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More thoughts on the new Front Garden

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:21 pm

Some are definitely going to be put into place and some are just thoughts for now that I want to keep track of, they might change as the transition takes place.

All bulbs will be in pots and scattered around the garden. They are gorgeous in clumps in the garden but leave unplantable areas when they die back. Being in pots they will add color all over the garden, when they die back the pots will be hidden by the other plants or the pots will be moved to the back yard to a 'holding area' until next blooming season. The main problem will be digging them all up, the Glads and Iris have been in the ground for so many years that there will be dozens of bulbs I will probably miss. Oh, well.
I have started accumulating pots of all sorts for them at thrift stores.

A BACK yard full of what appears to be empty barren ground when perennials are dormant for the winter is okay, very few people will actually see it anyway. But a Front yard left barren like that is just not going to be understood by any one who passes by, especially the city environmental health inspectors who do not garden and wouldn't have the foggiest idea of what it going on out there.

So I have been studying up on what plants I need to have out there for year round green and to screen off the majority of the garden from passersby. I bought the Abelia last weekend to use for the hedge, will add Texas Sage and/or it's cultivar Silverado Sage and a Winter Bush Honeysuckle, the Viburnum I found on the sale table and the Firecracker bush I bought a while ago and the Texas Lilac that is still in it's pot a year after I bought it.
Possibly a red-twig Dogwood if they will do well down here and a Forsythia which I know will.
And the part still viewable will have some evergreen perennials...Germander both upright and creeping, Lamb's Ear, Dusty Miller and Red Yucca will add year round color.

There is a section at the south corner of the house where we have been fighting poison ivy for years and after having my first run-in with that 5 years ago and having arms and legs that looked like something from a Steven King movie, I will not be doing any gardening there. I got Randy to put edgeing and mulch on part of it and next spring I think I will fill that area up with large pots planted with native, drought tolerant grasses.

The north side of the house, along the wall that used to be the garage, there are two really large and very productive Pecan trees. As a result it is total shade and so far nothing but the English Ivy planted by the previous owner has been growing...oh and bunches of squirrel planted pecan trees too. I need to pull out more of the ivy that has crept back in. I have been putting grass and weeds into large brown paper lawn waste bags that are normally picked up by the city for composting. But I have been keeping some bags of the grass I pulled up to make the other bed out there, letting the stuff die and start composting in the bags....this winter I am going to spread all of that over the shaded area, top it off with lots of soil and bags of already composted material.
I had originally been trying to find all sorts of shade plants for that area, but the really common ones just won't work out there. So I think I will fill it with Toad Lilies and Lirope spicata. Lots of green with pretty blooms late summer thru fall.

I want a long narrow raised Rose bed along the front sidewalk. I want to sow wildflower seeds in the bed too...Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush in particular. They will grow and bloom in March/April well before the roses bloom.
I think having the rose bed raised about 10-12 inches will give a good backdrop for a berm to create a rain garden along the front too.

If I get the rose bed, then I won't need nearly as many hedge type plants, what I have already might suffice. Like I said these are ideas I have been mulling over and wanted to put them in the blog so I can think about them some more and revise them as needed. I have written down all these thoughts on slips of paper....have any of you seen stray pieces of paper laying around anywhere???

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Changing Fred into Fred-jables

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:14 am

Just thinking out loud for a few minutes on an idea that came to mind last night, or I should say really early this morning.

What if I transplant most of the plants from the backyard to the front yard over the fall and winter and turn the backyard into a vegie garden? I have gotten so interested in having our own fresh vegies from looking at the harvest pictures of Sjoerd and EJ. I have always wanted to grow potatoes, I have grown Okra and Blackeyed Peas successfully, tried corn and squash and failed....tried growing them in a summer that became one of the hottest and driest on record...but want to try again. There are a few other vegies I would like to try. And watching our grocery bill get higher and higher and the quality of the produce diminishing...especially when there have been quite a few problems with Salmonella outbreaks because of the poor hygiene practices of the pickers, growers and processors.

Some plants will have to stay out back, specifically the rose bushes, hibiscus plants and the Fig tree. But everything else can be moved while it is dormant or just breaking leaf in early spring. I may have to wait until early spring on some so I can find them ;)

The process can not even begin until Fall and hopefully at that time we will get rain to make the soil workable. So I have plenty of time before then to work out a garden design plan .....but then I have never been very good at planning things out so I will probably wind up just digging holes and sticking the plants in....but I do want to put some paths in before planting this time.

It's just something I am thinking about, probably wouldn't involve the whole backyard but the center portion where the main garden is at least. There are a lot of plants but I think I can do it.

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