Hellstrip Gardening: Create a Paradise between the Sidewalk and the Curb

Hellstrip Gardening: Create a Paradise between the Sidewalk and the Curb

by Evelyn Hadden
     
 

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The hellstrip—the space between a street and a public sidewalk, also known as a tree park, boulevard, meridian, and planting strip—is finally getting the attention it deserves! Gardeners everywhere are taking advantage of the space as an environmentally friendly way to add curb appeal to their homes, expand the size of their gardens, and conserve

Overview

The hellstrip—the space between a street and a public sidewalk, also known as a tree park, boulevard, meridian, and planting strip—is finally getting the attention it deserves! Gardeners everywhere are taking advantage of the space as an environmentally friendly way to add curb appeal to their homes, expand the size of their gardens, and conserve resources.

Hellstrip Gardening by Evelyn Hadden, the author of the acclaimed Beautiful No-Mow Yards, is the first book to show you exactly how to reclaim this oft-ignored space. This comprehensive guide covers how to determine the city and Home Owner’s Association rules governing the area, how to choose plants that thrive in tough situations, how to design pathways for accessibility, and much more. Gorgeous color photographs of hellstrip gardens across the country offer inspiration and visual guidance to anyone ready to tackle this final frontier.

With Hellstrip Gardening in hand, you can finally create the paradise you want in the most unexpected of places!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/03/2014
Hadden (Beautiful No-Mow Yards) has written an excellent book for an often forgotten horticultural contingent: urban dwellers with only wee strips of dirt to work with, often between curbs and sidewalks. She offers step-by-step strategies for taking abandoned square footage of unhealthy earth and transforming it into a micro-swath of growth and bloom, and highlights unique stressors associated with this kind of gardening, including limited, often depleted soil and lack of irrigation. Such landscapes require forethought: what plants are drought tolerant? what type of root system can survive? The author also includes a helpful chapter about working with local governments, since many curbside spots are public property or easements. The greatest benefit of undertaking “hellstrip gardening,” the author notes, is that “as more gardens grow, the ideas and extra plants they generate fuel new gardens and ignite new gardeners.” This is a lively, optimistic guide to transforming dead space into a small splash of Eden, a win-win for everybody. 300 color photos. (May)
Garden Rant - Susan Harris

"How could I NOT love Hellstrip Gardening? The subject is fun and inspiring."

Shelf Awareness
"How could I NOT love Hellstrip Gardening? The subject is fun and inspiring."

Landscape Architecture
"A creative and environmentally friendly gardening book, Hellstrip Gardening is a fine choice for both dreamers and doers. Hadden has ideas not only for that awkward (and presumably hellish) space between person and street, but also for medians, parking lot islands, community gardens—anyplace there is land to plant."

From the Publisher
"A lively book . . . both a design manual and an encouragement to embrace overlooked spaces."

Garden & Gun
“Hadden will help you through the toughest planting challenges, whether you’re planting an actual hellstrip or your yard just seems like one.”
Charlotte Observer
“An entertaining new book… it shares ways to turn the ugly wasteland between sidewalk or driveway and the curb into lovely floral borders.”
The Telegraph
Hellstrip Gardening explores those tricky urban areas between the pavement and the street."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781604696103
Publisher:
Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/22/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
296
File size:
133 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt


Introduction: Why Curbside Landscapes Matter
Many of us own or manage pieces of land that are part of the public landscape, a landscape that other people interact with every day. That public environment uplifts our mood or sends it plummeting, rivets us in the present moment or fails to distract us from our busyness. Attractive scenes invite us to open our senses and our hearts, while ugly or barren surroundings train us to block those sensory messages.

Yes, curbside landscapes have that much power. And by extension, we who own and manage those landscapes also have power.

I invite you to use your power, to make your own contribution to the public landscape. Convert a sparse, weed-ridden curbside lawn to smile-inducing scenery that doesn’t need much help to stay healthy. Outside the fence, down the steps, or beside the driveway, incorporate ignored and deplored bits of land into the rest of your garden, or help them shine as stand-alone pocket gardens that brighten the routes of commuters.
 
You’ll add curb appeal, and you’ll also improve the daily life of your neighborhood and its denizens. The gifts of a curbside garden are disproportionately large. Natural scenes, even minutely glimpsed in passing, distract us from worry and interrupt negative psychological cycles. Garden fragments purify and freshen air, absorb and filter water, and foster biodiversity with its associated services and benefits, not to mention lowering crime and raising property values.

With just one garden, you can make living where you live—and visiting too—more fragrant, more lively, more peaceful, more interesting, more earth friendly, and more appealing.
 
What Are Curbside Gardens?
Curbside locations are the public faces of places. Though they are the last areas we may think to beautify, they provide the first glimpses of what to expect inside a building, through a gate, or across a threshold. They may be the places most used by wildlife passing through our properties, and the places where runoff, litter, and human visitors are apt to loiter. These tough environments don’t often support healthy lawns, but they can host thriving gardens that dramatically improve their surroundings.

Parking strips (the piece of land between a street and a public sidewalk, also known as a tree park, boulevard, verge, hellstrip, meridian, planting strip, or inferno strip) make promising spots for curbside gardens. So do front yards that are simply one outdoor room from curbside to front door. Although the most challenging area of such a front yard may be located alongside the street, driveway, or public walk, the gardener will likely want to design the entire room as a whole, not just one edge of it.

Similar challenges and opportunities exist for fragments of land languishing alongside driveways and buildings and in alleys, parking lots, roundabouts, and medians. Some of these places may be publicly owned or have public easements or utilities running through them, posing additional challenges and perhaps limiting the types of plants and structures that can be added. Regulations are most often set by the city but can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.
 

Meet the Author

National speaker and award-winning author of four gardening books, including Beautiful No-Mow Yards, Evelyn Hadden encourages property owners to convert unused, unloved lawns to more rewarding landscapes. She founded the informational website lesslawn.com in 2001 and is a founding member of the national Lawn Reform Coalition.

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