Gardening Ideas

Daffodils to add inside your Curb Allure tree guard pit

If you want to make your street more beautiful, installing a Curb Allure Tree Guard is a great start. To really add ‘curb allure’, you may want to add flowers and plants to your tree bed or box. Not only will your street be more colorful, dog owners may be deterred from allowing their pets to “visit” your trees and flowers.

Keep in mind that you need to choose your plants wisely. Good choices for tree bed gardens are shallow-rooted annuals, certain perennials, ground cover and small spring flowering bulbs. Choose plants that won’t put a strain on the trees by competing with them for water and nutrients. Instead, pick plants that tolerate the shade and don’t need much moisture.

Or you may decide to add another layer to your garden altogether. Why not add Curb Allure’s garden planter boxes to the top rail of your tree guard? These planters are a wonderful consideration if you have a very large tree bed, and your budget does not permit planting the entire area or you have a newly planted street tree in which you don't want flowers to compete with your tree's immature root system.

No matter which garden you choose, it will put a smile on your face every time you step out of your door.


Seasonal Gardening Suggestions

How can you make the most of your urban garden throughout all four seasons? Follow these suggestions. With a little care and attention your green space will look fantastic.

Spring Garden Ideas

Do a little spring-cleaning

  • Remove any garland or litter from your urban garden in late March.
  • Flush the tree bed with water to remove any salt residue left over from winter road and sidewalk treatments.
  • Ask your local garden nursery to make suggestions on how to improve the quality of your soil.  If you would like a more thorough analysis, and a little fun, take a soil sample from your garden. Purchase a kit from your garden nursery and test your soil for pH and NPK. If you don’t have well-balanced soil, your flowers and plants will not reach their full potential.  They may have nice stems and leaves, but no flowers. Also, be sure to use this information to talk to your garden nursery to better choose the plants that are right for your spring garden.
  • Add soil amendments based on your garden nursery’s recommendations and / or soil sample test results, as needed.

Plant in your tree bed or sidewalk garden

Mixed spring Flowers to add inside your Curb Allure tree guard pit
Mixed Tullips
  • Add a little more color to the neighborhood by planting flowers. Annuals tend to be better choices because perennials have a more extensive root systems that will compete with newly planted trees for water.
  • Perennials such as ivy and hostas when the trees are well established are also good choices. What is considered a well-established tree?  Measure the trunk 4.5 feet from the soil.  If your tree is at least 6 inches in diameter, it’s safe to plant both annual and perennial flowers.

Click here to see a list of flowers and ground cover to plant in the spring that will thrive in street tree beds and sidewalk gardens around New York.

  • Alyssum
  • Bachelor buttons (cornflower)
  • Begonias
  • Candytuft
  • Crocus
  • Geraniums
  • Hostas
  • Larkspur
  • Impatiens
  • Nigella (love-in-the-mist)
  • Smaller daffodils
  • Snakes head iris
  • Wild tulips


Add garden planter boxes

Forget-­‐me-­‐notes spring Flowers to add inside your Curb Allure garden planter box
  • Although all of these plants can thrive in shallow planters, double check with your garden nursery about your specific conditions (type of exposure, watering requirements, etc.) to see which of these varieties will do well in your garden planter box.
  • It’s a good idea to start your planter box garden a little later than a garden in the direct soil. In a garden planter, your plants will be more exposed to the cold weather.  By mixing a variety of the following suggestions together, your garden planters will certainly make a statement.
Click here for a list of plants to consider in your garden planter box.
  • Bugleweed
  • Dwarf iris
  • Dusty miller
  • Edging lobelia
  • Forget-me-nots
  • Glory of the snow
  • Japanese pachysandra
  • Miniature Daffodils
  • Plantain lily
  • Periwinkle
  • Spring beauties
  • Snowdrops
  • Wax begonia
  • Winter aconite
  • Wishbone flower


Impatiens and crocus work as well in sidewalk gardens as they do in garden planters. They are hearty, adaptable plants.

