I passed this parking strip garden on a walk earlier this month, and although I’m sure it’s lusher and more filled-in-looking in summer, I was curious to see what “winter interest” was growing that could perhaps be added to my currently quite barren strip.
I thought it was interesting the way soil had been added to create several berms, which is one solution to the problem of soil compaction that so bedevils gardens in this part of the streetscape.
I have considered putting in berms but have always balked for some reason, maybe I just don’t like the humped-up look. Then again, an expanse of flat ground can be pretty boring without something to break it up, especially in winter. I kind of like wavy berms, rather than one big bump that looks like something’s buried underneath.
Ann Lovejoy, one of my favorite garden writers, has a brief article about berm-building here. It’s notes for a class she gave a while back, wish I could have attended!
This garden could have been meticulously planned out for all I know, but I liked the way it looked pretty casual, like maybe I could do it too if I just got a few more plants into the ground that would live through the winter. Nothing too show-stopping, but many different species of grasses, euphobias, sage, and probably a lot of stuff that’s under the ground at the moment, judging by the spent flower stalks and seed heads still visible.
Some of the euphorbias had lovely strong colors on their “flowers” – sorry, not sure of any varieties here.
Cute grasses, maybe a blue fescue and a copper sedge?
What is this, purple orach? Can that grow in the NW in mid-winter? Cool, if so!
The City of Seattle says not to put un-cemented stones in the parking strip (for fear someone could chuck one through a car window or friend’s head, I guess) but these folks did it anyway. The rocks might have been unearthed while digging up the garden beds, I know I have found quite a few that way.
What’s your take on Berm Theory? Any fans of this form of gardening?