyssum and purple petunia at the Alberta Governor Generals house this summer…that would smell really nice.

I like the idea of planting flowers instead of veg.  Another reader also suggested growing a hedge first, then planting within its boundaries.

Sensiblegardening wrote: I had to vote “no” but not because I think it’s a bad idea. I think it’s a great idea. However, after living for 20 years on a rural road, at the dead-end turn around, I’ve seen too much of how disrespectful a lot of the public is of our natural spaces, let alone our own private property that butts up against it. Sorry, but that’s just the ugly truth of it at this point in time. Hopefully more people will become a little more enlightened as time goes on.

Several others also cited this.  My husband voted no, too.  😦

Suzanne Elliot suggested a nearby alternative: Thoughts on planting the strip – Dogs and passers-by – Dogs will leave deposits – and not the bank kind – passers by will pick your flowers. In looking at your photo of your lovely front garden I notice that you have a lot of LAWN – how about converting your lawn to something else? You could plant veggies mixed with flowers closer in to your house in your current lawn area (full sun) – and thereby thwart all but the most brazen flower pickers and fruit/veggie thieves…

Planting the Strip

The Plan at Hand:

Front garden:

Leave the sidewalk strip/easement alone for now. (Subject to change without notice, void where prohibited).

Combine Suzanne and Boomdee’s idea and plant a perennial garden next to the stone walkway on the property in a curving triangle to balance the curving wall on the other side.  If that goes well, I’ll plant more perennials on the other side of the driveway. Honestly, you can never have too many flowers, don’t you think?  The bees are counting on them.

Back garden:

Transplant the blueberry bush (still very small) and the raspberry vines to another location in the yard.  This will free up 25% of the planting boxes.

Finish clearing overgrown and tired looking shrubs around fruit tree. Plant additional flowers from seed.
Meanwhile, please join me in another rain dance.

The San Jose area has received only 0.9 inches of rain so far this month, a third of the normal 2.72 inches.

In a normal year, San Jose would have received about 7.73 inches of rain by now. Instead, only 2.45 inches have fallen since July, not even a third of normal. (San Jose Mercury News)

12 thoughts on “Planting the Strip: The Results are In!

  1. How interesting that the vote was middle of the road and thank you so much for linking back to Boomdeeadda (( Alys )). I never thought of hedging and planting within. I always like that when I see it in magazines but seems a little orderly for my garden style. I like the messy and plentiful look, like walking through an ‘almost’ neglected garden in England. The garden owner works at a stylish job in London weekdays but travels to her country cottage on weekends… where am I going with this? Oh ya, I like your new plan. Perennials work well here because of our short summers….they come on stage in June, act their pants off all summer long then the curtain falls in late August…the perfect showing. I’ll be eagerly watching to see how it all works in your climate. Hugs xoK.


  2. Oh ya! Put flowers there! So long as you have room to get out of your car- looks like there is a ledge there or something- or are you keeping the patio stones? My flowers are too close to my driveway and I have to do some tweaking this year. It will be worth the effort in late summer when you have flowers and colour and everyone else doesn’t. That’s what I say!


    • Thanks for commenting. The walkway of stones will stay, but I’ll plant next to them.

      We used to have carpet roses growing along the driveway (planted before we moved here 16 years ago). I scratched my leg on more than one occassion, and would often catch clothing on the thorns. The stones are there to give us a place to step out onto form the car.

      What will you do next to your driveway?


        • We finally removed roses for the same reason. Every summer I would end up with scratches on my legs (or a torn dress) from the rose branches. We finally removed them and now have a stone walkway and grass with flowers on the other side.

          It’s all a learning experience, isn’t it?


  3. Pingback: Working Days in the Garden | gardeningnirvana

  4. Pingback: Planting the Strip: Three Cheers for More Dirt! | gardeningnirvana

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