Parking Strip Gardening - Notes


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Parking Strip Gardening - Notes

  1. 1. 1/7/2013Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Beyond the Lawn Parking Strip C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSU Dominguez Hills & Madrona Marsh Preserve Madrona Marsh Preserve Gardening with Western L.A. County Native Plants January 3 & 6, 2009 Project SOUND - 2009 © Project SOUND © Project SOUND The parking strip can be one of the But the times, they are a’ changin’ greatest gardening challenges  It’s the first thing you see when someone visits  People walk all over it; dogs poop & pee on it  It may be very shady – with lots of tree roots; or a hot, dry desert – bordered by sidewalk and street  And you may not even own it! The time-honored solution was to plant a grass lawn © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 1
  2. 2. 1/7/2013 Despite the challenges, the parking strip The parking strip garden requires a careful can be an important asset design plan  Soil is often poor:  Construction ‘dregs’ often put here  Compacted by foot traffic & road construction  Opportunity to increase your  Tree roots from street trees growing space - particularly  Dog pee important for small S. CA lots  Water is often difficult to control  May be difficult to get water to strip  Serves as a design transition  May be drainage issues (drainage from from the street to your home sidewalk, street)  Water Zones for existing street trees  May be the sunniest place in  Light can often be a challenge your garden  Full sun – hot & dry  Quite shady – if have street trees  An opportunity to increase the livability of your  Underground utilities, fire hydrants neighborhood – change to  Aboveground utilities; city has access rights interact with your neighbors  Often an unusual – challenging – size/shape © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Parking strips are public places…. Some rules for a ‘reasonable’ parking strip gardening plan  Safety  Provides good visibility for vehicles & pedestrians  Does not impede foot traffic on sidewalks  Does not impede passing/parking of vehicles  Allows safe exiting from vehicles and access to the sidewalk (if adjacent parking is permitted)  Is not dangerous: poisonous; sharp; trip hazards  Water conservation  Promotes infiltration, not run-off  Aesthetics  Conforms to ‘weed abatement’ regulations  Looks ‘appropriate’ for neighborhood  Fits with rest of your front yard © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 2
  3. 3. 1/7/2013Steps for designing your ‘New CA Parking Strip’ First things first – what are you allowed to do with your parking strip?  Get to know your local regulations  Check your city’s current  Assess your site: regulations - lots of  Pedestrian traffic patterns variability between cities:  Location of above/underground utilities, water & sewer  Who owns the parking strip? lines, fire hydrants, etc.  Existing vegetation (that will remain; e.g. existing trees)  What are your responsibilities for upkeep?  Sun & shade patterns; soil conditions (texture; pH)  What are you allowed to do  Design and locate the ‘pathways’ with your parking strip; what permits are required?  Choose an appropriate planting design Most cities have this information available on the city’s website © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Parking strip regulations vary by city – and are changing… Torrance municipal code  SECTION 75.1.6. PLANTING VEGETATION AROUND TREES.  Hardscape (walkways; steps;  No person shall plant or grow or cause to be planted or grown any rocks; planters; etc) ivy, geranium or other vegetation to a height of more than eighteen (18) inches above the top of any curb, sidewalk or ground on,  Size of plants: often are height against or around any tree upon any parkway in the City. For the restrictions (18”; may be 3 ft for purpose of this Section, the term parkway shall include that area plants other than trees) of any public street between the curb or other edge of the pavement and the private property line.  Types of plants:  ARTICLE 2 - VISIBILITY AT INTERSECTIONS (Added by O-  Street tree: almost always a 1288) ‘street tree list’ or specific SECTION 75.2.1. OBSTRUCTING VISIBILITY PROHIBITED. regulations; city may own the  No person owning or in possession of real property shall install or street trees maintain, or permit the installation or maintenance or existence of any tree, shrub or plant within that triangular area between the  Other plants : in some cities you property lines parallel to intersecting streets and a diagonal line are still only allowed to plant joining points on said property lines twenty-five (25) feet from the grass; other cities may require intersection of said property lines or within twenty (20) feet of permits for non-grass said property lines, which growth prevents or interferes with a alternatives driver of a vehicle approaching the intersection on one street seeing a vehicle approaching the intersection on another street. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 3
