to get more planting space and/or improve curb appeal, gardeners may turn eager eyes to the strips of ground between the sidewalk and the street, often called hellstrips for their devilish growing conditions. before you start, check with your municipality for any regulations as this land is theirs, not yours. if you get the go-ahead, improve the soil, but keep the level slightly below the paving to prevent water run-off. be aware of any underground utilities before digging too deeply. choose really tough, drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants that won’t grow too high or wide to block either sightlines or the sidewalk.