En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Thursday - May 01, 2008

From: Murphysboro, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plants for narrow strip between sidewalk and fence
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a strip of land about 5 inches wide and 30 feet long -- between the fence and the sidewalk -- that I would like to plant something that would look nice and wouldn't require the weedeater every few days. The location receives full sun for most of the day.

ANSWER:

Here are a few suggestions for some low-growing plants that will fit nicely into your area. Some of them may overhang your sidewalk a bit; but, as long as it is relatively wide, they should work nicely. You could use any of them alone or mix them for variety. Also, you can see more possibilities on the Illinois Recommended page.

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Geranium maculatum (spotted geranium)

Geum triflorum (old man's whiskers)

Heuchera richardsonii (Richardson's alumroot)

Phlox pilosa (downy phlox)

Sisyrinchium campestre (prairie blue-eyed grass)

The following plant prefers shade or part shade so it may or may not work in your strip, but it does make a nice groundcover.

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)


Carex pensylvanica

Fragaria virginiana

Coreopsis lanceolata

Geranium maculatum

Geum triflorum

Heuchera richardsonii

Phlox pilosa

Sisyrinchium campestre

Mitchella repens

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native replacement for non-native Bermudagrass in Leander TX
October 16, 2011 - We have Bermuda grass. Large patches have died due to the drought and our yard has been taken over by weeds and St. Augustine grass whose seeds must have blown in. Even when the grass was in great con...
view the full question and answer

Surface tree roots hurting grass in Houston
March 21, 2013 - We have 2 mature Arizona Ash trees in our yard (30-40'). One of them is in a sunnier location and has developed an extensive network of surface roots (up to 1 to 1 1/2" Dia.) between the tree and th...
view the full question and answer

Erosion prevention on shady Pennsylvania stream
July 28, 2011 - I'm looking for a few species to plant along a stream channel to help reduce erosion during heavy rains. The soil is moist and in full shade. Ferns and thorny bushes are the only current vegetation...
view the full question and answer

Ornamental bunch grasses to grow under live oak
June 25, 2007 - I love live oak trees and have one in the back yard that is growing nicely. I don't know if it's the shade or the leaf and acorn droppings that won't allow the grass to grow underneath it. Around...
view the full question and answer

Plants for area around pool in Plano, Texas
October 13, 2009 - I just built an in ground pool in Plano, Texas and now want to landscape around it on my own. I am curious what plants/shrubs you recommend. There will be plants/shrubs on three sides of the pool. ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center