Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The front garden, checking back in.

Last June I finally broke down and shared photos of the "redone" front garden. Even though it had yet to grow into itself (the newly planted are so small), and I was really not loving it, I needed to show it when it was young, before I could (hopefully) share how it looks when it grows up. Well it still has a long way to go before it is ‘grown up’, but at last I’m not wincing now when I see it.

First, this is the view out our front door (we have a glass “screen” door so we can enjoy the view securely). These Canna have never bloomed better than they are this year. Looking to the north…
And to the south…
Now we are outside, looking back at the garden towards the southwest.
With the addition of the bargain Puyas (from my visit to Dancing Oaks Nursery), the growing Canna’s, and a couple more Prickly Pears from the kind neighbor, this area has really filled in.
The Tetrapanax has grown, as they tend to do. No babies yet.
The purple Cordyline that came back from the dead is also achieving some size. And the prostrate Ceanothus has spread out a bit.
On the right, glowing in the sun, is my Manzanita… Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Harmony.' I am as in love with this plant now as the day that I bought it.
It’s gown just a little bit, and I’m okay with that, as long as it lives through the winter. That is all I’m asking.
Thanks to the huge Verbascum the northwest corner is looking good.
The $1.99 Callistemon has responded to what summer sun we’ve had, I wonder if it will bloom next summer?
I (stupidly?) managed to squeeze two different Ceanothus into this area (to the left and right of the bottom Verbascum). I think I’ve set up a battle for dominance…who will win?
Another of the small plants that were newly planted this spring, the Cotinus ‘Royal Purple.’ I am very disappointed in the growth I’ve seen this year. There was virtually none. Perhaps all her energy was going to producing roots and next year she’ll take off? I am happy with the fall color…imagine huge bush glowing like this!
And remember the Euphorbia rigida given to me by Kat? Well it has a proud placement right next to the sidewalk and driveway, so everyone who passes by can enjoy it. I am very excited to see it bloom next spring.
And now looking back towards the northeast.
Notice anything? (besides the fact that the Eucomis are not blooming). This is the time of year when the leaves arrive. Sometimes I feel the time I save by not tending to a lawn in the spring and summer is given back cleaning up the leaves that blow into the gravel from the neighbor’s tree in the fall.
I think someone once said there is no such thing as a maintenance free garden? So true. But I have to admit I wouldn’t have it any other way. Where’s the fun in that?


  1. Love the color echoes. This is going to be fab as it matures. It's pretty rockin' right now.

  2. Hi Loree, Your front yard looks great. I love the plant choices. I hope your Cotinus does better next year. In my experience they're slow growing but it has wonderful fall color. I love the look of gravel. Here's hoping the wind blows the neighbor's leaves in the other direction.

  3. Isn't it amazing how things fill in so quickly in the PNW. Even with the late arrival of summer. Your front garden is looking great!

  4. Loree, it all looks grand. My smoke tree in the front garden has grown slowly too. 'Grace' in the back garden, a cross with obovata, is steroidal in growth -- not as good as it sounds. You're right about gravel -- sometimes a nuisance but I wouldn't have it any other way either. Also really enjoyed your garden visit to the booster seat friends.

  5. It all looks awesome ! My Cotinus took a couple of years to attain any size and last winter I coppiced it with mixed results. I want C. 'Golden Spirit' in the worst way.That Verbascum is fabulous..who needs flowers ?

  6. It's really looking good! I love Manzanita...I'll cross my fingers for yours. The Verbascum is rad, love those velvety leaves. I'm still trying to figure out a place to sqeeze in a Cotinus of my own...their fall color is pretty stupendous. That Euphorbia may be my favorite euph., there's something so crazy and sculptural about it!

  7. Your gravel always looks so pristine. I have long wondered about the upkeep. I skootch around picking out leaves by hand, but R rakes with faster, almost as good, results. What is your method?
    So pleased to see you getting well-earned recognition in The Oregonian this morning. Especially loved the rejoinder to the five plants query.
    The front garden is really coming along...almost my favorite stage: filled with promise.

  8. College Gardener, thank you!

    Jenn, "color echoes" I love that!

    Grace, oh I like that idea!!! (the wind)

    Linda, late arrival and early departure!

    Denise, thank you!

    ks, agreed! (flowers) I kind of wish they would just stay as they are...

    scott, wow I don't think I could pick a favorite Euph!

    ricki, actually I do both. We have a little plastic kids rake...that works in places and in others nothing works as well as my hands (with gloves on of course). Thank you for the comment you left on Kym's post!

  9. Bravo to you for resisting the urge to fill in all spare space. I wish I was that strong when I put in my front garden. I am now facing some painful editing.

  10. Les, mother nature has done a lot of editing for me. If things hadn't been wiped out 2 winters ago I think this year I would have been (happily) living in a jungle. But your right, I did try and keep a little negative space around the plantings this go 'round. Hopefully it will get a little smaller!


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