It’s not “all bad” on downtown sidewalks. I love this bit of private landscaping on Gilmore Street, near Kent. The sidewalk grew a tiny bit wider, which is useful. The precast block wall is attractive and understated, not competing with the building or the street. The modest elevation increase gives more room for tree roots, defines the “garden” space, and helps keep litter out. The densely planted row of trees greens the environment and helps shade the adjacent south-facing building façade. The tough decorative grasses planted along the base puts lots of rich greenery at eye level (for those who watch where they are walking) and look good in all seasons. (In contrast, Loblaws in Westboro “tidied up” its gardens last fall by cutting off all the decorative grasses that their landscape architect designed to look good poking up through the snowdrifts). There is still a narrow gravelled service area behind the planter along the building edge.
What’s not to like about this? And it certainly didn’t cost a million bucks (that’s a hint about tomorrow’s blog…).