May 14, 2012
Wide Views of the Front Garden
The challenge with front gardens is that they're on display before they're finished. Two years after our front yard renovation, the garden is looking much better but is still a work in progress. Really, I tell people, it's going to look Much Better when the trees and shrubs fill in.
The two 'Kwanzan' flowering cherry trees were both dying (grrr) and were replaced this month with two 'Heartthrob' Korean dogwood trees. You can see the one on the east of the driveway in the photo above. You can also see the ugly utility boxes, unfortunately. Hopefully the dogwoods will be able to handle the late spring and early fall frosts that we get here at the bottom of the valley. Speaking of which, it frosted last week (mid-May!) and turned my 'Miss Feya' lilies to brown mush. But that's another story.
After a few years of watching and tweaking, this year that there have been at least a couple of things blooming together in a continual stream of coordinated color ever since the first crocuses flowered in late February. The hyacinths and tulips shown above are done flowering now, but the 'Emerald Cushion Blue' creeping phlox and sky blue dwarf irises are blooming together this week.
There is still a lot of creeping phlox in the front yard, even after sharing big clumps with several friends (in total, 10 friends came to get plant divisions this spring at my invitation). On the left of the photo above, you can see the lone surviving 'Kwanzan' cherry. I'm not sure if this one has survived because it isn't grafted or because it's in a more protected spot.
'Tete a Tete' mini daffodils were the darling of the spring garden this year. Softer yellow 'Jaap Groot' tulips are growing in the background. Both of these bulbs are good perennializers, so hopefully they'll be back for many springs to come.
At this time of year there is still a lot of bare ground showing. It would look better if we'd already spread more bark, but that hasn't happened yet this spring. Soon the daylilies and catmint will spread their leaves wide enough to fill in this view.
If only the 'Blue Star' junipers (one shown above) and 'Otto Luyken' laurels would mature as quickly. It will take a few more years for that. The 'Green Tower' boxwood in the picture above has shed its wan winter coloring and is looking vibrant green again.
One of the things I love about the new dogwoods is the way this one hides the bank of mailboxes when I look out the front window. Since dogwoods grow slowly around here, I splurged to get large trees. Now I'm a bit nervous about keeping them healthy and happy while they establish new roots. Wish me luck.
In this shot you can see the reddish leaves of three 'Eglantyne' roses that were planted close together. They're supposed to make one large bush. I also planted three 'Abraham Darby' roses to grow together in the bed closer to the porch.
Here is a shot of the cherry tree on the southwest corner of the house. The 'Coral Supreme' peony in front of the tree has several large buds for the first time, can't wait to see those blooms. You can see a bit of golden yellow basket of gold and orange tulips peeking through from the west flagstone path bed.
I'll finish with a view of the west bed, which has a bolder color scheme than the front yard. Only some of the tulips came back from last year, but the purple aubrieta and basket of gold keep getting bigger and better each year. You can see that the 'Teasing Georgia' rose on the trellis is actually climbing, finally, hooray.
Even though my eyes constantly pick out the parts of the front that need tweaking or more time to mature, it's fun to see the ways that this landscape has grown over the past two years. And it's nice to be able to share the garden with the neighborhood despite my urge to apologize for its faults. But really, it's just going to be so great in a few more years . . .