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Deuce Cities Henhouse

Hellstrip (AKA The Boulevard Garden)

Succulents on the Hellstrip
Inspiration Photos Found On Pinterest

Guys, did you know that what I have been referring to as a “boulevard garden” is much more commonly known as a “HELLSTRIP”? Cause I had no idea, until I started googling around looking for inspiration for my much more mild mannered “boulevard garden”. I realize now that “hellstrip” is a very fitting name (plus it sounds pretty badass), it describes that little patch between the sidewalk in the street where nothing grows. Here in snowy Minnesota our hellstrips takes a beating, not only is it compacted with snow, but also pummeled with salt too.

My hellstrip has seen better days. I planted it 4 years ago. One day I was out weeding and the next thing you know I was digging up the front boulevard. I’m am so sad to say that I think a lot of the perennial plants I had “growing” out there didn’t make it through the winter. I need to come up with a plan and make this area rule, I’m determined.

Last year I started weeding the other side of the hellstrip, which until then had remained grass, er ah, weeds, er ah, a hot mess. Weeding quickly turned into digging it up, removing all the weeds and roots, and then reseeding with special boulevard grass seed. Guess what? It’s spring now, and there is no grass growing.

I’ve been learning a lot on the internetz about these tricky gardens, there is hope for me. I’m not settled on a plan of attack just yet. I think adding new top soil, mulch (to retain water) and boulders to elevate the gardens will help with my soil problems. I also think that I need to stick with a select group of plants. Here are some that I got my eye on:

▽ Succulents

▽ Hen & Chicks (am I saying that right, or is it Chicks & Hens?)

▽ Salvia

▽ Iris (I hear bulbs do great in these gardens)

▽ Hostas (A select hearty group for the shadier spots)

▽ Low Ornamental Grasses

This list may just be the ticket. I really want plants that aren’t too tall, I’m not a fan of the overgrown (aka natural) look. I want it to be tailored, well organized and tidy. I want it to be the total babe of hellstrips.

Do you have a hellstrip, do you call it a hellstrip?? Give me some advice, I need it!

Salvia & Rocks & Grasses on the Hellstrip
Inspiration Photos Found On Pinterest

6 comments
in gardening, Inspiration, Outdoor




5 comments… add one
  • shaylyn May 17, 2013

    Nice job! I love your giant hens and chicks! We have norway maples in our hellstrip so it’s nearly impossible to get anything to grow. I’m going to try periwinkles (apparently indestructible & will grow under anything) and cocoa bean mulch. Anything is better than scraggly grass and dandelions!

    • Scoops May 20, 2013

      Hey Shaylyn, I wish I could take credit for the hens and chicks but that was just an inspiration photo. Maybe someday my boulevard garden will look like that! I have a maple tree too, and the shallow roots do cause a problem. There has to be something that will grow there!

  • Becky May 17, 2013

    Hi, I’m not much of a gardener (although I try) but I have a background in water resources/rain gardens. Here’s a great local Minneapolis non-profit with some tips and suggested plantings for you.

    • Scoops May 20, 2013

      Hi Becky, Thanks for the link, I checked it out and will definitely use that as a resource when planning my garden.

  • Patrice Alexander April 10, 2017

    My Hellstrip has
    Chocolate Drop sedum
    Dakota Gold Sneezeweed
    Garlic chives
    Stella D’Oro daylillies
    Blue Dune grass in a 8″W x 16″L PVC pipe (for containment)
    Two lanes of highly salted snow gets dumped on my Hellstrip. The garlic chives suffer if there is a late freeze but the rest is bulletproof. Looks great even after frost.

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