Planting to deter parking on front lawn

uniqeni(3)May 20, 2011

I am new to the forum here and fairly new to gardening in general. I live in Vermont state on Lake Champlain. We live year round in an area where there are alot of seasonal residents. That being said they like to have company at their camps and a lot of their company tends to use a 100ft stretch of our front lawn for their personal parking lot. We would like to put in some kind of flowers/plants to deter them from parking over here. I would like suggestions on what may work best, spacing, etc.

We have 100ft of Thuja occidentalis?? seedlings that were just planted about 10ft from the roadside so we would like something in front of that.

We have asked them not to park on our lawn however our voices go unheard.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can't say enough about the value of ROCKS in a situation like this ...

Now, I'm not saying you should cover your front yard with knee-high boulders, but some people will park even on top of herbaceous perennials. And I'm guessing the road gets plowed every winter so you don't want to do something with woody stems that will be squished by big snowbanks.

I would do rocks at least 1' tall and hopefully 2' wide. Space them about 10' apart - too close for someone to park in between them. Then fill in the space between the rocks with perennials that die back in the winter and are salt tolerant. I'm not sure about the zone you are in, but a couple plants that I've had good luck with near road sand & salt are Veronica Peduncularis (little blue flowers in the spring, good to zone 4) and some daylilies.

You can buy Veronica P in many places, I had good luck with the plants I purchased from Classy Groundcovers. They grew in rapidly to cover an area between our stone wall & the road, and they survived many winters of salt & sand. They are still going strong (I drive by that house now and then, we moved). I mention CG b/c it sounds like you have a large area to fill and it can be tough to find 50+ plants in stock at local nurseries.

If you don't want to do rocks but do want to deter parking, consider a very thorny shrub like Rosa Rugosa. They also tolerate sand & salt, but will suffer from having snow plowed into them. You'll likely have to prune out the damage each spring and could wind up with a ragged looking shrub line. However, people who park close to them & open their car door will probably scratch their paint (and at least their shins) so they are a deterrent. I'd really go with the rocks, though. It's the easiest solution and if you landscape around them it can really look nice.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 5:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maiden Gras 10'O.C. is what I'm doing at a condo development. Rocks can equal damage or personal injury, especially if that area is in the road layout rather than your property.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 6:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ebeth(z8 FL)

Good point. You might want to check your survey to see if the roadside is really your property. If it is, then a nice, decorative fence placed on your property line would do the trick. If you can't afford to do the whole front, do an interrupted fence where sections of fence are spaced between landscaping.
If the roadside is not yours, then a fence will help you keep from thinking that it IS yours. Not yours=not yours to maintain, either.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 7:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
karinl(BC Z8)

So I'm going to go against the flow here and suggest that you consider the advantages of going with the flow. That is, of actually allowing them to park and maintaining the space in a condition that they can do so.

Here's why. What I'm hearing is that this is a problem for you perhaps four months of the year. What will they do if they can't park at your place? Park on the actual roadway and become a traffic hazard, leading to sundry accidents, possibly the death of small children? Park on the neighbours' property, thus spreading the problem? Walk up the road in the dark and become fatalities themselves? They will park, since they've come that far in their cars. The question I would ask is, how does it most benefit the whole community, seasonal and permanent, for them to do so?

You could go to your municipality with the problem, if it isn't already a perennial topic. Chances are your local economy - the businesses that depend on the seasonal customers to be able to be there serving your needs year-round - would support the municipality buying or building some parking space in likely areas. Perhaps you could even be a beneficiary of that. Or heck, if it is truly your property, be an entrepreneur yourself and charge for parking, as the residents near our city's annual fair do: "Parking, five dollah!" is the seasonal cry at the roadside hawking their back yards (actually it's ten now) (and true, some residents hate it while others make hay). If they don't pay, have 'em towed, and charge them.

Actually, some signs threatening a tow are probably your best landscaping bet if you are really sure you don't want them.

But you know, as it happens I was in Point Roberts this morning as a visitor; there's another community mixing seasonal and permanent residents. There is a sign pointing to a beach, so I drove down that way, curious. I found a beautiful beach, where I would have gotten out, bought lunch if there had been a cafe, enjoyed the sun and the view (which this morning included three eagles sitting on the sand bars that had been exposed by the low tide). But... "no parking any time," and no sign of any interest in having me visit. So I left. I'm sure it was more peaceful after I left. But I didn't leave any money behind, nor am I likely to be back on that stretch.

I guess my point is... making visitors welcome might have an upside (unless these are boozing hooligans who pee in your bushes, in which case your local constabulary should be able to take care of them for you).


    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 8:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How 'bout, they park on the lawn or an expanded driveway of the people whom they are visiting! There is no reason for the OP to feel obligated to provide for others.

I live in a seasonal region and know that this is a big issue. One of the issues is that these houses get rented out to people who don't care about anything except their week long party. You have teenagers fighting over girls on your lawn, empties, puke, and all kinds of other things that go with it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 8:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
karinl(BC Z8)

Yes, but the OP didn't say all that, so I was assuming the best in my fellow humans :-) Sorry, momentary lapse.

