Looking for parking strip plantings that aren't water-or-work intensive? Tired of dragging a hose and/or lawnmower out to the street? Most strips seem to be ratty, half-dead grass or exuberant planting medleys that require regular pruning to keep them in bounds. As well as water, weeding and as much, or maybe more, care as the rest of the garden. What about the busy gardener who doesn't want to water or maintain much out there by the street, but also cares about how their parking strip looks?
Around the corner from Trader Joe's on Galer (top of Queen Anne hill) is a simple, mostly green parking strip that looks good in all seasons. I admire it whenever I walk by, and had my camera yesterday to take a few shots. The good news is that it looks pretty much the same in winter as in summer - a contrast of textures and shapes that is quietly pleasing.
Once grown in, the sedum, euphorbia, lady's mantle and ornamental grasses need little or no supplemental water, and they won't grow so large as to block sight lines of impinge on street or sidewalk. The sedum has grown into a thick, tight, weed-suppressing mat, its flatness relieved by the fluff of Mexican feather grass (Nasella tenuissima), and the vertical lines of carexes, blue out grass, and billows of euphorbia. The chartreuse of the euphorbia, blue and bronze of the grasses create enough color contrast, but the overall effect is simple and soothing...no doubt for the gardener as well as passersby..