Many homes feature a strip of land between the sidewalk and the curb. While some homeowners leave this strip bare, the sidewalk garden has potential to enhance your home's curb appeal. You might not necessarily want to add to your front lawn because mowing this strip can be tricky. However, a mixture of landscaping and, especially, hardscaping can add low-maintenance beauty.
One option for hardscaping your sidewalk garden is to install pavers in that area. Start with natural stone pavers that complement the façade of your home. For example, the warm tones in gold quartzite ledgestone could complement warm hues in your siding or trim. You could have the pavers mortared or simply set in the ground.
You don't have to cover over the area completely. You could install a mix of stone pavers and landscaping or gravel. For instance, you could emphasize the square shape of sawtooth granite pavers by surrounding them with pea gravel or hardy groundcover plants. For a more modern effect, pick square concrete pavers.
Add Decorative Rocks
Another method for adding visual interest to your sidewalk garden is by adding decorative rocks. These rocks can be part of your paved hardscaping, such as by installing eye-catching rock at irregular intervals within your pavers. You can also choose a selection of decorative rocks to place in the strip as a visual anchor for landscaping.
Design a Rock Garden
To that end, if you're using decorative rocks for your sidewalk planting bed, you could design a rock garden. You'll need an odd number of rocks in different sizes - just be sure they're scaled to the narrow strip of land. Consider what style of rock garden you want. The styles can range from naturalistic mountain garden to formal manicured garden.
In fact, try mapping out your garden ahead of time. Choose where you'll put your decorative rocks. You may even add in gravel for the planting bed. Consider what kinds of plants you want to intersperse with the rocks. Remember, they should have similar soil, water, and sun needs so they all thrive.
Pick Low-Maintenance Plants
In that vein, if you don't want your sidewalk garden to add to your yard maintenance, consider planting low-maintenance plants. Succulents and cactuses work well if you have a sunny area and want a Southwesternstyle garden. Wildflowers and prairie grasses look charming for a mountain garden. Hostas are ideal for shady areas.
Consider a Raised Planting Bed
Another option for a more formal rock garden is to erect a raised planting bed. This method works well if your house is on a slope or if the sidewalk garden is a little wider - the raised bed takes up more space. You can plant low-maintenance plants or use the raised bed as a chance to design a formal-style garden.
Indeed, if you want a high, formal-looking planting bed, you'll probably start with a cinderblock core. The construction method is similar to building a retaining wall except you don't really need rebar reinforcements. You'll finish the cinderblock in stone or brick veneer. For a rustic planting bed, you can simply choose flat rocks that you stack into a low bed.
Create a Walkway
One problem that can arise with a sidewalk garden is people walking all over it to get from the street to the sidewalk. If you're installing planters, you probably won't have much of a problem. However, with landscaping, you'll want to add a walkway. You can create an attractive effect with natural stone pavers in a gentle arc from the street to the sidewalk.
Hardscaping and landscaping add curb appeal to your front yard. You can utilize both to beautify your sidewalk garden. Visit The Rock Garden for your hardscaping supplies.