The front garden

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The patch of ground at the front of my house is not very inspiring!

When I first came to view the property, I felt something should be done to make it more welcoming but so far nothing has happened.

My neighbour, who shares the lawn, is concerned that if we dig up the grass it will increase the flood risk. Which means there is actually very little soil to play with.

So far, this has been covered in pebbles. And increasing encroaching grass as well as the ubiquitous dandelion. I am now in the process of removing all of this – but what am I going to plant instead?

© Helen Butt, March 2014

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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20 Responses to The front garden

  1. Lovely post Helen could you put daffs and lovely bulbs that keep coming up each year ?

  2. I like to plant perennials. I like to plant things that flower at different times of year because I like flowers through out the summer. I have been reading chriscondellos blog. He brought to my attention that a lot of spices flower nicely. He suggested planting them instead of flower or with your flowers. I have thought about mixing them in my flower bed next to my front door. It would empty space in my vegetable patch for other things. Plant what flower you like a lot.
    Honey

  3. streepie says:

    I would also go with puppiesinparadise’s suggestion and plant (perennial) herbs. You don’t even need to make a raised bed, it might even be sufficient to plant them in large pots (that’s what I have done). Our rosemary bush is in the ground, though.
    What could work is rosemary, thyme, oregano, mint, lemon balm, chives, parsley, and then you add a few annual herbs, like chervil or basil, in pots in summer.

  4. streepie says:

    oh, an depending on the exposure, you also put a few (chili) peppers there as well.

  5. I like streepies suggestion of planting in pots as well. It depends on your weather though. We have so much snow and freezing weather in Sweden. You have to cover the planters and insulate them in the winter. You risk your plants dying anyway or the pots cracking from the cold. I just bury the plants into my flower garden. I store the pots in our cellar during the winter. I buy new perienals every year.
    It is better if you put clay balls in the bottom of the pot otherwise you have to water them often.

    • I’ve never heard of clay balls before – they sound useful.

      The winter here is very variable – this last year has been warm and wet, and short. Last year was long and cold with lots of snow and ice. I think that looking for winter hardy stuff is a good start, as in all but the worst winters it should survive.

  6. P.E.A.C.E. says:

    Yes… what to plant.. what to plant? I always like tough-as-nails perennials (considering the tough conditions I have to work with) so I’d search out hardy types like Lamium or other low-care lovelies. But regardless, good for you to intend to plant something there! Good luck.
    Cheers, Gina

  7. I was thinking the same thing: raised beds. That way you don’t disturb what’s below. You could even do a step approach. One long narrow bed near the house, then a stepped down bed in front of that, and finally annuals in the ground in front of that. I like things in threes.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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