Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The New Front Yard

As threatened, I'm back with a tour of the front yard.

If my memory serves me correctly, this is the first area I tackled after moving in.
There were two established maple trees on the fence line along the road and one very young one that wasn't lookin' so hot.  
It was August when we first got here, and nothing had had any water all summer, so it was basically just a big blob of brown lawn.
These next two photos were taken in the middle of September.

 I knew immediately that I wanted to create a bed along the whole strip.
You don't realize how big of a space you're working with until you're having to hump loads of compost, one wheelbarrow at a time.
It took FOREVER.
I started in the corner closest to the driveway, and made my way toward The Field Of Dreams, which I'll talk more about in another post.
I couldn't find any good before photos showing the area looking toward the house, but these are from the original listing.
This first photo is looking from the road, out into The Field Of Dreams.
The maple tree on the left is where I initially stopped sheet mulching.

Here, also looking from the road, you can see the previous maple on the far right and the second one more center.

And here, looking toward the driveway.

So armed with my cardboard boxes and compost, at the end of September, I started creating a new planting bed.
The poor sickly maple, shown in this photo, was eventually removed and I replaced him with a redbud.

Again, I did my best to find pictures of everything in progress, but it's hard when none of them are in folders on a computer.

In an ideal world, the compost covered cardboard would have had all winter to sit and break down.
As I mentioned in my last post, I had a LOT of plants to get in the ground.
So, as time consuming as it was, I did end up pulling back and digging out sod in areas where I wanted to plant.
Yet another job that sucked.

I'm skipping ahead to our first winter here for the next photos, because once I was done out front, I had moved onto that nightmare of a project in the backyard.

Annnnd, then it was spring.
And, what does spring bring to new beds?
So. Many. Weeds.
And lots of grass that made its way up and around cardboard where I had tampered with it trying to get plants in the dirt.

So the end of March, beginning of April, was primarily getting that mess dealt with, and, of course, adding more plants.

The majority of the plants that went into this bed were perennial starts from the old house.
I filled in with other gifted plants throughout the season, as well as quite a few annuals as placeholders, but it really is just a ton of my old babies.
It was such a mad dash to get things in the ground that first fall, that I didn't spend a whole lot of time making a plan.
I knew I'd be moving stuff around later anyway.
These next photos were taken at the beginning of May.

Middle of May.

End of May.



August, our one year anniversary in the house.

Meet Leonard and Delilah, the resident turkeys.
Leonard is a music loving sweetheart.
She's on the left.
Delilah is neither of those things.
She won't let any of us anywhere near her.
She's always skedaddling away from the humans.


I ended up changing this corner a bit.
As it turns out, it's the dog's running path.
It was a lost cause to even attempt trying to keep the lawn alive. She had worn it down to bare dirt.
Not to mention any poor plants in her way.
So I took out more sod, moved the bed forward into the yard more, and planted two more redbuds and a clematis on the short fence line along the driveway, prior to the big gate.
We shall see.

Her path of destruction starts at the green trug and angles back to the corner.
That's where the lawn had been completely worn down to dirt.
The two new baby trees went in on the far right.
The single redbud I had put in initially is in the back center of the photo, in line with the trug.
I'll leave her pathway barren until I can figure out something she can't destroy.
Barberry didn't work.
A path to nowhere may be the answer, just to keep the mud down.
We'll see.

And like the backyard post, I'll end with photos from January first.

Of all the places I touched outside the first year, the front yard was my least favorite.
I didn't love it even a little bit.
I think part of the problem was the lack of established plants.
Other than the two existing maple trees, there was nothing to ground the space.
I planted several baby trees and quite a few substantial shrubs, and the perennials should take up more of a footprint, so I think this year will be better.
I won't be too hard on myself for not getting it exactly right in one gardening season.
And really, who can complain with that view.
Sitting on the porch in the summer evenings with a glass of wine is just...magic.
Up next, I think I'll head over to Conifer Corner and The Field Of Dreams.
See ya there.


  1. Love how it's all turning out! You are a rockstar!

  2. You are one hard workin' Momma! You must be in heaven with all that planting room! Pace yourself, girl!

  3. So neat to see your yard evolve over the seasons. I admire your hard work as I've just really started to get into gardening myself. The picture with the rainbow is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your progress with us.

  4. Oh my gosh, I'm just LOVING that you got a computer again! I've been following along on all the yard-garden updates, but had this one in my email so I could comment when I was on my big computer. :) You are amazing in what you are taking on - we moved to our farmhouse and I was just the opposite - no more big maintenance borders for me, ha! I'll live vicariously through you, lol.


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