How can I decorate this outdoor area?


We had to take up broken up pavement and we are trying to figure out something simple yet pretty to put in its place. It needs to be something that does not cause any additional obstacles and something that would not be possibly stolen. Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated and we are on sort of a time crunch.

q how can i make this area astetically pleasing
  7 answers
  • Beth Beth on Oct 07, 2019

    Here are some good sidewalk garden ideas:

    • See 2 previous
    • Leigh Neubuck Leigh Neubuck on Oct 11, 2019

      I want to thank everyone for all of your suggestions!!! Because the neighborhood is a bad one a lot if common ideas had to be instantly ruled out unfortunately. We are almost finished so I wanted to give you all an update. The pictures are from yesterday and I am happy to report nothing was stolen or destroyed overnight!!! I went with hosts and ivy will be bolting a butterfly trellis to the tree for the ivy but I am in the midst of rehabbing it at the moment, and painted some inspirational words on some old brittle slates I got from my neighbor. I have gotten several compliments from some of the older ladies in the neighborhood have complimented me on it but they all say the same thing, 'I hope they don't wreck it!' Fingers crossed and again thank you everyone!!!

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Oct 07, 2019

    Sorry, this is a complicated answer:

    1. This is technically an Easement. Unless you have a letter from the City or County, saying that you’re 100% responsible for this on-going pavement heaving and breaking- I’d be very careful about liability, encroachments, City Standards and even Permits.
    2. Technically, there’s a very high chance that that tree is the City’s and depending on the City, you may or may not be allowed to fix the real ongoing problem: destructive surface tree roots. They should be cut & the tree crown balanced.

    Tree Law is for real. Whose tree is this? May you have the surface roots cut back or not?

    Whose sidewalk is this? That fire hydrant tells us that there’s utilities under there, and Utility Easements’ maintenance are a highly regulated area.

    Put everything in writing with the City.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Oct 07, 2019

      You’re welcome. I professionally advise for a Tree City USA on Parkway Trees, on behalf of that City.

      They will trim the Surface roots on the Parkway Trees.

      But, you would know if you lived in a Tree City USA.

      Since you wrote, you know whose tree it is and the roots can’t be trimmed- it’s not your tree. We get it.

      “Creative” in this case should include “easy to maintain and cost effective”. Yes?

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 07, 2019

    Build a bench that is attached to the tree.

    • See 1 previous
    • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 09, 2019

      Yes, that's what I was thinking. I would fasten semi-permanently so that as the tree grows it can be adjusted. Also, not build all the way against but a couple of inches for growth.

  • Pat Pat on Oct 07, 2019

    Smooth it out and cover area with gravel.

  • on Oct 07, 2019

    What about covering the area with river rock?

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Oct 07, 2019

    Ok- no legal advice.

    Ivy in the tree area. Deep edging in the perimeter.

    Replace the concrete sidewalks if you’ve no proof that gravel is an approved surface.

    Gravel is not an “All Weather Surface”.

    • Leigh Neubuck Leigh Neubuck on Oct 08, 2019

      I was thinking ivy too and I also though about a hosta or 2???No gravel we are going to make a bed out of the entire dug up area. Not to mention gravel/stone can be thrown. This is in a bad section of Philadelphia so we have to be overly mindful.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Oct 10, 2019

    Edge with beautiful brick and plant flowers that have different height

    • Leigh Neubuck Leigh Neubuck on Oct 11, 2019

      Unfortunately Agnes bricks will be thrown and pretty flowers are taken....This is a very bad neighbor in Philadelphia so you must be very careful with what you do but you are right that would be beautiful! Thank you!