I have been reading Evelyn Hadden’s book Hellstrip Gardening: Create a paradise between the sidewalk and the curb, with all its beautiful photographs of the different ways a curbside garden can be created. Hadden includes gardens from across the country from Oregon and California to Minnesota and New York. Different climates and different inspirations. I was very happy that she also included Rain Gardens as one of her themes because many urban areas have a great problem with rain runoff. In these days some rains have become amazingly heavy, stressing storm sewer systems that then flood waste water sewers. It is ever more important that we all work to keep rainfall where it falls. We can make sure we have many permeable surfaces – and raingardens. I know in Cambridge, Massachusetts where my son lives, there are rules about how much square footage in a house lot must be permeable. You cannot build or cover more.
While Heath is a rural town and I live where there is not a single sidewalk, there are local towns that have sidewalks and some of them even have hellstrips, an area between the street and the sidewalk. However, I have a friend with an absolutely fabulous curbside garden.
This photo gives an idea of how this curbside garden works in the streetscape.
With heucheras, hostas and creeping phlox in this area there is a wonderful arrangement of foliage color and texture.
A great use is made of everygreens which can supply a surprising range of color.
Small trees, shrubs, ground cover – and flowers! This curbside garden has everything! And something for every season.
If you would like to win a copy of Evelyn Hadden’s book, Hellstrip Gardening, leave a comment here before midnight July 6.