The stretch of grass between the sidewalk and street is often called the "hellstrip" by gardeners because of the mangling it can get from snowplows and fiber-optic cable installation. But there are ways to give that area a boost. Some plant flowers in the strip to complement those in the rest of their gardens; others plant trees. However, the strips are usually in the "public right of way," so there is little gardeners can do about a passersby who decides to walk through the improvements.

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