The Front Garden – Learning

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERASo when we first moved in 2010, there was no front garden. There were a few weeds and some snapdragons in the corner, but nothing else. I dug out a small garden in the corner and a few inches around the walkway the first fall and my DH & I put some tulip bulbs in. We had a GORGEOUS display of tulips the first spring after we moved in – all beautiful red and white.

So the next summer, in 2011, I worked on widening the garden and trying to plant some annuals. What I learned that year is that when Impatiens say they need shade, you cant plant them in our front garden.

That year I learned that the tags on plants are more than just a suggestion from anal retentive know-it-all plant companies – shade plant really cant grow well in full sun. And I learned that Impatiens arent a good buy for anywhere on our property at the moment, no matter how cheap they are. We get what I now like to call Full Death Valley Sun. We see the sun rise, its on the garden all day, and we see the sun set. There is no shade.

That fall, in 2011, we planted more bulbs for another spring display in 2012. Big disappointment! Hardly any of the bulbs came up the 2nd year. In retrospect, I think it just didnt get cold enough for them this winter for them to bloom. Which is kind of scary, that it didnt get cold enough in the GTA for tulips to bloom.

So I spent my frustration on widening the garden again and trying to make it look nicer. The garden is full of CRAP where the builders just left their garbage and laid sod over it all. Its almost impossible to dig through. But we’re making progress.
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Then for Mothers Day 2012, my husband & the kids got me a consultation with a landscape designer. So she came out and told me to ditch the tacky plastic fence. I thought it looked nice, but I`ll defer to her professional opinion.

She gave us a plan that will take us a few years to get done by ourselves. To start with though I wanted to get the boxwood bush put in soon so it can start growing. I was also getting tired of weeds growing into the garden so I dug out the garden, widened it a bit and put plastic edge trim in.

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I learned from the lesson of the dying impatiens last year, so this year we put in sun-loving Petunias and Alyssium. They look so small when they come from the garden center, but they grow bigger.

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Here’s how they look on Aug 12, 2012:

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The soil in the front of the yard is very gravelly. Thats because the real topsoil was scraped away while the house was being built, and then all kinds of garbage, fill, concrete bits, mortar and brick dumped in there. Ive removed quite a bit of dirt and replaced it with multiple bags of topsoil, but its still not fantastic.

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