Sunday, September 13, 2009
Our newest addition
The front garden is now almost finished. Just a few border plants along one bed and it's done.
I knew when I designed the front for our free landscaping deal, that the plants being provided wouldn't be enough. If you have a big traditional lawn with narrow garden beds around it, 30 plants probably goes a long way. When you have NO lawn, even a small front yard takes some filling.
So today I did a head count. We got two trees and thirty other plants as part of our package. We've added four more trees - the mulberry and three Little Gems that (luckily) I happened to have received as a birthday gift before we moved in. We've also added thirty-nine more plants.
So if I deduct the four plants lost in the heat wave last summer, there are seventy-one plants in total in our front yard. No wonder it looks fairly well established. There are numerous houses nearby who've gone for the no-lawn option, but have still followed a design that pretends they do have a lawn: a big rectangle of mulch or pebbles, surrounded by narrow beds with the bare minimum plants and maybe a tree in the middle. Most of them look awful.
The ones that do look good are where the owners have put some real thought into the design and spent some time adding extra plants and maybe a feature of some kind.
You can't just chuck in half a dozen plants and expect to get an instantly "finished" look. You also don't have to spend a fortune - if you're prepared to hunt down some bargains, do a section at a time, and get your hands dirty digging and planting and fertilising, the result is pretty satisfying.
Thinking ahead, I have a small collection of plants for the back already - another Litte Gem, a few good-sized Agave Attenuata, some small Yuccas, ten Blue Fescue, a palm (forget what kind) and a lovely potted Cumquat that I've had for 20 years.
There's also a collection of shade-lovers that I'm not sure what to do with until we actually have some shade - a huge bird's nest fern, a staghorn, a large ginger and a couple of others. And my mother has been babysitting some gardenias and camellias for me since we moved from our old house two years ago.
By hook or by crook, next weekend I'm making a start on that back yard! My babies need a home, and my impatience is getting the better of me...