Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Landscaping project: Day 1

I've been dreaming about having my own full sun vegetable garden for years, and now I'm one big step closer. So far, I've grown my veggies in the back yard, in the shade of a 35 foot tall cottonwood tree and an even taller hackberry. Plus, the neighbors' trees and a couple of small oaks near the fence. This means that I have a decent winter/early spring garden, but everything's a struggle once the leaves come in. What I can grow well in the vegetable beds in summer: cucumbers and herbs. I've got lots of gorgeous basil and lemon balm. What grows but doesn't produce much of anything: tomatoes, peppers, and any other sun-lover.

My front yard, on the other hand, is full sun. Lots and lots of it. There was a flower bed along the curb/driveway and an herb bed along the front of the house when I bought the place; the rest was lawn. Now those are both full to the brim with plants: self-seeding flowers, mature plants that seemed so small when I put them in (I'm looking at you, chaste tree), a monster oregano hedge (over 4 feet across) that started in an innocent 4-inch pot. So, it's time for new beds in the front, especially dedicated to the sun-loving edible annuals.

I've been collecting ideas for a while and below is the plan for the front yard. And Tim (and team) of San Isidro Designs started work on it today. At a dinner party last year, I saw a residential landscaping project they did which was pretty fantastic (there are images on the site); that project used the materials I wanted to use in my yard. The front of the house is at the top of the plan.
And today a whole lot of lawn was removed (weedy bermuda grass is out, st. augustine under the ash tree is in) and some limestone blocks were put in as a border. I think it looks pretty great, and it's just day one. This is the view from my front entry area.
Of course, a thunderstorm rolled in shortly after and it looked more like this (don't know if Team Isidro can do much in the next couple of days).
Still trying to figure out the best xeriscape plants to soften/screen the beds from the street view. Probably lots of Mexican feather grass, some spineless prickly pear, and a red bird of paradise (which I've always wanted). So many exciting things to think about.

No comments: