The space between your sidewalk and the street doesn't have to be blank and boring. Fill it with colorful, fuss-free native plants that will even attract pollinators.

By Viveka Neveln
Updated February 09, 2021

It's possible to create a beautiful garden in a challenging spot along a sun-drenched curb; you just need to use tough plants that can tolerate heat and drought well. This easy street-side garden plan relies on a mix of native perennials that do just that, plus they'll create an oasis of colorful blooms and foliage that will look good all summer long. Bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects will also appreciate the abundance of nectar-rich flowers. A few fall-blooming natives such as aster, goldenrod, and turtlehead will extend the floral show until frost, as well as provide food for many pollinators that are still out foraging until winter begins.

Easy Streetside Garden Plan illustration with curb and sidewalk
Credit: Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

Plants for Creating the Easy Street-Side Garden Plan

  • 6 Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata ‘Shortwood’): Zones 4-8
  • 4 Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis): Zones 3-9
  • 5 Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’): Zones 3-9
  • 5 Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea): Zones 3-8
  • 3 Smooth aster (Aster laevis ‘Bluebird’): Zones 3-9
  • 4 Bee balm (Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline’): Zones 4-10
  • 4 New England blazing star (Liatris scariosa var. novae-angliae): Zones 4-8
  • 4 Rough-stem goldenrod (Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’): Zones 4-9
  • 2 Ox eye daisy (Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Summer Nights’): Zones 3-9
  • 3 Turtlehead (Chelone glabra): Zones 3-8

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting.

Get the Free Easy Street-Side Garden Plan

The garden plan for this design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

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