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Hellstrip Transformation

The Hellstrip Transformation

Once upon a time there was a sad, sad hellstrip. You know what I’m talking about – that lonely space between the sidewalk and the street that is usually only frequented by local dogs on their neighborhood rounds who are only doing their part in trying to keep the area well-fertilized.

While my focus this year will be on cultivating a sustainable food forest in the back garden, I just couldn’t stand knowing that my neighbors might drive by the house every day judging me. They’re totally within their rights to do so…they know I’m a professional gardener, and yet the front yard looks like the space that time forgot.

Well I’ll show them! I’ll clean up that hellstrip, get rid of the overgrown grass and weeds, and make it a space that is beautiful and easy to maintain.

The Hellstrip TransformationI started at the end that connects to the driveway, because I wanted to be able to get rid of an overgrowth of high grass and weeds around the mailbox and utility pole.

On the first day, I made it this far. No, it doesn’t look like much but let me tell you, this was work. To arrive at the product you see in the photo above, I had to dig and remove 3 large buckets full of grass, weeds, and soil, then carry the same large bucket full of wood chip mulch from the back garden to cover the newly-exposed (and amazingly earthworm-rich) soil.

The Hellstrip Transformation

The photo above was just after I filled the third bucket on Day 2. The photo below, was bucket #4. In the majority of the space, I am removing as much as five inches of soil and grass.The Hellstrip Transformation

In order to stay true to my permaculture-centered focus, I am redistributing all of the removed dirt and debris to the back garden for another project. More on that later.

Below, you see the end of Day 2. I have removed the grass and weeds from about 35-40% of the hellstrip and covered it with a thick layer of local wood chip mulch. I did not remove my beloved co-gardener Sadie from the yard. She stays.

Hellstrip 4

The next update will show all of the grass and weeds gone, the foundation plants in place, and the low-maintenance hellstrip completed.

What plants would you use in a space like this?

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Paula May 23, 2015, 4:26 pm

    What was the end result?

    • Michael Nolan May 24, 2015, 12:26 pm

      There will be an “after” post soon. I wanted to give the plants a chance to get established first.

  • Paula Johnson May 23, 2015, 4:28 pm

    Perhaps some sedum or other succulents?

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