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Northwest Regional Reports

Designing a Hellstrip Garden, Part 2

These plants are perfect for a low-maintenance area

My hellstrip garden has been filling in after I made new additions. Photo: Jason Jorgensen.

After reviewing the current state of my hellstrip, I’m happy with the progress that all the plants are making and with how many are thriving, self-seeding, and filling in the space. Watching and observing one’s garden is an integral part of its success.

I recently expanded this area, and I’m very pleased with these new additions. As with previous plantings, I’m watering to establish the new plants during the first year and then letting them survive on seasonal rainwater thereafter. Also, my plant spacing is closer than is usually suggested because without supplemental watering and fertilizer, plants are typically smaller and less robust in the harsher environment of a hellstrip.

‘Margarita BOP’ foothill penstemon
‘Margarita BOP’ foothill penstemon. Photo: Jason Jorgensen.

‘Margarita BOP’ foothill penstemon (Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Margarita BOP’, Zones 6–10) is a tough, long-blooming perennial. It has beautiful green leaves and bright blue flowers that bloom all summer long…

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