Evelyn J. Hadden helped us get rid of our lawns with her inspiring book Beautiful No Mow Yards, and now she has found a new place for us to plant a garden – the hellstrip – that area between the street and the sidewalk.
I have just started reading Hellstrip Gardening: Create a paradise between the sidewalk and the curb. I found the title slightly misleading in that I found that Hadden’s topic opened up considerably when she talked about ‘curbside planting’ which includes the other side of the sidewalk as well, where your lawn, I mean your garden, begins in your front yard.
When I joined a group of garden bloggers in Buffalo, NY, in 2010 our tour took us through a beautiful neighborhood in which a number of people had planted their hellstrip with bright flowers and interesting grasses. This was a whole new concept to me.
Since then I have noticed other hellstrip gardens locally in Greenfield in Turner’s FAlls. Tom Sullivan’s hellstrip garden is devoted to luring pollinators to his gardens, but others are just turning that usually ratty grass strip into something to be enjoyed and admired. Talk about curb appeal.
Hadden gives you ideas for planting this very special kind of garden so it will need no watering and very little maintenance. And lest you think she has not considered the challenges of gardening on the hellstrip she has devoted a whole chapter to SITUATIONS which include covenants, vehicles, wildlife, and all things to consider about safety as well as beauty.
I haven’t finished reading the book but you can have it in your hands to start on if you leave a comment by July 6. On July 7 I will announce the winner of this great book. Makes me wish I had a hellstrip. See what the Garden Ranters had to say. They were in Buffalo for the tour too. But come back here and leave a comment.