  4. 4. 1/7/2013 The ‘visibility triangle’ is used by many cities to Street trees  Don’t plant anything without city approval; city will usually direct the determine height requirements for intersections planting & placement of street trees  Learn your city’s regulations: species, characteristics & placement  Anything within a specified distance of  If you want to plant a native tree: see the apex of the street if it can be added to the approved list angle must conform to height/planting  Qualities of good street trees (in regulations addition to being attractive):  Single trunk  Often varies by speed  Can be pruned up: 7 ft above sidewalk; limit: 25-45 ft is 14 ft above street is common) common for residential  Not hazardous: weak wood; sharp streets seeds, etc.  Varies by city: know  Non-invasive roots; roots that don’t your regulations damage sidewalks, roadways  Water-wise (now figures in most cities)  Non-littering when possible © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Access features are the first items to locate on your design plan Pedestrian access: safety & design  They determine where & what you will plant Safety first - parking strips are  They require careful placement public areas  Public safety  Should allow for easy access to parked  Location of utilities; street trees vehicles  They are often the first thing you install  Should be placed to provide reasonable access to the sidewalk: some suggest 1  They have an impact on the ‘looks’ of the per car-length parking strip garden  Should be adequately wide (2-2 ½ ft); or 1 ½ ft. in addition to curbing)  Should stay reasonably dry in rainy season  Should provide a firm footing for walking  Ideally should be pervious to water; allow water to percolate © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 4
  5. 5. 1/7/2013 Pedestrian access: safety & design Pedestrian access: living walkways Design - many hardscape  Native sod-forming ‘grasses’ options to complement the rest of the garden  Non-native ‘walkable’ groundcover plants:  Concrete pavers (with or  Corsican mint - Mentha requienii without vegetation; crushed  Baby tears - Solierolia soleirolii rock)  Corsican sandwort - Arenaria balerica  Natural stone (flag stone; PV stone)  Creeping thymes:  Brick (set in sand)  Mother of thyme (Thymus serpyllum)  Woolly thyme (Thymus  Crushed rock/ decomposed pseudolanuginosus ) granite  Elfin thyme (Thymus praecox)  Shredded bark; woodchip  Silver Carpet (Dymondia mulch (even just between margaretae) widely-spaced plants)  Chamaemelum nobile Treneague (non-flowering) © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Parking strips are usually narrow; often, fewer species is better….,0,3338874.story No matter the location, low maintenance Design can be similar to rest of yard or different and proper scale are crucial. – it’s separate enough to be treated either way © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 5
  6. 6. 1/7/2013 New CA Garden ‘Parking Strip Combo Palettes’  Based on sun, drainage & Water Zones  Include a limited plant palette:  Heavy on evergreen species“Its good to select evergreens for the parking strip,  All are low-growingaccented with herbaceous plants. A strip that is completely  All are hardy on parking stripsbare in summer or winter is not only uninteresting, its aninvitation for weed seeds to germinate.”  You can mix & match within a palette, depending on your needs  Palettes can be used to create either a formal or informal design © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Each palette includes three types of plants: A common parking strip challenge…  Group 1: Backbone plants  Spreading evergreen species (mostly); many < 2 ft tall  Existing street trees –  Take up 60-80% of parking strip moderate shade area  Choose 1-3 from list  May be pine needles –  Group 2: Contrast plants slightly more acid soil  Add interest and fill space between backbone plants  Soil compacted; roots  Take up 10-30% of area  Need a low groundcover  Group 3: Color plants that looks fairly tidy  Mostly plants with good flower color  Take up 10-20% of area  Particularly important during Where would you put walkways? first several years What material would you use? © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 6
  7. 7. 1/7/2013 New CA Garden ‘Parking Strip Combo Creeping Barberry – Mahonia repens Palettes’ Based on sun, drainage & Water Zones Include a limited plant palette:  Heavy on evergreen species  All are low-growing  All are hardy on parking strips You can mix & match within a palette, depending on your needs Palettes can be used to create either a formal or informal design R.A. Howard @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Creeping Barberry – Mahonia repens In the wild – a groundcover plant  Western U.S. to S. Canada  In CA:  Foothills of the coastal ranges, Sierras  Locally: mountains in San Diego  Often on dry slopes or canyons in grasslands, shrublands, open forest  In many plant communities: riparian, sagebrush, chaparral, pinyon-juniper, mountain brush, oak, aspen, pine, and conifer communities © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 7
