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Northwest Regional Reports

Designing a Hell-Strip Garden, Part 1

Transform unused space between the sidewalk and the street

A few years ago I ran out of space in my home garden. I then faced a major dilemma. How do I gain more space? Do I sell my home? Buy a bigger lot with a smaller house? Move to the country and buy acreage? Or simply take over that area between the sidewalk and the street? I chose the latter. It’s certainly cheaper to stay put and really enjoy all the hard effort I’ve already put into my own gardens. Renting a sod cutter, buying new plants and mulch, and making a few trips to the green waste recycler was cheaper than moving to a larger piece of property. This is how I created my hell strip.

My hell strip was ready for a makeover. It had no irrigation, baked all day long in the heat reflected from a large intersection and sidewalks, and was laden end…

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