Sunday, September 9, 2007

Stimulating Streetside Strips

Several blogger friends told me that they enjoyed seeing the larger view of my "Strips" like the one in my Labor Day post. So, I thought I'd show some streetside views, which I usually don't publish because: (a) the street itself is ugly...asphalt...uninteresting and difficult to photograph, and (b) I have a running hatefest with the foundation and driveway junipers and don't like to draw attention to them. Actually, I have finally come to overlook them most of the time. They were inherited with the house and my husband likes them. They are typical of houses built in the era when ours was, and at a time when everyone was going nuts over them. I don't like the smell, I don't like how they make my skin itch, and I certainly don't like the sneezing they cause me. Okay... enough griping. On to some more attractive subjects.

The top photo looks west from our corner. Notice the morning glories climbing the stop sign (another reason I don't take long shots of this area). My husband takes responsibility for the "corner" garden and he has done a wonderful job with it this year. It has been beautiful through every season. Below is a picture of what this area looked like before (2003).

The following two views look down the same strip, only from the other direction, looking east. I love the way the early morning light comes through the Russian Sage. In the foreground I have some ornamental grasses and a culinary sage, which then leads into my new sedum garden. Since it borders the alley I decided to plant shorter perennials to allow for better visibility.

Here is the other side of the property. This is what it looked like before...
And here is what it looks like now. The foreground area is shaded by a large tree. For the last couple of years I had horrible neighbors on this end and I pretty much lost interest in working down here. That has now changed (thank goodness) and I will be doing some new planting here. I have several Heucheras planted in the middle of this strip and they are doing so well, and look so nice that I am adding more.

Here is the corner looking south toward the Heuchera bed. The berm in the turf area was our first gardening project when we moved here ten years ago.
And here is my favorite tree and one of the reasons we bought this house. It is a huge Honey Locust and dominates the entire block. When this area was developed every house received at least one Norway Maple. Ours is in our back yard and gives us wonderful shade all summer. When you look down the block you can see a whole row of them. Their leaves are such a lovely dark green.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed the tour of my neighborhood and strips. All total we transformed 1375 sq. feet of hellstrips into plantings that are much more beautiful to look at and enjoy.


Katie said...

Your yard + strips are beautiful! That kind of garden would bring a smile to my face every time I pass it...and I'm sure it does the same for your neighbors!

I especially like the use of the Russian Sage...

Carol said...

Those strips are beautiful gardens. Stunning and beautiful! I have one question... do you have problems in the winter with snowmounds and salt on the plantings? Apparently not, I assume, but does the snow get mounded up on the plantings?

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Gina said...

these are awesome! what an inspiration.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Bev, the strip gardens are so lovely. I have a corner lot and you've given me some ideas. If we decide to stay in our home, I may extend my mailbox flower garden down our strip. It would sure be prettier. I just planted three more Russian sage plants, I love them.

LostRoses said...

Bev, when you live in Colorado those juniper foundation plants are pretty much de rigueur, aren't they? They are so common in my 1960s-era neighborhood.

I'm so pleased you have before photos to go with the "afters", so we can see just what a stunning job you did. You showcase Russian Sage beautifully and your other plantings are a real complement to them. And I really like the morning glory climbing the stop sign!

jocelyn said...

Bev, not only do your gardens look fabulous now, but I can tell by your plantings that you will have plenty of winter interest as well. Planning for winter color and texture is a must for anyone with a true winter season!

Also, I love what you've done with your junipers. The undulating shapes echo those of the strip garden. Good job!

Pam/Digging said...

You and your husband have made something special out of the hell strip. I'd love to walk past that every day.

Bev said...

Katie - Thanks for visiting! Having the strips has resulted in meeting more of my neighbors than I would have otherwise because I'm out there working on them so much.

Carol - Yes, the snow does get piled up on the plantings once in a while, especially in a year like the last one! In a "usual" year it doesn't bother them, except for lavender, which I have trouble growing there because of that. Since the city NEVER salts or plows our road we don't have to worry about that. Actually, I am going to soon do a post about planting ideas for strips and that is a subject I will address.

Gina - Thanks! I'm glad you like them.

Robin - I plan to do a post soon about strip planting ideas, so stay posted! As you can see, I love Russian Sage also.

Lost Roses - Yes, you do see a lot of "Subdivision Junipers" here. Thanks for your kind words about my efforts.

Jocelyn - Thanks for your comment about the junipers. I hadn't thought of it like that and I feel a lot better about them after what you said. I'll post some winter interest photos one of these days.

Pam - How I would love for you to walk past... we could sip on a Gin and Tonic and talk gardening!

LisaBee said...

Hi Bev--
I love before & after shots like yours, and I, too, would love to be a walker in your neighborhood.

There are a couple of gardens somewhat near to us that we will go out of our way to drive by, just to ogle the plantings and see what's in bloom.

Connie said...

What an amazing improvement... a beautiful asset to your entire neighborhood!
I love the huge honey wishing I had one just like it. :=)

Bev said...

LisaBee and Connie - Thanks for your interest in my efforts. We do have lots of neighbors who drive buy just to see it and it's always nice to have them.

Beth said...

Thanks for the long shots! It's always helpful and interesting to see the big picture. And, in the case of your property, inspiring!