After being more than pleased with my front bed makeover, I couldn’t wait to start planning the rest of my front yard. I’ve come to realize that planning is a very important step in the process, so I thought I’d share it with you.
But first, let’s take a look at my existing yard.
As frequent readers will know, we’re currently in the “Year of the Exterior” and attempting to finish painting the house by the end of the year, thus the funny old paint color areas. The empty bed in front of the big picture window was filled with Adagio Ornamental Grass and Red Yucca this spring and the teeny tiny red bud tree was planted in 2010.
The three divided areas in front of the two narrow windows has always been a challenge for me. Two of the sections have Day Lillies planted in them, but grass inevitably grows into those areas and I end up weed-wacking the entire thing. Plus mega-ugly watering hose. It’s all just an eyesore. So it has been decided that area will be my next to tackle.
So where to begin? I knew I would have to dig up the grass and create a bed, which I loathe. I did this in the backyard and it was miserable. Granted, that was a 60 foot bed, while this will be a 15 footer. I also new I wanted an evergreen anchoring plant. One that would add permanent architecture to the bed. Unfortunately, I’m just not the evergreen type. I tend to lean towards plants that are either more tropical (Hostas and Ferns) or arid (Yuccas and Ornamental Grasses), go figure. Because I knew I wouldn’t have quite enough shade for tropical plants and since I already swayed my front towards the arid option with the Red Yuccas and Adagio, I figured I’d just stick with it. Plus, although Ornamental Grasses lose their color in winter, they hold their shape until spring (when they should be trimmed back for new growth), providing that consistent architecture I’m looking for.
various ornamental grasses – image courtesy of cornell.edu
So which plants to use? I already favor a handful of plants, most of which are either green or purple in color. With that, I now have my color scheme. Funnily enough, our courtyard at our last house had the same color scheme. It’s probably not a coincidence. The purple plant will either be Russian Sage or Walker’s Low. Both have pretty purplish-blue blooms and I can buy one of each to see which does best in my front yard.
russian sage – image courtesy of gardeninggoodies.blogspot.com
walker’s low – image courtesy of ralphedge.blogspot.com
For the Ornamental Grass, I knew I wanted a show stopper – something tall that would stand out against the green grass of the lawn. After seeing several around town and furiously googling to find it’s common name, I settled on Morning Light.
morning light – image courtesy of radmerfarms.com
I figure I can decide on the filler plants later, though possibilities include more Red Yuccas.
red yucca – image courtesy of neilsperry.com
On to the plan! I put a quick plan together laying out where I’d like each plant to go. As you can see, I have a larger third bed planned, but will wait on that undertaking. The ‘L’ shaped bed was actually designed by a real-life landscape designer as he was inspired by the lines of the house and its new front door.
I’m obviously not a landscape designer and do not draw or render like one, but I thought this plan was fun just the same.