Learning how to garden in the narrow strip between your sidewalk and the street can be a challenge. For my project, the most important step was installing narrow strip irrigation in this area (you can see the rest of the process here). I am happy to say this was one of the easiest parts! Narrow strip irrigation is most efficient with micro-irrigation and it worked perfectly in this scenario. Read on to learn how this project was done: Why Micro Irrigation? Very narrow strips are hard to water with spray heads. They tend to overspray, wasting water on the sidewalk and street rather than the soil. Even the most fine-tuned system is going to have a hard time on our 22″ wide strip, almost 35′ in length. … Read Full Post
Ugh. The dreaded sidewalk strip between the road and the walkway. Otherwise known as the “stupid strip,” the “hell strip” or even the “zone of death.” Okay, I made up zone of death, but maybe it is fitting? This pitiful area is usually not a gardener’s friend. In my case our sidewalk strip is 22″ wide. What in the world are you supposed to grow in here? Not turfgrass, most likely weeds, maybe some mulch? This sidewalk strip has brought so much dismay to gardeners and homeowners that it even has its own book! Author Evelyn Hadden recently wrote, “Hellstrip Gardening: Create a Paradise between the Sidewalk and the Curb.” The description of the book reads “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!” Well it was deserving some attention at our house, that’s for sure.… Read Full...
High on the top of my to-do list has been to remove an area of crappy grass and replace it with stepping stones. I’ve managed to put this off for several years, but recently I saw a neighbor’s beautiful stepping stone path and decided it was time. Do you ever have those projects where you know in your mind exactly how you want it to look, but you can’t exactly find a photo to show it or lay it out? That was this project for me. I looked through all kinds of books and magazines to see if I could find a visual to match my vision. Nothing. The closest I came was a stone patio featured on page 136 of Rochelle Greyer’s Cultivating Garden Style (fyi- I am Organic Modern!).… Read Full Post
You know those scenes that just stop you in your tracks? Coming across this beautiful wall and plant color combination was one of those moments for me! It seemed like one of those scenes that would appear in a glossy magazine but it was just along a street on a quiet Sunday morning in Tampa. The beautiful silver blue foliage of this Bismark Palm looks perfectly selected for this peach wall. Or was it the other way around? Do we pick our plants based on wall color or do the walls dictate our plants? The largest container with the Bismark palm (Bismarkia nobilis) also contained two copperleaf plants (Acalypha sp.), a small orange lantana and several small blue salvias that weren’t in flower.… Read Full Post
Brain Plants and Pot Heads? How can you be anything but intrigued by this title? My now infamous “pot heads” all started because of one plant. This guy, an Echinobivia cristata ‘Rainbow Bursts’ that we came across at a nearby Lowes. It was so awesome that Mike actually found it! AND wanted to buy it! As you might guess, we have a plethora of plants at our house and it is very rare that he thinks we need to buy a plant. It certainly looks like a brain plant, doesn’t it? Even the fissure down the center just screams “brain!” at you. As we were walking around the store looking for a few other odds and ends I offhandedly mentioned that I could make a pot for this where the face would be the bottom part and the top would be open for the “brain plant” to stick out the top.… Read Full Post
Do you have any of those projects you’ve been wanting to do for years but just haven’t gotten around to completing? Recently our Mexican beach pebbles project finally moved out of this category and into the ‘Finished’ column. Its about time! After three years of wanting to get this done, it took seeing this landscape at the Orange County Convention Center a few weeks ago to finally give us that push to complete this project. This photo shows the area where the Mexican beach pebbles were used to create a lovely flowing pathway of separation between the mondo grass and the turf. Our small lawn space has been struggling for about a year. You can see here the remains of the zoysia grass that we installed a few years ago.… Read Full Post
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