by germinatrix | May 10th, 2010
There is a strip -
A place between the sidewalk and the street. It is a BAD place. It has been dubbed “The Hellstrip” ( Word has it that author Laurel Springer was the first to call it that – what a genius. So appropriate!)
Mine has been empty, full of crabgrass, forever. But inspired by ESP (Mr. East Side Patch himself), I tackled the hellstrip – but instead of just grasses and succulents, like I’d planned, I threw a curveball. Temporary raised edible beds, right out there in the most public of places, for all the world to see!
I did this as an experiment. I live one block away from a big public highschool full of bad-ass teenagers. I live on a corner of a busy street – lots of cars pass by, and on weekends troublemakers have been known to park right here next to my hellstrip and drink their 40 oz of whatever (I usually find the evidence of this marauding on Sunday morning). So these edible beds are NOT expected to be respected – BUT, I am hoping for the best.
The response from neighbors has been astounding. I thought people would hate the look of the corrugated beds. I wanted something easy to put together, and that could be quickly taken apart should the city “powers-that-be” decide I am being too subversive ( well, more like I’m getting in the way of some tree trimming or something). so I chose this humble metal building material. I wanted it to look somewhere between country and modern – I think they do that! My neighbors have been stopping me and asking so many questions – and they have been pledging vigilance. I feel like they are all taking ownership of these edible beds! And that makes me determined to share whatever bounty the varmints, both critter AND human, allow these beds to give.
I’ve put agaves and nasella in between the beds – right now they are tiny … the kids going to school and people getting out of their cars can easily walk in the hellstrip right now – but by next year, they will find it a little harder. I’m planning on putting in more grasses and then finishing with a layer of decomposed granite – I DO have to think about this as an access as well as a planting. Otherwise I would have planted the HELL out of this strip!
This is one of my favorite things – using the existing sign, which I’ve always HATED because I see it from inside my back garden and it ruins the illusion of Shangri-La. Now I love the sign, because I’ve turned it into a bean pole and incorporated it into my scheme of “world domination”! Or at least “neighborhood domination”! If half of the people who have told me that they want to utilize their hellstrips for the same purpose actually do something like this, I will be so THRILLED!
So cross your fingers for me, everybody! It is just a baby, and it needs to grow, but if it works out and the marauders take it easy on me – then my faith in mankind will be re-solidified. I can’t wait to see what happens, and as usual, I will keep you posted!
XOXO your Germinatrix!!!