Landscape design – fatal flaw

So many great answers…so many problems with this landscape!  Everyone who made a comment was spot on in their reasoning.  And each of these flaws was completely preventable with good design.  But I’m not sure I would have been able to predict the problem that I now see every week at this location:

his area is the only access point for service vehicles of any persuasion. And sometimes they DO park on top of the planting strip.  Fred’s designation of these ground covers as “Stompus flatii” was perfect!

Lesson to be learned:  sometimes it’s best NOT to have planting strips if they clash with the realities of site use.

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - Books:

3 thoughts on “Landscape design – fatal flaw”

  1. Though I will say that the curb shown most likely helps keep down the number of vehicles running up into the planting strip…Our street has no curb, and the planting strips are a mess of crabgrass and bare earth. (One of our neighbors even runs his pickup-attached snowplow up off the street onto the planting strip, over the sidewalk, and onto his front lawn — it’s an efficient way to make parking for his kids’ cars, but boy, does that planting strip look like hell when the snow melts!)

  2. You’re right about the curb, Deb…but intrepid drivers (especially moving vans) go the the end of the sidewalk, which is conveniently graded for wheelchairs. Makes a great truck ramp!

  3. Would it work to take out that “parking strip” and a third of that large sidewalk to have actual parking space? I thought that’s why parking strips where there in the first place – in case the road needs to be widened.

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