Inferno Strips; Go from useless to Wow!

Inferno strip #1, Santa Barbara,CA

Inferno strip #1, Santa Barbara,CA

In the quest to make lawns more sustainable and input efficient, we need to pay attention to where a lawn makes sense in the landscape. One place a lawn most certainly doesn’t belong is in what I refer to as the “inferno strip” or “hell strip.”

Inferno Strip #2,  Santa Barbara, CA

Inferno Strip #2, Santa Barbara, CA

That useless piece of real estate created when a sidewalk carves out a long, narrow strip of dirt between it and the street. Inferno strips, when planted with grass, are impossible to irrigate without wasting water and utterly useless functionally or aesthetically. During a recent trip to the Left Coast (CA), I saw some wonderful alternative designs for colorfully planting the Inferno Strip with low care plants.

Inferno Strip w. ornamental grasses and groundcover

Inferno Strip w. ornamental grasses and groundcover

This is in Santa Barbara where they can use a huge assortment of succulents and other plants adapted to a very mild winter climate. But the concept of conversion from “useless to Wow!” works in all climates. Just the plants choices will change.

2 thoughts on “Inferno Strips; Go from useless to Wow!”

  • Connie

    Just a note, I love the replanting of the "inferno strip"...some cities have ordinances that you have to maintain grass or something else that is suitable for people to parkand exit their cars (passenger side) onto that zone. Just thought I'd let some people know they need to check with thier city and/or neighborhood association before they plant BIG :)

  • Carrie

    Howdy! Adding on to what Connie said, yes, the guidelines are surprisingly stringent here in many Southern Cal. cities regarding what we call "parkways", the strip owned by the city between street and sidewalk (but maintained by owners). Here's what they've got planned for our "parkways" in Los Angeles, a new set of drought tolerant plants that are approved...

    http://www.treepeople.org/sites/default/files/images/Residential_Parkway_Landscaping_Guidelines_halflayout.pdf

    There is definitely a "sea change" here on the "left coast" in regards to landscaping, grey water use, etc...exciting to see, change is slow, though!

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