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Thoughts on planting on city way?

Posted by kimcoco Zone 5, Wisconsin (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 14:15

I'm going to be replacing some white variegated mature hostas this spring, with a different variety that I like better. I have no where else to go with the existing mature ones, and don't want to give them up because they are mature, and create a nice massing when planted together.

I was thinking of planting them on the city way (the other side of the sidewalk). We have a difficult time growing grass there anyway due to the large maple tree, so we'd have to amend the soil somewhat, but I'd basically plant them together in one large mass of variegated, one type hostas.

I can't decide, so I'm taking a poll on what your thoughts are on planting on the city way.

I'm not really into cottage gardening, and I typically don't like it when I've seen other people plant on the city way, but mostly it was tall cottage style plants that, in my personal opinion and based on my own personal preferences, did nothing to enhance the property or landscaping, due to the height of the plants (tall). My landscape style is more formal than informal.

In this case, I'd have hostas on the city way, but my property has a small lannonstone retaining wall topped with a row of boxood hedge, with a pachysandra planting bed at the base of it next to the city walkway, so I'm thinking the hosta bed across from that won't look bad.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Thoughts on planting on city way?

  • Posted by tibs 5/6 OH (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 19:11

Is there parking on that side of the street that people will be getting out of the passanger side of the car and stomping on the hostas? How do hostas handle road salt? The city does technically own that strip and can come in anytime and tear it up to do repairs to any infrastructure that might be underground. But they are free plants and not a specialty hosta, so if no parking, I'd say go for it.

RE: Thoughts on planting on city way?

  • Posted by kimcoco Zone 5, Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 9, 10 at 11:26

Very good points.

They aren't expensive hostas, if I lost them I wouldn't be heartbroken.

We do have a walkway to the curb, so the hostas would be planted next to that. I could leave an open strip next to the curb.

I don't know how hostas handle road salt. I'll have to look into that.

RE: Thoughts on planting on city way?

Funny, I drafted up a reply yesterday and forgot to post it. I had some of what tibs said.

I think it would look great while the hostas are doing their thing. In fact it will likely be fine all the time as long as bare in winter will work. The emerging tips in spring will be particularly vulnerable if people walk across it. A strip of pavers right be the road and maybe some rocks next to the plants might help keep them out.

They'll need to be watered a bit to get established too, and maybe longer term due to the maples.

Do you get litter? It's not always easy to garden out there. It's called a hellstrip for good reason :-)


RE: Thoughts on planting on city way?

  • Posted by kimcoco Zone 5, Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 10, 10 at 13:46

Yeah, I'm thinking they'll need more moisture and won't stay as large in this area as they are in other areas of my yard...due to less moisture around the tree. We get some litter from the trees, but nothing unmanagable. The biggest obstacle I think is the poor soil quality. I had a heck of a time digging just to put pavers in for a walkway to the curb.

The only main traffic I think will be dog walkers. Some people let their dogs walk over any and every plant, I don't get that, I let my dogs go on the easement grass areas. I've gone as far as to put "pesticide application" signs on my pachysandra beds next to the city walkway. LOL. I don't care if the little dogs are on my plants, but those monstrous dogs do damage. I've tapped on my window one time when someone was walking their dog on a 20 foot leash and he's trampling all over my plants in my front yard (oh my goodness, I've turned into one of THOSE ladies...LOL!) I don't care that much about the hostas, they're pretty indestructible, and it's technically city property anyway.

RE: Thoughts on planting on city way?

you may want to check with your city, around here it is illegal to plant anything but grass between the sidewalk and the street. if they say it is ok, then go for it. if not, well the phone call was easier than having to dig it all back up and restore the strip!

RE: Thoughts on planting on city way?

  • Posted by rhodium New England Z6 (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 11, 10 at 12:21

Plant whatever you like, but won't mind if it's lost... something green will be better than compacted dirt and cigarette butts!

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