  8. 8. 1/7/2013 Characteristics of Creeping Mahonia Roots of Mahonia species are special  Size:  1-2 ft tall  spreading – 2-4 ft wide  Widely used as medicinal  Growth form:  as an antiseptic and healing wash or poultice on wounds, mahonia-repens-C2926  Sprawling woody shrub; spreads via stems (stolons or rhizomes) tincture of root scorpion bites  Evergreen  As a tea or tincture:  Rather stiff appearance  Coughs, fevers  Enteric infections, especially  Foliage: bacterial dysentery  Leaves holly-like  Kidney problems  Dark green; old leaves may turn purple/red in winter  Roots & bark produce a yellow natural dye  Roots: deep rooted; can resprout from root crowns© 1984, H. Tim Gladwin © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Flowers are showy against  Soils: the dark leaves Plant Requirements  Texture: any, including heavy clays  Blooms:  pH: any local; does fine with  In spring - usually Apr-May in acidic soils – OK under pines lower elevations of our area  Light:  Depends in part on temperature  Part-shade to full shade  Flowers:  Will flower and fruit best in part-  Bright, intense yellow shade (like under trees)  Small (1/3 inch or so); but in dense, showy clusters  Water:  Sweet scented – to attract the  Winter: good winter water native pollinators (bees, others)  Summer: Zone 2 once established; Zone 2-3 or 3 for  Fruits: first 1-2 years  Waxy blue when ripe  Tart – but make wonderful  Fertilizer: use an organic mulch jellies, sauces (pine needles are ideal)  Birds love them!! (robins, finches and towhees)  Other: tolerates heat; easy to grow © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDCharles Webber © California Academy of Sciences 8
  9. 9. 1/7/2013 Creeping Barberry Growing native  Most often used as a low woody groundcovers natural groundcover  Evergreen; low-growing  Choose a species with a  Easy to grow moderate growth rate (will live  Fills in to cover an area longer than quick-growers)  Interesting, attractive foliage  Space plants appropriately:  Bright spring flowers; winter  Distance should be ~ ¾ of the foliage color plant’s mature diameter – allows  Great under trees; other shady a little overlap areas  Can plant as close as ½ mature  In a woodsy garden; or creeping diameter for quicker cover over a low stone wall  Mulch, mulch, mulch  To attract fruit-eating birds  Weed regularly  Fine in pots/planters  Start selective pruning early  Anywhere you might consider  Consider using filler plants: (shudder) planting ivy  Short-lived grasses; Yarrow G.A. Cooper @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database  Annual wildflowers © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Native woody parking strips: one species Grasses, sedges and other or several groundcovers can provide  Single species:  More formal, tidy looking an interesting mix…..  Entire area has same cultural requirements  ? Easier to maintain  Looks more like a conventional ‘single species’ parking strip  Several (2-3) species:  More interesting: foliage, flowers  Better habitat value  May be smarter choice – even if one species doesn’t make it  Allows you to include a few (expensive; rare) species  May be more like ‘Mother Nature’s Garden’ © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 9
  10. 10. 1/7/2013 Kinnikinnick – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi In the mountains of CO, Creeping Mahonia often grows with Kinnickinnick © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Kinnikinnick – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi  Also commonly called Bear Berry  Found throughout the Northern Hemisphere:  N. Asia/Russia  N. Europe  In North America - from the northern half of California north to Alaska and across Canada and the northern United States to New England and Newfoundland.  In CA – mostly along the N. CA coast  Rocky outcrops, slopes, sandy soils, coastal dunes, chaparral, coniferous forest  Occurs in widely variable conditions © Project SOUND © Project SOUND,3454,3542 10
  11. 11. 1/7/2013 Kinnikinnick is another low-growing woody shrub Does well in sandy soils along the CA coast  Size:  < 1 ft tall  spreading: 3-15 ft wide  Growth form:  Evergreen woody shrub  Very low, dense growth – mat- like © 2007 Matt Below  Spreads by rooting stems  Foliage:  Like other Manzanitas  Leathery leaves; green but may become red-tinged in winter  Neat appearing – garden-like  Good antibacterial qualities: used for urinary, skin infections © Clayton J. Antieau © 2005 Steve Matson  Roots: fibrous; to 6+ feet depth © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Deer will browse Flowers & fruits are pure Kinnikinnick - well suited  Soils: Manzanita to garden conditions…  Texture: best in sandy soils, but fine in most well-drained soils  pH: any, including quite acidic –  Blooms: in spring; usually Mar- fine under pines May in our area  Light:  Flowers:  Best in part shade; tolerates full  Small; but in clusters shade (but less flowering)  Pink/white  Full sun only near immediate coast © 2007 Matt Below  Typical urn-shaped  Water:  Sweetly fragrant; attracts  Young plants: Zone 2-3 butterflies & hummingbirds  Winter: needs good water – deep roots  Fruits:  Summer: Zone 2-3 (best); Zone 2  Little red ‘apples’ in late ok once established summer/fall; very showy  Fertilizer: none  Yum! : birds eat them & you can  Other: delicate roots; don’t move or make jellies, sauces from them compact soilsG.A. Cooper @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 11
