Sunday, May 2, 2010

Before and after of the front yard

I wish I had electronic pics of my house when I first got it so that I could show those.  Alas, you only get to see what I've done so far this spring.

Front yard, left side before (omg how embarassing)

And after...

I ripped out much of what was in there (besides the weeds!) and extended the bed back about a foot at the top of the bed.  Over the years the grass has crept down the hill.  The bed combines ornamentals, mostly on the left, and herbs.  The herbs are around the edges at the top right, stairs, and sidewalk, so that we can access them easily.  I plan for these to be for culinary use.

Remember these chives?

Well, they now have a new spot to grow and thrive, sans poule.

(I cannot get this f-ing picture to rotate right... annoying!)
My herbs this year include:
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Lavendar
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro

I still need marjoram and mint, so if anyone has starts they'd like to get rid of let me know.
Here's the new raspberry bed.  Some of the little plants did not appreciate being transplanted and have been pouting.  I think that they'll perk up in time.  Eventually I'll give them a more study support than this but for now this prevents the local kids from stepping on the plants.  Depending upon how well they do here, I may create a larger bed devoted strictly to raspberries.  This area of the yard is all dead space, occupied only by grass and moss.  The neighbor to the left has been talking about creating a raspberry bed on her side.  As assertive as these plants have proven to be (they come from friends who had tons of shoots), I suspect that my neighbor might get raspberries anyway.
To the right of the stairs, the asparagus patch has done well.  Of the 12 asparagus root stock I planted about 9-10 have sent up wee little spears. 
The weeds have popped up, too.
What didn't do well was the strawberries: not 1 of 20 came up.  What a waste of money.  I don't know if the root stock were bad or if the cold, rainy spring made them rot. 
The good news is that while weeding I found that several dozen strawberry plants that had volunteered in a 1' x 1' section.  About 20 of them got pressed into service and are now in the spots formerly taken by the draft dodgers.  The rest got shipped off to the reserves (a neighbor).
The local high school's FFA club had a plant sale yesterday.  I ran over and got 3 organic heirloom tomatoes ("chocolate cherry", "black" something, and "yellow" something), plus 2 everbearing strawberry plants called "tri-star".  It cost just $9! 
Maybe the 4th time is the charm for artichokes?  I've planted them 3 years in a row from seed and never gotten a single choke.  This year I gave up and bought a started plant.
All in all I feel good about the front yard.  It has been hard work because I neglected those beds most of last summer.  At least now I have a less-fuzzy vision for how to use the space and what I want to get out of it.


  1. Nery nice! I love a front yard that's beautiful and productive, too! :)

  2. Strawberry plants are often slow to come up in the spring. Have you had any luck yet?