When we bought our newly built home in 2010, as most builders do our builder too left us a bare minimum of plants out front. A swath of liriope, couple of junipers, few sickly looking azaleas, and barberry bushes, by no means could these even be considered a garden. Oh how could I forget the very unhealthy magnolia surrounded by more liriope?
After settling in and realizing how bare and distasteful our assortment of plants looked we set out to reclaim our front yard. Frankly when we ripped most of the builder plants out in 2012 we didn’t have much of a plan. We did consult a landscaper who suggested replacing the existing bushes with better ones but we chose to keep the beds the same. 3 years went by without much of a change when B suddenly got the urge to increase the size of the beds and add more plants. I have to give him total credit for pushing this agenda for the next 3 years for our yard wouldn’t have looked like this if not for his brilliant idea.
Though I was a bit hesitant to his idea at first I soon realized that this could be my chance at having a garden that blooms through Spring to Fall. The last three years I’ve read plant labels, researched, and planted bulbs, seedlings, and established plants with that goal in mind. I think we are about 85% there, still need more early Spring bloomers and we’d be set.
To take a look back through time here’s how it looked like in 2011! What the builder gave us!
When we first started work on the front yard in 2012 replacing the builder grade plants.
This is how it looked like the Summer of 2014 before we added on the bed in front of the pathway.
Wow, we’ve have come a long way! What a change! I’m seeing these old pics after a long time and can’t believe how it looked like before. 🙂 Patience and diligent planning does give great results!
The plan was to rely heavily on perennials so it would be easy to maintain
and use annuals like these zinnias sparingly.
Some plants, especially this dwarf crepe myrtle took their own sweet time to mature and produce blooms. This is the first time in 5 years that it has looked this beautiful.
A trusty perennial that has proven well worth the investment is this Abelia Canyon Creek, a star attraction for butterflies and bees.
Can you believe that this Black Eyed Susan is a volunteer? It grew from the dried flowers I had thrown there after cleaning up one of my pookalams.
Our newest additions this year are the lantanas (bottom left, self seeding annual), hardy verbannas (bottom right) , cala lilies (seems to be hardy in our area, keeping my fingers crossed) and the very special lilac monge (the small shrub to the left of Buddha). Can’t wait to see how it does next Spring.
How do you plan your garden? Any recommendations for early Spring blooming perennials?