Monday, September 8, 2008


In the suburb where I live front yards are neat and showy. Manicured lawns, ordered shrubs and bushes neatly enclosed in garden beds, paved driveways leading to the garage. There is this unwritten code that front gardens are for show.

When I go walking around the neighbourhood with Zippy we play this game - guess what sort of people live here. According to Zippy the super neat gardens and houses belong to fussy, posh people, the messier gardens to lazy people. I guess the front garden of a home is a statement to the whole neighbourhood of what the people who live in the house are like.

So that got me thinking of what first impressions I want to give people when they come to my front garden. I want people to know that I love gardening, that I am concerned about the enviroment and that everyone can grow vegetables and fruits.

Mr. Gadget and I have just redone our front yard. We have paved the driveway, dug up all the lawn and replaced it with larger gardens and reduced the amount of lawn at the front. I was all for making the whole front garden and no lawn but Mr. Gadget was a tad horrified with this suggestion - he is far more conservative than me and has a desire to impress the neighbours with an ordered front yard. So we compromised. Since I am the gardener I got the job of choosing and planting the gardens out.

Our front yard is facing north and the best place for growing veges. It is a lovely size too and off the road. The front hedge (to the right of the photo is plumbago).

Below is the larger part of the garden. Over that brick wall is our pool. In front of the wall I have planted photinia to form a hedge. I want the pool area to be nice and private so want the photinia to be a foot higher than the brick wall. The weeping tree at the front is a black mulberry. There are 5 standard roses, 3 blue mooon roses, apaganthus and clivia bulbs.

On the other side of the hedge is a public walkway. I have replaced the grass with agapanthus and further along grevilleas for privacy. I am going to plant pumpkins and other veges out there this year - between our fence and the grevilleas. It is council land but not used by anyone and gets lots of sun.Looking up the driveway I have a teardrop garden bed with a small magnolia tree, three lavendar plants and a border of parsley planted. The dirt is where the turf will be layed (hopefully next week).This is the path leading to the front garden. The garden has been extended. The greenery is the original garden - mondo grass, hydrangeas, some sort of ginger, and manfern. In the front I have planted tomatoes, eggplants and edged with more parsley. I had intended on planting mondo grass and more hydrangeas in front.Towards the side is a smaller garden bed. There is a coffee tree (coffea Arabica), star jasmine and thyme in this garden.

The agapanthus were all given to me and are great fillers. But now I am realizing that I am going to be space poor to fit in all the veges and fruit trees on my wish list so thinking that they may have to go to make room for more productive plants. But that job will be for another day!

M xx

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