Tidy peastone vs au naturel

A number of cities keep peastone beds around trees in the sidewalk neat and tidy. Ottawa is not among them. Toronto and Vancouver are.

The peastone shown above is glued down to a porous mat which is cut to shape for the tree well. Moisture runs in; weeds do not grow out. The stones stay in place. Wheelchairs and strollers roll right over them. Little boys are frustrated. Dogs continue to pee on them. Smokers find one less spot to dump their butts. These mats are commonly available at stores for use as a foot mat on your front doorstop.

On the other hand, while I am not a fan of the stones that get kicked out of tree wells onto the sidewalk, the presence of a few weeds around the trees is a bit of spontaneity, of mother nature reminding us that we can plan our plantings all we want …