Aaaannnddd…we’re back! The rain finally stopped, the sun started shining, and Tim and I went and spent a ton of money at Lowe’s on garden supplies. (If someone knows of a decent, local nursery within 20 minutes of Louisville, please fill me in.) All the before shots of the front yard flower beds can be seen HERE.
It took us this long to plant anything because I was so afraid a late frost would come in and kill everything. Of course, now I wonder if we waited too long. Eh, what are you gonna do?
The other dilemma was what to plant. The front is landscaped for curb appeal. A nice lawn, a few trees, and mostly perennial shrubbery. There is a small amount of space to add some annuals and color. The dilemma was really two-sided. First, I wanted to plant as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Is it appropriate to plant vegetables in one’s front yard? Would they be successful there given the conditions? Second, this house of ours is a rental that is going on the market next spring. Since we don’t own it, I don’t want to put too much effort or expense into plants that won’t belong to us in another year. However, because it is going on the market, I also don’t want to completely neglect it.
Ultimately, I decided to plant a combination of annuals with a couple low cost perennials that will (hopefully) flower this year. All the fruits and vegetables will be relegated to the back yard. (That post is coming later this week.)
The first thing that needed to be done was a general spring cleaning. I trimmed away any dead looking matter, yanked out stuff that was just plain sad, and divided bulbs that were underproducing. In particular a clump of daffodils that only produced four blooms this spring actually consisted of 45 (!) bulbs. After I dug them all up, I divided them into groups of 5 and replanted them around the yard. I’ve never done that before, so hopefully they come back in the spring. Tim yanked out a nasty looking shrub that was in the front walk bed, breaking a shovel in the process. We also moved some large rocks to create a border around the lawn edge of the front bed near the garage. After that, we were ready to plant.
At Lowe’s we wandered around looking at all the choices. Some plants were very familiar to me already. Geraniums, daisies, petunias. Others, were new to me. Fuschia, columbine, pincushion. We ended up with hydrangea, petunias, pincushion, alyssum, geraniums, marigolds, dianthus, a gerber daisy, a dahlia, and some random purple stuff.
In addition to what we bought at Lowe’s, Olivia’s Nana Rosellen, who is a Master Gardener, sent me a box of cuttings and transplants from her garden in Illinois. She generously gave us some vinca, chives, creeping thyme, grape hyacinth bulbs, and wood hyacinth bulbs. The thyme went to the back yard, but the rest was planted throughout the beds in the front.
The actual planting process was waaayyy more difficult than I expected. From landscape cloth to an extreme amount of rocks, it was hard work. But, on the other hand, nearly every time I put the spade in the dirt I pulled up one of these guys.
People, worms are good for two things. Fishing and gardening. Worms are awesome and we’ve got plenty.
So, here’s what the front beds look like now….
The front window bed…
Here we just did some pruning and planted the vinca that Nana Rosellen sent. The vinca will take a while to fill in, but it is already sending up new growth.
The garage bed…
This is where I put the gerber daisy, dahlia, alyssum, dianthus, geraniums, and some of the marigolds. The wood hyacinth bulbs are also here, but we won’t see those until next spring.
This is also in the garage bed. Anyone know what it is?
The front walk bed…
From front to back, we have pincushion, a hydrangea (from Jenn!), euonymus, another hydrangea, and two Maltese Cross plants, one white and one red.
In the hanging basket, we have petunias and the purple stuff. Purple stuff. I should be a botanist.
There’s one other container on the front stoop, which is where we put the chives. This was a transplant in the box from Nana Rosellen and it is coming in very nicely. I hope it will still bloom this summer and I can’t wait to use the chives in some compound butter or on a baked potato. Oooh! I just read that the flowers are edible too!
So, that’s the update on the garden in the front yard. I’ll post some pictures later this summer after everything has filled in and bloomed a bit. Hope your garden is treating you well!