Tuesday, February 28, 2017


The Sidewalk Garden borders the sidewalk on the north side of the Extension Dane County office building, along Fen Oak Drive.  The garden offers “curb appeal” to both pedestrians and drivers.  Sidewalk gardens, like boulevard gardens, tend to be tough sites known for dry soil and salt from the winter.  Plants in this garden were selected based on their ability to live and flourish in difficult urban sites that often occur near sidewalks.  Salt tolerant species in the Sidewalk Garden, that are also drought tolerant, include: Achillea millefolium (‘Moonshine’ yarrow), Amorpha canescens (lead plant), Baptisia (false indigo), Berberis thunbergii (barberry), Calamagrostis x acutiflora (‘Karl Foerster’ European Feather Reed Grass),  Dianthus (pinks), Eryngium (sea holly), Euphorbia polychrome (spurge), Gaillardia (blanket flower) Hemerocallis (daylily), Iris germanica, leucanthemum x superbum (shasta daisy), Quercus (oak), Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac), Rudbeckia fulgida (black-eyed susan), Salvia (sage), Sedum, Shepherdia argentea (silver buffaloberry), Veronica (speedwell), etc.   Clethra alnifolia (summer sweet), Lilium (Asiatic lilies) and Syringa reticulata (Japanese tree lilac) are salt tolerant, but not drought tolerant.

Sidewalk Garden Team
Team members learn about perennials and woody plants that are both salt and/or drough tolerant.  Other learning opportunities include: 

  • plant division and transplanting (timing and techniques)
  • pruning techniques (numerous specimen trees in the garden)
  • weed control (mulching and dealing with Canadian thistle)
  • diagnosing and managing insect and disease problems 
Karen Allenstein is Team Leader for the Sidewalk Garden.   To join the Sidewalk Garden team, contact Karen Allenstein.  

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