Monday, August 13, 2012


So, back in 2010 I wrote several blog posts about landscape plans. Grande, glorious plans that never came to be because of lack of will and lack of funds.

This summer was on track to be the best for our flowers in the past ten years, with all of our perennials thriving and set to provide loads and loads of blooms. And then it hailed - worst hail storm we have ever had - and the plants were ripped to shreds.

Another grandiose plan was hatched. Build a dry creek bed and water feature in the back yard, repositioning all of the boulders in the 'rock garden'. Sadly that just isn't in this years budget.

But all is not lost. A couple of weekends of work, 4 yards of gravel, 3 trips to garden centers, and we have a really beautiful front garden.

When we bought this place, the entire length of the drive way was lines with spruce trees, right up to the front walk. It was a bit overwhelming and unwelcoming and made the front yard kind of dark. Before we moved in we had two spruce removed, creating a 'garden' and letting light into the front yard. That space was covered in bark chip ground cover and with time became really scabby looking. Not welcoming and not the kind of first impression you'd want to make. Then, in late 2009 the gas company installed a new line and dug up the space. Despite saying they'd put it back to the way it was, they left it rather disheveled, with ripped landscape fabric and uneven surfaces. This is what I was thinking we would do with it in April 2010:

I'd wanted to put some kind of screen in front of the house and a path leading away from the sidewalk that runs right in front of Katie's window. But we really needed a dog friendly solution because this is Kelso's space. We managed to get a bob cat in and take off all the old mulch, landscape fabric and mess.

And then we didn't do anything else! The exposed tree roots started to sprout little trees. Those dang black poplars from the other side of the driveway had roots all the way over here, and those things started growing! We could have had a whole new forest here. Instead, Daryl and I, a couple shovels and a sawzall dug and cut them out.

I gathered a bunch of old retainer wall bricks that had been left behind by previous owners and built a small shrub bed at the north end (away from the house). I transplanted cotoneaster and some roses from other places in the yard and hoped they'd grow!

Two winters and a summer of dog lying in dirt/snow/mud and we could not avoid finishing the space this year. But, true to form, we debated ad nauseum what to finish it with: bark, gravel, slate, rubber? Again, dog friendly, mess resistant, weed repellant. Fortunately we had a really nice evening early this summer with our friend Donna, who is also a gardener and had just installed a dry creek in the front garden at her house. Inspiration!!!

So, a couple of weekends of work, 4 yards of gravel, 3 trips to garden centers, and we have a really beautiful front garden!!!

The green grass and trees definitely help as backdrop, but I'm pretty sure this will look fantastic in all seasons!