It just so happens that the topic of Gardening Gone Wild's monthly design workshop happens to be front yard gardens this month. So, I am going to summarize the evolution of my front yard from a pathetic lawn surrounded by too many trees, to almost all garden and only one more tree to come down...
Above is what it looks like now. The right hand side (in the picture) is the established side, and the left hand side is what I just finished this year.
Here's a close-up of the established side. It's still spring for us here in zone 3 and you can see a couple types of euphorbia (spurge) blooming, plus dark purple ornamental onions and bearded irises that are hard to see in this picture. For views of what this area of the garden looks like through the seasons, click here. Those ladybug signs, BTW, are pesticide-free signs from the Sierra Club (rectangle) and City of Calgary's Healthy Yard program (circle).
Now here's a view of the other side. Not much to look at yet, I know, but the other side started out this way just a few years ago so I promise you by the end of the summer this area will look good, and in one more year it will look great (if I do say so myself!) When you're doing a garden makeover on a tight budget (money and time, actually), you have to be patient! Still gotta cover that ugly soaker hose with some mulch...
Instead of digging up the grass like I did on the other side (and this really is the best way to get rid of grass unless you want to raise the soil level by building a berm or some raised beds), this time I took the lazy route and smothered the grass with carpet. I'm not sure I'd recommend this, as bits of carpet glue disintegrated all over the grass. Anyway, too late now and I'm not planting any edibles here.
Out of my original list of plants I planned to plant (how's that for a tongue twister?), I ended up with:
- red leaf rose
- sumac 'Tiger Eyes'
- sea holly
- iris germanica 'bounty'
- sedum 'Autumn Joy'
- creeping sedums
- echinacea 'purple magnus'
- liatris spicata
- nepeta (catmint) 'Walker's Low'
- asiatic lilies 'Brunello' and an unknown variety