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Footpath Gardens

Updated on December 11, 2014

My Neighbourhood Footpaths

Once we had lawn growing along the side of our footpaths, so-called Nature Strips, cropped as close as possible and a generally boring sight they were too.

The last few years we have been indulging ourselves in growing all sorts of pretty or useful plants beside the pavement.

Take a stroll around my neighbourhood with me and see what our nature strips look like now.

Footpath Garden in my Street

I take a short walk along this footpath every day and it never fails to soothe me. Summer, Winter, or in between, this is the best part of my street. At the end of the path is the Merri Creek.

Walking in my neighbourhood

Strolling around my neighbourhood is one of my greatest pleasures

Some days it's an adventure and I set out, with a bottle of water, into the unknown, following the words of Stephen KIng. You could start at a path leading nowhere more fantastic than from your own front steps to the sidewalk, and from there you could go .... well, anywhere at all.

Other days, it's a leisurely ramble, checking on the yellow roses in one garden, the fantastic jungle of vegetables in another and the never ending renovations in the house at the end of the street.

I stop and chat to neighbours, admire fat babies (I've seen many grow up), exchange greetings with a friendly dog or two, welcome a newcomer and, almost every day, discuss that constant topic of contention, the weather.

On the corner of my street

A lovely bright display. Echium towers over golden daisies

The place where the sidewalk ends

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,

And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,

For the children, they mark, and the children, they know

The place where the sidewalk ends.

Shel Silverstein

Supper from the Sidewalk

Now here's a lovely pavement surprise!

Fresh vegetables grown in what was a plain old bit of a grass strip. What an improvement! Practical too.


Richard is our resident topiarist.

He's also a very friendly and generous bloke who maintains spectacular Christmas lights


Thick shrubbery protects against the afternoon sun from the north west

A new footpath garden

This time next year, the footpath will be transformed into a mini Oriental garden

A Footpath Garden can be so simple

It doesn't take much to transform the sidewalk.

A tree, blasted by lightning, was removed from here, the daisy bush planted originally to cover the gaping hole.

"Play on lively, diversified sidewalks differs from virtually all other daily incidental play"

Jane Jacobs

As simple as Agapanthus

Advice on Ground Covers

Covering Ground
Covering Ground

Simple yet detailed, transform your lawn or swing your sidewalk.

Lots of photos for inspiration


How about you?

Do you have a footpath garden?

See results

All photos are taken by myself, Susanna Duffy

© 2012 Susanna Duffy

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    • SusannaDuffy profile imageAUTHOR

      Susanna Duffy 

      5 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      @Lorelei Cohen: My neighbourhood is just a stone's throw from the CBD of the capitol city and I can see the city skyline from my porch. I'm very lucky to live here

    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Wow and amazing. I so wish that I lived in your neighborhood compared to ours. I have got to move back out to the country lol. Beautiful Susanna and thank you so much for sharing your neighborhood.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      5 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Your neighborhood looks so lovely,.Mine is nice, but yours is so interesting, and the poetry helps too!

    • JessicaBarst profile image

      Jessica Barst 

      6 years ago from Dallas, TX

      Very nice! I love your sprinklings of poetry amongst the lovely flowers :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Just lovely. When I was growing up everyone had lilacs in their yard so walking down the sidewalk was a treat to the senses. That and the neighbor's snowpeas who kept trying to grow out of her yard.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't really know what a nature strip is that you refer to. I do have a nice flower garden between the street and the sidewalk in front of our house. Then I have flowers both in front of the house and around the one front porch....and a strip down the west side property line. I so love that they were there when we bought the house! I've added a lot of Irises and this year some lilies.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like having plants along sidewalks rather than just grass.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      You are right, these are much more interesting than plain grass would be. In the U.S. we call footpaths "sidewalks" so maybe sprinkle that term in a few places to get different visitors to your page.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      6 years ago from Royalton

      What a wonderful way to add beauty and a natural element to an urban environment! I love the idea for footpath gardens. Thank you so much for taking me for a walk about your garden.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I loved seeing your neighborhood footpath gardens. Very beautiful.

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 

      6 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      So much better than grass! There are some 'nature strips' in our area which have been converted to veggie gardens.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      What a lovely walk this is!

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 

      6 years ago

      Great photos. I would love to have a topiary footpath.

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 

      6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Lovely pics of your neighborhood strips.I wish we could plant on our nature stripes, slowly coming about but with complaints from the traditional.


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