Landscaping Around a Sidewalk

nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)November 1, 2011

Because I seem to be running out of room I'm considering planting along the front sidewalk that leads to the front door. I'm sure others who are more creative would know where to extend the existing beds, but I'm not entirely sure what would look good.

So, if I decide to plant shrubs, perennials, etc., how would you suggest I do it? One thing I'd like is something like a bird's nest spruce. Other than that, do I plant perennials close together, far apart with annuals between, or is planting on the edges of a sidewalk the "old lady" thing to do? If not, suggestions and even pictures are more than welcome =:)

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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

A mixed "cottage garden" along a sidewalk can look great. I would recommend planting things that either don't spread/lean, or are very low creeping. As you know I planted a bunch of hostas inside my sidewalk loop and I was careful to keep the large ones to the inside. Nobody wants to walk around plants to deliver your mail. It won't look old lady-ish as long as it's not a foot wide strip with a single bedding plant planted every 6 inches.

Also consider carefully if anyone is going to take shortcuts through the garden. And will you need to get your lawn mower across. Stuff like that.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 1:15PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Oh yeah also don't plant lilies near where people walk because most of them have horrible staining pollen.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 2:34PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I have annuals along my sidewalk, but i always end up with tall bushy ones there - cleome and lavatera - and every year i tell myself i'll remember not to do that, but it seems to happen. One bed is kind of under the cherry tree, and because there were two cherries on either side of the sidewalk, that one ended up being quite shaded, so i used to put nice well-behaved impatiens there. But that tree is dying out and the other one is almost completely gone (though it has a little one coming up), so neither of those beds are shady anymore.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 2:47PM
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Good point about the lilies.

"A foot wide strip with a single bedding plant planted every 6 inches". LOL ! I'll be careful =:)

I had thought of some type of creeping evergreen with annuals such as impatiens, as parts of the walk don't get a lot of sun. I'll have to look up a picture of cleome. I've never grown those.

There'll be a fair amount of snow dumped to the side during the winter. I've never had creeping evergreens. Can they take that? Are there any low growing perennials that can stand that type of abuse?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 10:01PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Creeping evergreens like dumped snow. Sounds like a nice idea. I hate keeping them weeded, personally, though.

Someone on my street has a thin geometric border of extremely neat & tidy anemones that goes all along their sidewalk and around a tree. (those invasive spring blooming white ones) I had never noticed how nice they look in and out of bloom, even into the fall. They also keep their grass perfect and everything perfectly edged. It's not something I would do but it looks quite nice in its way.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 10:28PM
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Hey, I found it. There's a post in the gallery titled "Gardens week of June 13, 2010" from Northspruce. It's the post that's third from the bottom of the first page. Lots of beautiful pictures.

In there is a picture of Laurie's house and front sidewalk. That's basically what I'm talking about if you make the sidewalk straight all the way to the step.

I apologize for a post that didn't have as much information as it could have from the beginning. =:)

I was thinking of putting a bird's nest spruce in the curve to the left, but other than that, I'm not sure.

Any changes to the previous suggestions now that you've seen it?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 11:40PM
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Pudge 2b

I love those birds nest spruce and it's in my eventual plan for the border along our driveway. Some creeping evergreens really spread quickly so unless your beds are 6' or more wide, they may be an issue in about 3-5 years time. The birds nest grows very slowly, I believe.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 11:42AM
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