Parking strip, curb strip, hellstrip. No matter what you call that little bit of grass between the sidewalk and street in front of most suburban homes it is a huge part of your curb appeal. Unfortunately, it is hard to water and mow and in most cases gets plenty of foot traffic.
Right now mine is a weed riddled mess. So, I thought I would turn to my neighborhood and Pinterest for inspiration while I recover from digging it all up.
I am only going to embarrass myself and the city.
This is what I am replacing. I dug up the grass years ago and replaced it with dymondia, aka silver carpet. But now it is completely over run by weeds and requires far too much maintenance and water to keep it presentable.
Left – weeds, standing water and PVC pipe. Oh my!
Center – when I look at this I see green and not the good kind. So much tax payer dollars wasted watering this and constant mowing and it is still weed riddled. Not to mention my neighbors that will not curb their dogs!
Right – Oh, boring pavers! Actually it completely works here, the building across the street is an elementary school and before they put in the pavers it looked like a mix of the first two pictures because of constant foot traffic.
Nothing But Plants
Sigh, this is what I was going for and is what I would love, but… in Southern California’s dry summers plants like these will not survive without plenty of supplemental water. Plus my neighbors constantly have people parked in front of my house so this would get trampled.
But, I love the look!
Rocks Big and Small
Left – not a big fan of lava rock, but that could just be me.
Center – I can see those rocks being kicked by people walking on the sidewalk and getting in and of cars on the street side, Maybe that’s why they planted roses. OUCH!
Right – definitely low maintenance, I would soften it with some thyme or moss planted between the pavers.
These are both decomposed granite. Crushed granite either from natural erosion or from quarrying granite for other uses.
Build it Up
These two examples use rocks in a slightly different way, to build up the area as a planter bed.
In the end, I think I will end up doing something like this that has rocks and paths and plantings.
Once I finish renovating I will update this post with the final look. In the meantime I hope you found some inspiration to turn your hellstrip into a beautiful addition to your front yard.