Landscape Design

Lawn Alternatives for a Parkstrip

Desert Four 'O Clocks in Parkstrip


Parkstrips offer up a low-risk way to try out waterwise plants.  The perimeters are already defined by concrete around it and it’s a reasonably small area.  Did you know that lawn planted within 1′ of concrete can take up to 5 times more water to keep green because of the increased heat? No wonder it’s so hard to keep parkstrips looking good here!

If you opt to go with plantings in the parkstrip, make sure to place stone or paver walk through areas where car doors would open for cars parked on the street or it can be difficult for guests.  I would also recommend against brittle succulents than can be damaged by foot traffic and errant basketballs- both of which are inevitable!

Varieties of Creeping Thyme Fill A Residential Park Strip

Another alternative is to go with a simple ‘lawn’ look look Creeping Thyme.  And I’ll apologize now for the picture quality above- it certainly doesn’t do the look justice! Go with one variety if you want a unified look or expand the palate to several cultivars with different foliage/ flowers to spice things up!  Creeping Thyme can handle some abuse and can be walked on- though not as frequently as grass.  Once established, no additional water is required! Woo!

However you plant the parkstrip, make sure plants stay less than 3 feet tall- or short enough for a seated driver to be able to see over the plants.  This is a typical requirement in most municipalities and is in place to assure drivers can SEE potential danger before finding it (or a small child) the hard way.

My favorite look for parkstrips are a mix of low-maintenance waterwise perennials.  I’ll do a separate post about them later as it will likely be a lengthy topic!

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  • Gardener
    February 16, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    My mom did this with hers years ago. I’ve always loved how it stands out on the block.

  • Elisa
    April 11, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I currently have THE LONGEST parking strips in the history of parking stripdom… I want to plant trees in my parking strips to shade the front of the house and just be different. Thoughts?