My front entry garden has been in a state of transition all year. Back in spring I dug up the existing garden and laid these bricks out temporarily to see how the layout would feel. After one season I am very happy with it - the chairs are in a sunny spot for morning coffee and have been well-used despite the unattractive dirt-pit they currently rest on. Next year I hope to put in a permanent patio using recycled bricks.
I spent some time last year coming up with a new plan for the front garden (posted here), but after I had Sue Gaviller help me with the backyard design, she gave me some good ideas for the front, too, some of which you can see I have already started to implement. That's her drawing, above. Here is what she suggested and why:
- kept the overlapping circles theme but moved the circles to one side so that there can be a seating area without blocking access to the front door,
- nixed my idea of staining the existing concrete (click here and scroll down), but suggested just laying a soldier course of brick on either side of the existing walk, and choosing a brick that would be close to the chimney brick colour, for continuity. She thought the idea of trying to stain concrete to match an existing brick colour was just too risky, and she's probably right,
- suggested putting down gravel mulch in the smaller circle with the bird bath in it, so that the grey of the existing concrete path had something to relate to. All awesome ideas! Thank you Sue!
As is a recurring theme in my garden, I have to get rid of a few more trees before I can make all this happen. It is not obvious from the usual views I post of the front yard, but I actually have 4 spruce trees here (used to be 5!), not just 2. The other two, as you can see in the view above, are too close to the house, too close together, very spindly, and ugly. They've already been limbed up (lower branches cut off) otherwise I wouldn't even have a front yard at all and I wouldn't be able to see out my living room windows. It is impossible to grow anything near these trees and you can see I am not even trying to at the moment - there is nothing but bare mulch in this area.
I have been taking down a tree or two every couple of years in my very overgrown, mature yard. I can't get rid of them any faster due to the cost (they are huge!) and a husband who is very resistant to taking down trees even if they are ugly and planted in an inappropriate spot. But I can't live with these 2 ugly trees much longer. (Bonus: the neighbour has beautiful trees and getting rid of my 2 spruce will open up the view to his beautiful, mature crabapple and mountain ash trees!)
Winter project: convince hubby these 2 trees have to go by spring. And no, I don't feel guilty about it!
PS Those snowflakes on the window in the top photo are left over from a Narnia birthday party we had a month ago. The kids don't want to take them down. What can I say, this is a reality garden blog! No professional photo-staging going on here!