Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mission Possible: Front Yard

Although we've lived in our home for almost six years our front yard is only just now coming together. With hours of sweat equity and about 10 cubic yards of compost, what used to be a sloped expanse of sprawling lawn is starting to resemble the garden images I've had in my head.

Now, I must say the latest work on this project has taken almost two weeks because progress only happens between my 8-month-old son's naps and after bedtime. This means there's lots being done at dusk and by the soft glow of a street light. I've become quite used to waking up and really seeing it for the first time!
I've also noticed people slowing to scope out this northeast portion of the garden. I prefer to think they're admiring it and therefore it's adequate to share with the Garden Bloggers Design Workshop, which this month highlights front yards.

Ours really isn't that big but I envisioned sweeping curves that would provide depth to the garden and give the illusion of more space. The curves echo the existing path to the house and add to the informality of the design.

The dry "riverbed" was a last-minute addition, born out of necessity as I needed somewhere to place rocks uncovered while clearing the beds. As the plants fill in and more are inevitably added it will appear to meander further into the yard, drawing the eye deeper into the garden.

Purples, pinks, grey-blues and shots of yellow make up the garden's primarily cool color palette. This happened almost by accident, considering I didn't think I really liked purple or pink. However, I'm drawn to certain plants with those color characteristics: Hebe "Amy," Heuchera "Purple Majesty," weeping cherry. They all have calming colors that complement the house.

I'm pleased that even the chip mulch we received free from a tree service ties in with the color of our new front door, and the splashes of yellow from daffodils and forsythia play off the house.


garden girl said...

Melanthia, It's really lovely. That's alotta hard work! (not that I have to tell you that!)

My Dearly Beloved has agreed to let me re-do our 40-year-old overgrown foundation plantings of mostly strangely-shaped yews. I'm beyond excited.

The Gardeness said...

Thanks Linda. I think the most tedious part was hauling mulch from the back of the house.
Congrats on the yew permission. We have an oddly shaped one, but that's because it's really close to our foundation but I don't have the heart to rip it out.

Angela O. said...

gorgeous. I love the weeping cherry. Pretty sure that wouldn't survive down here!

Barbee' said...

Oh, this is lovely! Great - considering you worked in the dark sometimes. No wonder drivers slowed to get a good look. I would, too; it's beautiful.

The Gardeness said...

Thanks for the compliments ladies. Always appreciated.

chey said...

I love your new garden! That's quite an accomplishment for a new mom. It looks wonderful, and the mulch really makes it pop. I like your dry bed as well!

artistsgarden said...

it looks really great.

Nan Ondra said...

I have no doubt that your neighbors are admiring your new planting, Melanthia! I had to chuckle about your comment on the color scheme; it's funny how the plants often have minds of their own when choosing great-looking companions for themselves. I look forward to seeing how this space progresses over the next growing season.

heirloomgardener said...

The garden looks great. I know what hard work it is to do this with children. I have a toddler also. Everyday I try to do just a little bit. I figure if I do a little a day eventually something will get don.

Heirloom Gardener