Last spring, on Earth Day, this was our front yard.
Between our grandson being born, a major move, selling our old house, unpacking, celebrating the holidays, and caring for Connor, we did basically nothing to the yard for months except to mow it.
"I thought you were a gardener," quipped one of our neighbors, after we'd been here for about 6 months but still had done nothing in the way of planting or landscaping.
At last, around the end of January, my gardening juices began to flow. I had some plants that I'd purchased at the Mobile Botanical Garden during a visit the previous fall...few had been planted yet. There were no defined planting beds except for the first few feet next to the foundation. The yard was so open and almost barren that I felt almost paralyzed.
Here was the view from our front porch to the driveway, on January 23rd.....
All in all, not a big start in a 0.4 acre yard. And none of it in a logical sweep that suggested a planting bed or the start to a landscaping plan.
So, I simply got out the hose and started making a big curve in the front yard. Under the big southern magnolia along the driveway, I used the demarcation of lousy grass caused by heavy shade to get started, then I moved on from there. The following photo shows the beginning of the middle bed, with some of the plants we had recently planted, after the bed had been outlined, but before I had finished weeding and mulching.
With shrubs already under the magnolia tree, defining that bed was pretty quick and easy. Defining the remaining 2 beds in the front yard took a little more time, but we used the same general process - define the outline with the hose, then put down leaves topped with shredded hardwood. Of course, we were also visiting both 7 Pines Native Plant Nursery and Mobile Botanical Gardens to get more plants, placing those where appropriate, as you can see above.
The more open areas that we turned into beds took much more time and effort to outline, plant and mulch than the first bed - but we finally finished today! I really wanted to get the front yard beds to a state that looked moderately finished, so that we didn't look like the half-built house slumming in the neighborhood. The beds are still very empty, but we've been able to find and put in several shrubs that should be getting a nice start this year, plus a few perennials that we found we couldn't live without.
These photos don't really show the new beds as well as I'd like them to, but I'm still excited enough about getting the project to this state that I want to share! First, the overview....