Who says that major city thoroughfares and nice streetside plantings can’t mix? Someone in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood decided to buck the trend of boring parking strips along the busiest street in the sector, 45th Ave, and put in something really enjoyable to walk past. This strip is actually in two sections, separated by a crosswalk.
Even though cars, trucks, and buses thunder by regularly to and from the freeway, the neighborhood is actually very walkable and having some nice perennials to look at on the way distracts from the vehicular noise.
I kind of wish I could go back and start over in my own parking strip, choose plants more carefully and intelligently and have something harmonious like this. It does look like a designer was involved, but in a good way.
Epimediums, barberries, and small-leaf hebes are all tough, drought-tolerant plants that should need little or no care throughout the year. Grasses like the blue fescue below and a mass of Carex morowii ‘Ice Dance’ on the edge (guessing on that one) are also able to take the heat and keep looking good.
In the second part of the strip, purple spikes of Linaria harmonize with silvery groundcover and the brilliant orange of California poppies.
I missed the neighborhood garden tour, as it happened when I was on kid duty all day and I didn’t think she could hack it. Plus, $15 per person, maybe another year. Did any of you locals go?