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Between the street and the sidewalk—whether you call it

or even a hellstrip—is a space you might have been ignoring.

Until now.

Read more.

All garden spaces are not created equal; in fact, some are overlooked as candidates for any gardening at all. But these small, seemingly meaningless places can change a home, a neighborhood, and even a community.

Colorful foliage and flowers—poppies, roses, sedges, and more—hug a public sidewalk.

Curbside locations are the public faces of places. Though they are the last areas we may think to beautify, they provide the first glimpses of what to expect inside a building, through a gate, or across a threshold.

Making a powerful impact despite its limited square footage, a parking strip garden transforms the view with yuccas and windmill palms.

Some of these places may be publicly owned or have public easements or utilities running through them, posing additional challenges and perhaps limiting the types of plants and structures that can be added. Regulations can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.

A vertically layered and varied plant community fills a four-season hellstrip garden with witch hazel, blue oat grass, Bupleurum fruticosum, and more.

Across North America, gardeners are tackling this final frontier. Curbside gardeners include water savers, edible gardeners, wilderness advocates, busy homeowners, creative thinkers, green-starved urban dwellers, and generous neighbors.

Diverse plants thrive on both sides of the public sidewalk, punctuated by concentric diamonds at the garden’s entrance.

Its visibility means that a curbside garden will contribute disproportionately to your property’s look and feel. Imagine how visitors might relish walking through a garden to get to your front door, or how your mood would lift driving up to a specially designed “welcome home” garden.

This garden uses sculptural landscaping; lavender and hakonechloa are grouped to create bold, evocative forms and patterns.

Imagine a world where walking along the street is a delightful sensory experience, edibles grow visibly and abundantly, and sun and wind are tempered by still, cool reservoirs of nature. Your curbside garden brings that world one step closer.

A yarrow rainbow works its magic.

Hellstrip Gardening cover

No purchase necessary. One winner will be chosen at random. Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada, 18 years or older, as of 6/3/2014. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Pacific Time on 7/6/2014. Void where prohibited. By entering the contest, you also sign up for Timber Press emails, which are sent out about once a week. You can unsubscribe at any time using links provided in the emails. The information provided will be used by Timber Press only to contact the winner and will not be given to a third party.