Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Plans for the Front Garden

Oh my. Susan, our local landscape designer, came by with the plans for our front yard. She lives just up the street; I met her after she and her partner moved into and completely transformed the house on the beginning of our street. The design is really good. But not what we were expecting.

When I talked to Susan a few weeks ago and asked her to put together a design for us, I talked a lot about bamboo. I told her that I knew she specialized in native plants, and that I knew we probably should plant natives, but that we really like the look of grasses and bamboo. So, last night, when she showed us the plan, sans bamboo, I was surprised. However...the design is pretty awesome. It makes sense and we can see that it will be stunning and fairly low maintenance. Plus, using some native plants is more environmentally responsible and the plants she chose are stunning. She utilized beautiful colors and textures. The shades of green (with some black and yellow culms) bamboo and variegated (white, green and yellow) grasses that we had envisioned sound kind of blah now.

Right now, our front yard is a mud mound, anchored by a scattering of weeds. We stripped everything from the front when we did the remodel so that we could work with a clean slate. I'm still a little sad about some of the plants that got torn out, but none of them were healthy so they had to go. The huge spruce had a split top so it was the first to be removed. After it was gone, the smaller plants quickly went downhill in their new full southwest sun exposure, not that they were in fabulous shape before then!

George will be building our front step this weekend and we will be renting a small bobcat to eradicate a ton of bad soil and rock from the front and side yards. We aren't exactly sure what we want to the south of the driveway, but we will remove some dirt and put down crushed gravel to start. We can park the truck there until we get the garage cleaned out and maybe later we can put some vegetable garden boxes on top of the gravel to take advantage of the full afternoon sun that our back yard lacks.

After the dirt is removed, we can start working on the hardscape elements of Susan's plan: two screens, continuation of the fence on the north side, lots of pavers, and some gravel. So, we have some time to think about the plant choices.

Susan's plant list:

1. Blue Oat Grass (4)

2. Heuchera "Silver Scrolls" (11)

3. Lemon Beauty Box Leaf Honeysuckle (2)

4. Dwarf Mugo Pine (1)

5. Elegantissima Red Twig Dogwood (4)

6. Japanese Stewartia (1)

7. Spring Bouquet Viburnum (2)

8. Mops Goldthread Dwarf Cypress (1)

9. Red Edge Hebe (3)

10. Coral Bark Maple (1)

11. Ogon Japanese Sweetflag (7)

12. Slender Hinoki Cypress (1)

13. Summer Ice Daphne (2)

14. Vine Maple (1)

15. Japanese Pieris (2)

16. Limemound Spirea (1)

17. Pinocchio Variegated Hebe (1)

I have admired many of these plants over the years. A few of them are new to me. Not a single bamboo in sight. Rick and I discussed using bamboo in the back instead and that is a viable option.
What do you think? Should we stick to our original grass and bamboo plan, or use Susan's plant list?

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of a split screen in front. The garden bench is lovely. The walkway is a great idea. I bet there's lots of visual interest with the heights, textures and colors of the plants she selected. You can always add bamboo in large colorful pot. The garden has more asian influences than I was expecting. Looks good though.