The Hellstrip from Hell



Go ahead and laugh. The H Strip at my house is aware of its inadequacy. Besides, you wouldn’t be the first to mock its Lilliputian size.

I’ve grown used to the giggles.

And I have intense Hellstrip envy.


This area is not designed—clearly!

It’s a hodgepodge of plants that don’t need summer watering and for the last few years they’ve thrived—thrived like weeds.


I collect seeds from here.

Visitors collect seeds too when they drive off with seed heads stuck in their shut car doors. One visiter even drove off with a plant. I saw the hole and felt badly. The roots were bound to have received a great deal of road rash.

Poor thing.

At least the driver may have found it funny.

I just didn’t want to fill in the area with rocks, but…


The empty spot then ended up looking like this. (Note that the Nigella do very well here.)


It would be nice to keep it as a mixed planting, but maybe that’s what makes it look so disorganized.

It would be fun to have something a bit different. Luckily not all areas rub up against cars and car doors so that IS possible.


I just don’t want the strip to end up like this, with the area paved over. It’s depressing to me. Too much sidewalk is just not a good thing.


What I would give for space for a street tree!


There is a tiny and colorful Buxus that’s survived well. I like the Hedera ‘Needlepoint’ too.

IMG_0014What to do…

What to do?

All planting suggestions are welcome!

It’s time to reinvigorate the garden and I’ve decided that I’ll begin at the sidewalk. Why not?

Considerations to Make

  • The Hell Strip portion on the right side of the driveway (between our house and the neighbors’ area) rarely sees car doors. We could go a bit wild here.
  • I’m not against the idea of gravel.
  • Oh, and the area faces west.

Thanks in advance!

2 thoughts on “The Hellstrip from Hell

  1. Ann,
    It is a very narrow strip! and because of this people do tend to plant them simply, a nice compact hedge of Lavender or even the rangier Spanish Lavender, but there is nothing wrong with having it be a collection.Your last photo suggests not looking at it as a separate bed or landscape, but to view it as a piece with your front garden…keeping it simple but having some ‘spill over’ that is in keeping with the scale. You could keep the low plants and informally spot in a few smaller plants that echo the forms on the other side of your sidewalk, keeping in mind that they aren’t in conflict with curbside car use, I’ve had people occasionally bash one of my curbside Agaves, or that it is too uniform and regular…the spacing that is. Your front garden is informally planted so I don’t think that a row of good little soldiers is recommended. Oh, and I enjoy your writing style.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the mixed idea a lot too Lance. I don’t like a uniform look at all and I’m not that organized of a person to have an organized garden.

      Thanks for commenting on my writing style too. I might regret saying this, but I’d rather read Nietzsche, Barthes, or Machiavelli in the garden than Jane Austen. You can thank my dad for this since he used to have me read The Economist out loud to him for entertainment when I was a kid.

      BTW, thanks for writing about and including science. I like that angle as well but I lack the practical experience in the field. I studied biology for awhile though too and I also love the work of the late Stephen Jay Gould.


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