Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Ski Trellis September 21, 2008

This has got to be one of the niftiest, most creative ideas for repurposing something old and worn-out into a useful garden structure. I used to walk by this in our old neighborhood, and made a trip back there yesterday to see if it was still there – and it was!

Ski Trellis

The gardeners, who have a wildly colorful Victorian-style house on a fairly busy Seattle street, complete with a chicken coop and a woodshed (very country-in-the-city), have turned their side parking strip into a raspberry patch with the help of two pair of old downhill skis, a few bolts, and some wire.

The skis are sunk into the ground on either side of a narrow bed, and each pair of skis has been drilled and bolted together at the top:

Ski Trellis Close-up II

There are smaller holes drilled below the bolts, so that the wire could be threaded through, as shown here:

Ski Trellis Close-up

The look is whimsical and has never failed to make me smile when I pass it. It’s also super sturdy, I think it’s been there for at least 6 years and probably longer than that. Neighbors seem to respect the berries and not pick, as there were many still clinging to the vines even though the leaves are now showing their fall colors and getting ready to let go.

Parking Strip Raspberries

Do you have a favorite recycled/reused/repurposed thing you’ve used yourself or seen in someone else’s garden?


Streetberries August 21, 2008

Here is proof that you CAN plant tasty berries in your parking strip, at least in my corner of Seattle, and you will probably have some left for yourself even after any greedy birds or humans have had a taste.

These folks have had a raspberry patch going in their hillside raised bed for a few years running. The canes are pretty tall, almost like a forest, and it seems like the berries are allowed to ripen largely unmolested:

Raspberry sidewalk

Late-summer blueberries fresh from the bush are one of life’s purest joys. But how to ensure that you have enough to put in a pie or at least on your cereal? Here is one street gardener’s solution: raised bed + stakes + netting = happy harvesting.

Protected blueberries

Finally, here is the bravest soul of all – a neighbor dug out a small patch of the parking strip grass and planted a strawberry bed. It’s ringed with a sweet basket-weave fence and gets a ton of sun. Do they get any berries? I hope so!

Street strawberries

Has anyone else tried raising such tempting treats on the street? How’s it going?