Walk This Way: Sidewalk Landscaping

Try these clever solutions for a problem area.
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Photo By: Image courtesy of Bobbie's Green Thumb

Photo By: Image courtesy of Bobbie's Green Thumb

Photo By: Image courtesy of Rebecca Sweet

Photo By: Image courtesy of Rebecca Sweet

Photo By: Image courtesy of Rebecca Sweet, gossipinthegarden.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Rebecca Sweet, gossipinthegarden.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of J Peterson Garden Design

Photo By: Image courtesy of J Peterson Garden Design, www.jpetersongardendesign.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Pearson Landscaping

Photo By: Image courtesy of Pearson Landscape

Photo By: Image courtesy of Pearson Landscape, www.pearsonlandscape.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Pearson Landscape, www.pearsonlandscape.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Pearson Landscape, www.pearsonlandscape.com

First Impressions Are Important

Landscaper Bobbie Schwartz created a memorable entrance to this Ohio home by turning what some have called a "hellstrip" area into drought tolerant gardens separated by a permeable path from the street to the front walkway. 

Mix It Up

Instead of landscaping one long strip that runs along the front of your house, why not redesign it as separate segments like this innovative configuration in a California suburb? Landscaper Bobbie Schwartz transformed the strip into individual garden plots integrating the existing trees with ornamental plants and grasses while providing easy street access with pavers for visitors. 

Sidewalk Sampler

If there are no major HOA restrictions on landscaping your street strip, why not be creative? This design features a colorful, eye-pleasing mixture of river rocks, mulch and ornamental grasses and plants for maximum curb appeal. 

Mailbox Inspiration

The mailbox area is usually the most neglected part of the yard but it could be your opportunity to create some landscaping magic. Consider this bright, welcoming array of purple flowering plants, light green ground covers and flat stonework to bring color to your sidewalk.

The Dry Creek Look

If you don't want to deal with grass or prefer zero maintenance for your sidewalk strip, you might want to consider an attractive alternative like this natural landscape of river rocks, stones and pebbles.

For Mediterranean Climates

If you live in a temperature zone similar to that of southern California or the Mediterranean, you can get creative in your sidewalk space with a mixture of flowers, edible plants and ornamental grasses that look beautiful year round.

Succulent Synergy

How to deal with a hellstrip in a desert landscape? Fill it with a variety of drought-tolerant succulents like this colorful arrangement by J. Peterson Garden Design.

Curbside Green Space

A simple combination of rocks, flowering plants, ornamental grasses and mulch can turn your sidewalk area from bland to beautiful. 

Separation Notice

Add color accents to your hellstrip area with a showstopper like a lush bed of 'Mystic Spires Blue' sage as seen in this Austin, Texas neighborhood project from landscaper Mark Biechler.

Border Guards

Some homeowners prefer a privacy wall around their house and front yard but are open to creative possibilities for their strip along the street. Mark Biechler of Pearson Landscape Services seized the opportunity to create a varied and unique border mixing ornamental shrubs, bottle brush trees, hollies and other drought tolerant specimens. 

A Breed Apart

Plants with foliage that can prick or scratch people, animals and cars are usually not a good choice for hellstrip areas unless you want to be known as the neighbor misanthrope. The 'Sapphire Skies' yucca, however, is hardy, deer-resistant, hummingbird-friendly, soft to the touch and worthless as a weapon.

The Future Looks Rosy

'Knock Out' roses are becoming increasingly popular with gardeners because they are so hardy, drought-tolerant and disease resistant. They bloom throughout the spring, summer and early fall and make ideal eye candy for the much maligned and neglected hellstrip.

A Lighter Shade of Purple

A once neglected strip of lawn becomes a garden area that pops with color and interesting texture. Stealing the show is purple fountain grass which stands out boldly against a mixed base of mulch and pink granite gravel.