Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Greening your city

I don't live in a large city, but I'd like us to do more to green the streetscapes and business landscapes.

Portland isn't perfect, but their street plantings, "hell strip" plantings (that's the strip between the street and sidewalk), and containers are a big improvement from what I normally see.

Of course Portland has the perfect benign climate for container plantings, and tough site plantings.

But, this is what I saw in the downtown Pearl District of Portland today, and think about what you could encourage in your community. I know I'll be going home with good ideas about what to try.


  1. It's a beautifully planted city...I do wish that Nashville , my city, would embrace the planting of native plants more...


  2. It's obvious that all those plantings are receiving plenty of moisture. Here in the Upstate they would have to be watered during our drought. Even native plants haven't been getting the moisture they need!


  3. You're right, Nancy, of course, but here in Portland, it doesn't rain in the summer much at all. These must be watered by whomever cares for them.

    These were largely herbaceous plantings, but many of the large containers are planted with conifers and shrubs (much more forgiving of dry weather).

    I'm thinking we need to encourage greening urban and suburban areas with tough, largely native, drought-tolerant, and wildlife-supporting plantings and not necessarily in containers (which DO require extra care). I love the idea of guerrilla gardening, though, with 'volunteers' taking care of plantings.

  4. Plantings do so much to soften the stony face of a city.
    I was amazed how well DC does it--a beautiful place to visit this time of year.
    Portland, too.


Please share your thoughts. I enjoy hearing from fellow nature observers, as well as whomever else drops by.

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