  12. 12. 1/7/2013 Mainly used as a low groundcover  Excellent groundcover under trees  Fine on parking strips in ‘Wood’s Compact’ virtually all local cities – very ‘Point Reyes’ low-growing & looks way better than ivy! Several cultivars  Looks nice cascading over a low retaining wall available  Combine with rocks ‘Green Supreme’  Nice in a large pot or planter – even on shady patios  Great on slopes – even steep ones!  Fine near the ocean ant_Catalog/SHRUBS/ © Project SOUND ‘Radiant’ ‘Pacific Mist’ © Project SOUND Management is easy… Tricks to keeping parking strip plants under the height limit  Choose naturally low-growing species/cultivars  Plant when plants are  Best: see the plant actually young – don’t move them growing under conditions  Mulch & weed until similar to yours established  Talk to knowledgeable nursery staff  Pinch/tip-prune when young to encourage  Start training the plants from Photo by Richard Old, fullness – early spring the beginning – selective pruning & pinching  Prune out dead/old branches after flowering  Remember Mother Nature’s in spring lessons:  Don’t over-water or over-  Easy to grow – few pest if fertilize appropriately watered ‘Little Sur’ Manzanita  Be sure plant gets adequate sunlight © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 12
  13. 13. 1/7/2013 A ‘Shady Woodland’ mix works well for many There also are mixes more suited to dryshady parking strips that need some summer water shady situations  Perfect under street trees that need little water (native oaks; Eucalyptus)  Combine low shrubby native groundcovers with:  Grasses/grass-like species  A few low shrubs  Even some native bulbs and flowering species  Look great in yards that use other CA native plants © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDWhat to do with ‘mixed light’ parking strips For well-drained sandy soils, choose native soil- binders as Backbone Plants  Try a ‘Dappled Shadeland’ garden  Yarrow (Achillea)  Choose 1-2 backbone species with wide light tolerances:  Strawberries  Yarrow (Fragaria)  Fragaria  Mix with sun- or shade-  Silverweed requiring species as Contrast & Accent species  Checkerbloom  Dichondra (Sidalcea  Argentina species)  flowering perennials & annual wildflowers (at least  Native dichondra until the other species fill in) © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 13
  14. 14. 1/7/2013 Formal or informal: Pacific Silverweed – Argentina egedii ssp. egedii the choice is yours (Potentilla anserina vars. grandis, pacifica)  Many plants in the ‘Parking Strip Combos’ palettes look equally good either way  Formal designs using CA native plants can be strikingly beautiful; refreshing  Remember that formal designs require more upkeep  Separate species with barriers  Be ruthless in keeping species in their proper places  Edging between your parking strip and the lawn next door © 2005 Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Pacific Silverweed – Argentina egedii ssp. egedii (Potentilla anserina vars. grandis, pacifica) Silverweed in nature  Wet to seasonally wet  Immediate west coast from areas: AK to Baja; also coasts in Asia  Coastal dunes & sandy  Name nightmares: bluffs  Formerly classified in the  Freshwater and genus Potentilla but has brackish marsh edges recently been reclassified into the new genus Argentina.  Estuaries & mudflats  Very closely related to  Wetland meadows Silverweed (A. anserina or Potentilla anserina), the only  Along streams other species in the genus),  Soils: sandy to clay; and is treated as a subspecies of it by Jepson, may also be rocky,6824,6825,6827 plant growers. © 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 14
  15. 15. 1/7/2013 Characteristics of Pacific Silverweed Cinquefoils (including  Size: Silverweed) & Strawberries  1 to 1 ½ ft tall  Spreading to 4-5 ft wide;  Close relatives – both in old plants die – replaced by Rose family: new  Somewhat similar leaves  Growth form:  Spread via runners –  Herbaceous perennial sometimes invasively so © 2004, Ben Legler  Spreads by stolons (ah ha – perfect for the (runners) producing new parking strip!) plantlets  Individual plants live only  Foliage: 2-3 year  Almost fern-like; showy  Flowers quite similar  Green above; silvery below except in color  Roots: soil-binding © 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Silverweed is easy  Soils: Bright, sunny flowers to please….  Texture: any well-drained sandy or clay soil  Blooms:  pH: any local  Spring/summer - usually in May-Aug in our area  Light:  Fairly long bloom period –  Full sun to light shade several months  Great in dappled sun under trees  Flowers:  Like strawberry – only yellow  Water: and a bit bigger.  Winter: needs good rains/water  On stalks above foliage  Summer: very adaptable; Zone 2  Close on cloudy days to 3; will die back in drought  Seeds:  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Dry – attached to a core  Other: tolerates winter flooding,  Fairly easy to start from seed seaside conditions, salty soils in winter/spring – no© 2005 Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy treatment © 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 15