Useful plants for "hellstrips"?


I've been putting together a landscape plan for our parking strip (aka "hellstrip") between the road and sidewalk, but this planting area faces some serious environmental challenges where I live.

The microclimate in summer is hot and dry, and the soil is sandy and salty from winter road de-icing.

There is a lot of foot traffic nearby and snow-plows will routinely pile snow up to 4-5 feet, crushing any shrubs or young trees that might be planted there.

Yet in spite of this, I'd like to landscape this area with useful (and attractive) plants that can withstand the onslaught (or recover from it).

Does anyone have any ideas or examples for plants and/or polycultures that could work in this situation?


So far my list of candidate plants include:

- purslane (low-growing succulent thats very nutritious)

- black nightshade (self-seeds)

- wild strawberry "Kelly's blanket" (Fragaria -Virginiana - see species page)

- Red clover (low-growing medicinal nitrogen-fixer)

- Evening primrose (tall biennial with edible roots and seeds)