The picture from the seasonal communities I know (and I know some very well) is that many people wouldn't be able to live in them year-round if it weren't for the contribution of and needs of the seasonal (and weekend) population. To keep that population mannerly is one thing, to try to either shut them out or chase them away is maybe self-defeating, as well as futile.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 9:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marquest(z5 PA)

I agree a sign should be the first thing you plant. "No Trespassing" and "Private Property". Then plant your boulders.

This is for your protection. If anyone is hurt on your property you are responsible. They can end up owning your front lawn and your house.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 11:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Friend has nice place on river where you can get on boat & go over to gambling casinos. People were parking all over her nicely landscaped area outside her fence. Police wouldn't do a thing. I suggested rocks & some good sized ones were placed among the plants & shrubs. End of problem. They now park in their own yard & make bare spots there,

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 1:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Plants alone will not do it - they will drive over the plants. A nice grouping of 400-800 lb granite boulders placed amongst the flowers should work.

I had a problem with a small strip between alley and driveway - one guy down the street cut corners and drove across it. Three large boulders later, the problem ended.

And he had a very large gouge in the door of his prized pickup, right at the height of the boulder on the end. :)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 12:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
natal(Louisiana 8b)

Park on the actual roadway and become a traffic hazard, leading to sundry accidents, possibly the death of small children? Park on the neighbours' property, thus spreading the problem? Walk up the road in the dark and become fatalities themselves?

That takes the cake!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 12:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lazygardens - that reminds me of the time a Corvette was being driven by an idiot who hit our mailbox. Our mailbox was held in the ground with one of those 4' long metal spike-things because the ground was so rocky we couldn't dig a good sized hole to bury the 4" post easily, so we drive the metal fence-post holder in the ground & set the mailbox post in that.

Anyways, DH heard someone having a hard time with their car but sort of ignored it. After about 10 min he looked outside, saw the Corvette, and just as he was about to go help the guy the car took off. That's when DH noticed the "car in trouble" was parked where our mailbox used to be. Grrrr.

However, we found some lovely chunks of body panels that had gotten caught on that metal post-holder thing (which was half-pulled out of the ground and bent at a 90 degree angle). I laughed - sure, our mailbox replacement was going to cost us $50 and a couple hours ... but the damage to that guy's car was probably in the $1000 range. The "car in trouble" sounds we heard were that guy trying to get his car disconnected from the mailbox post, he was backing up and charging forward in an attempt to break free.

I still smile when I think about that. I bet you smile when you think about the truck vs. boulder incident :)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 4:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It would be nice to protect the cedar hedge so a line of sizable boulders (aplenty in that neck of the woods) in front of them would be my suggestion. The rest: give it up to the motor car god.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 6:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

KarinL : I would love to be a good neighbor and allow parking on my property the only issue I have, the seasonal neighbors that we have all opted NOT to have driveways so instead of having their visitors park on their lawns they advise them to park across the road on ours. So I am not entirely sympathetic to them. If they had an excess of company and not enough room on theirs I would be entirely happy to let them use our driveway since we have plent of room for vehicles if needed. I like the ideas of boulders but here it is pretty wet so I didnt think it would work out, I did entertain the idea of concrete flower pots spaced apart but figured after a year of being in wet soggy ground it may lean and not look so nice after awhile. I live in zone 5? I think.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I doubt the concrete flower pots would provide much deterrence to rude drivers determined to stash their cars on someone else's property. Anyway, you've got 100' to cover: have you priced those things?

If not boulders, consider big chunks of tree trunk. When the thujas grow large enough to fend for themselves, you can chop up the trunks for firewood.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
IRuehl(8b-9a, Savannah GA)

What about the good ole not trespassing signs, or the "trespassers will be shot" every 20' or so, just sayin!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
IRuehl(8b-9a, Savannah GA)

"No Trespassing" LOL, not "Not Trespassing" MORE COFFEE!!!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Get round-ish rocks. If they lean, so what.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 2:44PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Raised Garden Bed Construction Help
Hello Everyone! What wonderful help! I've built about...
Garden Chickee
Landscaping ideas - Need help with suggestions of plants please
We would like to seek help in filling our concrete...
Front yard design help
Looking to finally put some plants in the front yard....
Matt Johnston
Trying to design a border in front of elevated deck
I want to plant several shrubs in front of my elevated...
Sponsored Products
Cottonwood Falls Black Stone Blackened Wall Fountain
Lamps Plus
Mies van der Rohe: Barcelona Loveseat
Modern Classics Furniture
Mercer Mantel Clock
$145.69 | Bellacor
Trademark Global 14 in. Pontiac Firebird Black Chrome Double Ring Neon Wall Cloc
$73.52 | Home Depot
American Diner Collection Cup Pull
Signature Hardware
Presto Cool Touch Griddle
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™