Ideas & Inspiration

Plants for Hellstrip Gardening

Coneflower
Pink coneflower blooms

You can’t have enough heat-loving coneflower (echinacea) in a garden. Not only is it colorful, it also works perfectly in your curbside creation because it feeds off the heat and keeps blooming strong even when the weather cools.

Veronica
Purple veronica blooms in a garden

These purple spiked flowers add more dimension in your hellstrip garden. Veronica can take part shade if your hellstrip is only partly sunny. For contrast, arrange white marble chips or an organic mulch around your plants to help keep weeds down.

Coreopsis
Coreopsis blooms in a garden

Also known as tickseed, these hardy flowers like to soak up the sun and can take dry spells. Try two-toned blooms for more color that lasts well into fall in your hellstrip garden.

Iris
Iris in bloom in a flower border

Hardy iris is a perfect flowering plant for a hellstrip garden. They spread easily, so the curbside garden is a fitting container. Place organic mulch or wood chips to help plants retain water during hot spells. If you need to thin out and divide your plants, give some to neighbors for their hellstrips.

Rosemary
Rosemary plant in bloom

Pungent rosemary can survive some of the harshest conditions and thrives in hellstrip gardens. Plant around a mailbox or in the middle of a strip. It can also grow into a shrub. Couple your rosemary with blooms on this list and accent with other herbs such as creeping thyme, if desired.

Sunflowers
Perennial sunflower shrub in a flower bed

Sunflowers may seem unconventional for a hellstrip garden, but these work really well if you’ve got a mega-sunny location. These tall beauties can be paired with other blooms and shrubs for a filled out look. Annual sunflowers are fun and fulfilling, but keep an eye out for perennial sunflowers that grow as shrubs. Proven Winners' Tuscan Sun is a full-sun perennial that's winter hardy to zone 3, is drought tolerant and a pollinator magnet.

Black-Eyed Susans
Brown-Eyed Susans by a sidewalk

Try rudbeckia, commonly known as Black-Eyed Susans, a daisy-like perennial popular with bees and other pollinators that easily multiplies in your garden. These native perennials are easy to grow in full sun, performing well even in poor soil and dry conditions. Plant these low-maintenance beauties in masses as a border. 

Hellstrip is a funny name for a gardener's headache, the desolate strip of grass (or not) between the sidewalk and the street. This harsh micro climate can be full sun or full shade and at the mercy of passing vehicles. Study up on the plants proven to handle this environment and build a hellstrip that's heavenly.