Garden Therapy week 1- post 1 of 3- The Front yard

We bought our little house from hippies. This is not an exaggeration. Unfortunately, they were not happy hippies. When they split up they fought over the house and it sat empty for 3 years. It went on and off the market and finally we bought it almost 5 years ago. As you can imagine (and you have to because I didn't take any pictures) it was wild, overgrown and a big mess.

We moved in late fall- then I had the accident and the baby- and we lost some time in fixing up the house. We have done some projects and have a ton left to go. A lot of what I do with the plantings is removing them- or at least pruning them to make them smaller, and trying to figure out what huge tree limbs to remove so that other trees can "breathe" and that sunlight can get to ground.

To see what I am up against I decided to take pictures instead of trying to describe it all. It was dark and dreary today so the pics are rather dark. I am going to do this in 3 posts because I have a lot to do. This is all about just the front of the house.

The house wasn't in the greatest condition when we go it and it was ugly. The white paint didn't do anything for the structure and the hippies had built this weird pergola on it. The picture I have here is when we painted the house green. The sides of the pergola had already been removed (they were a nasty grate that made me feel like I was living in a prison. A cheap, badly built prison that the birds loved to nest in.

Before pics-

after pics-
My husband cut down the abomination and built the railing instead.
This is the front- it gets no sun. I like the plantings, but need to work on the grass.

I have 3 planters- 2 on the porch, on by the second door. I don't like the pink and this will be the last year for that color.
This is my Iris garden. One of the jobs I have to do on my list is finish painting that little finch that covers up the gas box. I started to late last fall and didn't get to the third panel.
These are the plantings in the very front. Daylilies grow to well up here. I have to thin the heard this season.
I just put in the new pine bark mulch. I like it very much.
I started with the front because I don't really have to do anything up here and the garage sale is taking all my time this week. I will post the pics of the back and the side yards- I have a lot of work to do there- a lot. It's really kind of scary.


drwende said...

A lot of work... but it's heartening that the work you've already done looks so good.

lorijo said...

thanks. The front was all pavers and sand when we moved in, the beds next to the house in the front didn't exist, and the side iris garden had 3, yes 3, iris plants in it. There was a lot of weeds and invasive lemon balm though.

Alana in Canada said...

How did you get more irises? Did you buy and plant them? I have about five irises out back and I'd like to move them somewhere.

I wonder if the pergola was the wrong scale? --or is it just not something to put in the front yard? A house in the neighbourhood just added one--and it looks fantastic. Not sure why. I'm glad you posted the pic as I'm thinking of doing the same thing and I do NOT can not get it wrong the first go.

I like the idea of a little fence in front of whatever it is you said protrudes from the house. I have some really ugly ones at the back. It's a gret idea and obvious now I've seen it. Thanks.

lorijo said...

the pergola didn't look right on the house. It was too big, the sides were covered in diamond lattice,it had a strange decorative sun wooden side- and they didn't do a very good job on construction. It was a strange combo of semi-covered porch(sides but no roof) and pergola. I have seen ones that I like but this one was awful. Scale is everything I think.

The Iris issue is tricky. You can't move them until the end of their season. They have rhizomes- these huge root balls that are a pain to transplant. It's do-able, just prepare to dig a lot. I transplanted some irises from other parts of the property, my MIL gave me a few from her garden, and I bought some bulbs to finish the side garden. I also have lavender planted at the edges and the far side, and lily of the valley. I like the garden because other than pulling some weeds, it pretty much takes care of itself.

That fence thing is straight lattice and pressure treated lumber. It hides the gas meter and connections.

Alana in Canada said...

Ooh-lattice--that's in my non-existent budget!

Thanks for the explanation about the irises. I will have to determine where I want them before I move them. I take it they don't divide on their own, then. (sigh).