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Better Than Grass: 10 Ways to Landscape a Parkway (That Space Between the Sidewalk and the Street)

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When is comes to landscaping, the parkway is usually last on everyone’s list. You know what a parkway is–sometimes called a parking strip–it’s that crabby patch of no-man’s lawn that runs between the curb and sidewalk in front of the house. Most people technically don’t even own it–it’s usually city property. It’s why many homeowners are finding creative ways to redo the space with drought-tolerant greens (rather than thirsty sod). Here’s a look at a few parkways with total curb appeal…


1. This parkway in Brentwood, California features decomposed granite (DG), paver stones, a jacaranda tree (spray-painted silver with a lantern powered from the main house). The sweetest personalized detail is the bench the homeowner installed with a placard honoring her dog who passed away. Now neighboring pups and their humans can sit and take a breather during an afternoon stroll.


2. This homeowner in Venice, California has no use for grass whatsoever. She transformed her lawn into veggie beds and didn’t stop there. Her parkway is also a rotating patch of edible blooms and herbs.


3. This sweet VW bus looks picturesque parked in front of a desertscape parkway. It’s part gravel and part DG with wispy feather grass and a hearty agave that require little water.


4. This commercial property is hip to the DG trend. It features flowering groundcover and blooming succulents for a small, but mighty pop of color.


5. Drought-tolerant planting doesn’t necessarily mean desertscape design. The dymondia groundcover in this parkway is part of the daisy family and has a similar texture to grass. Photo: David Felix Landscape Design


6. Rugged paver stones, woodchip mulch, and a mix of colorful plants and shrubs at varying heights give this parkway lots of dimension, but require little maintenance.


7. They rocked it out on this one.


8. The continuation of lush rolling greens and scattered bursts of blooms from the front lawn onto the parkway creates the illusion of a huge front yard meadow. Photo: Jocelyn H. Chilvers


9. It is a parkway after all, so why not park something on it, like bikes. This restaurant located in a bike-friendly neighborhood anchored a railing into cinder blocks for a unique and functional bike lock.


10. For the traditionalists, a modern parkway with welcoming pavers. Very mid-century. Photo: Earthscape Design Group

All photos Nicole Reed except where noted.

Nicole Reed is the founding editor of Lincoln & Rose, sharing stories behind the storefronts. Her published work comes in print, pixels and all shapes and sizes. She lives in Venice, California with her husband, two black cats and one white dog.

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