Saturday, May 15, 2010 10:38 AM EDT
I am not a gardener or a green thumb. I kill houseplants and before buying a house, the only gardening I did was planting impatiens in my parents' garden — and I was given strict instructions on exactly where to plant them. But for some strange reason, when it came time to tend our new gardens, I was psyched.
Our front lawn had been turned into a big garden covered in wood chips long before we moved in and for a while I toyed with different ideas: using a mix of flowers, greenery and ground cover, creating a rock garden with succulents and hearty flowers or even getting really fancy and turning the whole thing into a Japanese rock garden — meaning all rocks with a few shrubs.
My front yard before it was mine last fall
After considering time, money and maintenance, I finally decided to do something fairly simple. I was curious about what the perennials were that were beginning to sprout (I'm still unsure about some of them. Again, not a gardener) and realized just how expensive the stones would be and how long it would take for ground cover to cover the whole area.
Loblaw's annual lawn and garden event was a big inspiration for me. I learned a thing or two about this season's hottest plants and found out which flowers and grasses would thrive in my mostly-sunny front yard.
Above are some of the plants I'm growing. The gorgeous Hosta (top left) and mystery plant (bottom right, anyone want to identify?) re-emerged in early May. I ADORE the Hens and Chicks succulents from Loblaws and they're thriving in my sandy soil!
I asked our garden expert Veronica Sliva for advice about a tree to replace the dead one in the before photo. Based on our North-facing exposure, she suggested a Japanese Maple, so of course I ran right out and picked one up!
This is the finished product. It's not breathtakingly beautiful but it's an improvement and it looks healthy, doesn't it? Plus, in a few years the teeny tiny Japanese Maple circled above will be the centre of attention.