Sample garden design: Sun boulevard garden

Avoid expensive or elaborate plantings as they may be easily damaged on the boulevard.

The City of Guelph’s Encroachment By-law specifies that plants cannot be higher than 0.8 metres (2.5 feet). This ensures visibility for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Rocks and paving stones must be laid below the grade of the sidewalk and curb so as not to interfere with road or sidewalk maintenance. Consider using salt–tolerant plants on boulevards which may be exposed to winter road treatments .

Please note: boulevard sizes in Guelph vary. Before purchasing plants you should evaluate the space you have and plan accordingly. Remember to leave room for your garbage bins. Two 60 x 75 centimetre patio slabs work well.

 Plants used in this design

Spring interest

  • Artemisia species, wormwood (salt tolerant)
  • Phloxsubulata, creeping phlox (salt tolerant)
  • Dianthus gratianopolitanus, cheddar pinks (salt tolerant)
  • Coreopsis verticillata, threadleaf coreopsis

Summer interest

  • Asclepias tuberosa, butterfly weed (salt tolerant)
  • Achillea millefolium, yarrow (salt tolerant, can be invasive)
  • Lavandula species, lavender
  • Thymus pseudolanuginosus, wooly thyme

Fall interest

  • Perovskia atriplicifolia, Russian sage
  • Elymus arenarius, blue lyme grass (salt tolerant, may be invasive)
  • Juniperus squamata, blue carpet juniper (salt tolerant)
  • Sedum spurium ‘Fuldaglut’, dragon’s blood stonecrop (salt tolerant)


At least six hours of direct sunlight.


The ideal soil for a boulevard garden is a well–drained loam which is able to hold water well and doesn’t dry out in the afternoon if watered in the morning. If replacing grass with a garden bed, the addition of organic material such as compost, manure, or quality triple mix, is needed to ensure a healthy garden and successful establishment of new plants.


New plants may need extra watering until the roots are well established (one to two seasons). Once established, these plants should thrive with average rainfall. Adding shredded mulch and composted leaf mold in the fall will greatly reduce watering needs, and increase winter survival.

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