|Ellie’s hellstrip from the Wall Street Journal’s article on hellstrips. It could be the most famous hellstrip in America.
(Not a lot of other ones get too much coverage!) Photo by Don Zinteck.
I’ve been collecting photos of decent hellstrips – the area between sidewalk and street. It’s another of those challengers unique to city dwellers. It’s also something I have to start thinking about.
|More photos of this Manchester Place hellstrip below. They
have the added issues of a tree AND a light pole.
A diseased, pink-blooming horse chestnut tree was taken out three years ago. In the off chance (and with more phone calls to the mayor’s compliant line) that the stump gets ground out this spring, I’d like to plant my hellstrip.
I know that the property belongs, officially, to the city and I can’t do anything permanent, or that I would cry over, in the event utilities need to be dug up.
|It also gives the appearance of a neighborhood that
cares about their surroundings and home values.
I also need an area for my trash can & recycling to sit comfortably on trash pick-up days. I also will need some sort of divider, or end point, as I share my hellstrip with my neighbor (unless I can get them to plant their portion!).
Ideally, I know it has to be dog, cat & bunny proof, and withstand salt, urine and large amounts of heavy snow.
And I don’t want any grass that has to be mowed. That’s an absolute must. I need to finally get rid of the mower. It’s taking up room in the garage with the broken snow blower I haven’t used in 12 years. Though, to be honest, my neighbor mows my hellstrip more than I do. I don’t have the need to be out with the mower, other than the hellstrip, so I tend to let the grass go for long periods of time. That’s just how I roll.
Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt if it peaks on the last full weekend of July each year for Garden Walk Buffalo.
Other than that, I’m studying these photos and asking you if there are any other considerations of which I’m not thinking.
|Sixteenth Street is always full of ideas. Photo by Don Zinteck.|
|Photo by Don Zinteck.|
|One of my local favorites. Photo by Don Zinteck.|
|Very nice, but it still requires mowing.|
|Jennifer & Jim’s hellstrip encouraged neighbors to plant their own.|
|Very nice, but I’d need something blooming
constantly, especially the end of July.
|A raised bed? Hmmm…|
|Brick lined makes a good shovel stop in wintertime.|
|Deadheading might be a deal breaker for me. I’m not that diligent.|
|Probably the most famous hellstrip in Buffalo. It was even shown on the Wall Street Journal’s
website, in an article on hellstrips, with a quote from the gardener, Ellie, the Hellstrip Raiser.
|I swear if you give Jennifer an inch, she’ll plant a garden.|
|Just up the street from me, a group of neighbors have all their
hellstrips planted with grasses and low-ground covers.
|Still on my street, Lancaster Avenue. looks awesome when it’s more than just one planted.|
|My absolute favorite by far. Few, but curated plants – even house plants & annuals, no mowing
and even incorporates artwork. THIS is the ultimate. I’ll have to find out how it handles snow.
|It’s on Manchester Place, a one-block street of great gardens.|
|The effect of a neighborhood embracing their hellstrips cannot be understated.|
|I like the rocks, colors, plantings and exuberance, but in my case, I think the mulch would need replacing constantly. This one’s on the Blackrock/Riverside Tour of gardens.|
|They’re hiding a manhole cover.|
|Ubiquitous daylilies. Can’t do it.|
|Excellent, excellent, excellent. A study in color coordination & contrast. Photo by Don Zinteck.|
|Sue & Miro’s. I don’t have a photo of it, but they have a bright red fire hydrant to the right of the tree.
In the spring, they have bright red tulips to match the hydrant which looks excellent. They’ve also lead the eye by
having the small hellstrip are to the left marry with the strip leading up to the house, along side their walk & stairs. Photo by Don Zinteck.