Summer Garden Ideas

Impatiens summer Flowers to add inside your Curb Allure tree guard pit
  • Keep deep slow watering: : Now, more then ever, slow watering your trees and flowers is extremely important.
  • Plant summer flowers: Go to your local plant nurseries and browse through the colorful array of summer flowers. Pick different combinations of color, texture, and heights. Have fun experimenting.

Click here to see a list of plants for your tree bed and planter boxes

  • Ageratum
  • Basil
  • Browallia
  • Chervil
  • Coleus
  • Edging lobelia
  • Flowering tobacco
  • Forget-Me-Not
  • Lemon balm
  • Periwinkle
  • Trailing fuchsia
  • Wax begonia
  • Wishbone flower


Your spring impatiens and geraniums will also continue to thrive throughout the summer as well.

Autumn Garden Ideas

Do a little maintenance

  • Clean and freshen up your garden area.  Remove all dead or wilted stems, leaves, stalks or other leftover plant parts, including weeds and their roots.
  • Remember if you do a little maintenance now, your tree bed will look better and be easier to revive in the spring.
  • Spade the garden under approximately 1 foot down if possible, and rake the surface smooth.  Be careful of tree roots please

Plant spring bulbs

Plant spring bulbs

  • Before the first frost (Late October to mid/late November) plant hardy bulbs. This is the fun part. Plant a variety of bulbs and keep a journal of your experiments as a reminder of successes. Each year, your garden is bound to get better and better.
  • Bulbs planted in the fall will be a welcome sign of spring in late March or early April.  Spring flowering bulbs are the relief we need from winter doldrums. They’ll give you a splash of color before almost anything else blooms in the garden. Choose your spring flowering bulbs carefully and you can have spring flowers for five months straight from February all the way to June.
  • Tulip bulbs can be planted quite late, even during a December mild spell. It is worth experimenting with several varieties.
  • Winter-hardy annual seeds that germinate become dormant and revive with the first spring sunrays to produce much earlier and stronger spring flowers than those that will be sown next spring.
  • Smaller bulbs like muscari and crocus are a good choice because they are planted in the top 2-3” of soil and do not disturb the tree roots. Here are some other garden suggestions for tree-friendly spring bulbs:
  • Allium
  • Crocus
  • Daffodils
  • Hyacinths
  • Irises
  • Narcissus
  • Tulips
Hyacinths fall flowers to add inside your Curb Allure tree guard pit

Plant autumn annuals:

There are a variety of annuals that do wonderfully in the fall, see below for a list of suggestions.

Kale with Mums autumn flowers to add inside your Curb Allure tree guard pit
Kale with Mums

Click here for a list of suggestions.

Ice Pansies
Ice Pansies
  • African daisies
  • Decorative cabbage
  • Flowering kale
  • Fuchsias
  • Ice pansies
  • Kingfisher-blue daisies
  • Marigolds
  • Mums:  Mums look nice but will compete for water with trees – so please water generously
  • Petunias
  • Snap dragons
  • Verbenas
  • Violas


Winter Garden Ideas

Add winter gardening appeal: Evergreen garlands wrapped loosely around the truck of the tree or in flowerbeds conserves moisture, moderates soil temperature and soaks up salt residue and dog waste.  Add some pinecones and holly as well, for some additional wintery interest.

Holly winter flowers to add inside your Curb Allure tree guard pit
  • Use your Christmas tree as mulch: If you don’t already have garland around the base of your tree, cut your old Christmas tree branches into 6” lengths and place them on your street tree beds
  • Everything that’s important starts with a little effort that might seem small and insignificant at first.  But, every little tree bed or building garden that is cared for makes the world a more beautiful place a few feet at a time. Until one day, we’ll have a healthier, greener city.

A special thank you to Trees New York for contributing
to this seasonal gardening ideas section.