After laboring for 2 1/2 months on our back yard makeover, we completed the entire front yard in just 3 weeks! This whirlwind pace wasn't a result of any superhuman effort on our part, but simply because the front yard is much smaller and had only a few tree roots to slow us down. You cannot imagine the relief we felt when we began planting and our shovels actually went down into the soil WITH NO RESISTANCE. Let me tell you , I was practically dancing. In fact, I was so energized by this unexpected miracle that I singlehandedly planted nearly every plant in the front yard in one day. We laid them out according to Lisa's design, and I went to it like a possessed Ms. Greenjeans. The rapidly rising heat and humidity certainly provided extra motivation for me to finish quickly.
Rick was not idle. While I planted, he measured our pathways and auxiliary parking area and installed edging, shell and pea gravel. We have discovered during this project that we each have unique skills. My talents are better suited to planting and overall design/aesthetic decisions. He excels at math, measuring and putting things together. Together we make a successful home improvement team.
Unlike our back yard, the front has only one pathway and we chose pea gravel for that to make it less visible. It intersects with a large auxiliary parking area covered with washed shell which gives us a parking space for visitors, further prevents any rain runoff from leaving our property, and buffers our planted beds from the dust and dirt of the road.
The rest of the yard is a combination of native and non-native plants, with many shrubs that will eventually grow large enough to really take up some space. Lisa put several plants with reddish foliage or berries in our front yard to complement the brick red trim on our bungalow. That's another benefit of having a landscape designer -- I never would have thought to color-coordinate my home and yard!
Following is a list of the plants we used. I have noted plants I am especially impressed with or think are especially attractive with a "Love It!" remark.
Among the native plants in our front yard are:
1. Oakleaf hydrangea (Love It!)
2. Beautyberry (Love It!)
3. Simpson's Stopper
4. Dwarf Walter's Viburnum (known as Mrs. Schiller's Delight)
5. Blue Stem Palmetto
The non-native plants include:
1. Variegated Fragrant Ginger
2. Meyers' Liriope ( this is a really pretty, dense liriope developed by Rick Meyers, who owns the oldest nursery in Hillsborough County. Love it!)
3. St. Bernard's Lily (Love it!)
4. Red Cordyline
5. Holly Fern
6. Red Fountain Grass
8, Yedda hawthorne (This a somehwat unusual tree form of Indian Hawthorne that has very showy pink blossoms in the spring. Love it!)
Many people have asked us where we bought our plants, shell and other materials. In my next blog entry, I'll provide a complete list of the nurseries and landscape supply businesses we used. We really spread our money around among a variety of different businesses and feel proud that we did our part to stimulate the local economy!