Pity my poor front yard, people. Seriously, this part of my otherwise fairly lovely home is either in the gardening and design equivalent of ICU, or it’s on its last leg. The weeds are winning, and I don’t think I can any longer put off making a major decision about a course of action.
I do love a formal garden, but I think that having one will involve way more work than I can handle. I wish I had the time, but I simply don’t.
And I know this from experience — recent experience. I weeded my back patio two weeks ago and all of the crouching and reaching meant that I pretty much couldn’t walk without cringing or bend without a squee (technical term) of agony for, like, six days afterwards. Pathetic, I know — and it gets worse. I weeded the front yard this past weekend, I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’m currently in traction and contemplating rehab for my hamstrings alone.
I would love to have a gardener. Anyone want to be my gardener? I don’t even need you to be a Desperate Housewives-esque type (hulking biceps, pecs galore and rugged good looks). Beggars can’t be choosers, and I accept this; I will, of course, accept you more if you are a Desperate Housewives-esque type.
I live in an historical neighbourhood with gardens for which the term Garden Tours was coined. Actually, there is a tour of the gardens and homes in my neighbourhood. When the annual tour hits my block, I kid you not, the tourists cross the street as soon as they get to my yard. I’m kind of grateful for this, as it saves me from having to put on an oversized hat and veil to hide my identity. Instead, I’m able to wallow in shame without the garb, whilst sipping a large gin cocktail from my paint-desperate front porch, looking at my weeds.
Still, I am determined! This year is the year!! I’m going to have a resplendent yard, despite obviously being well on my way to having it kill me. Last weekend, I walked the neighbourhood in search of inspiring yards/designs. (I will admit, I was also hoping to poach a gardener.) I armed myself with charm and my ridiculously cute almost-3-year-old, who decided the only way to walk is backwards — which turned out to be ideal for garden scouting. Here are some of my real-life discoveries (well, real-life, except for the picture at the top of this post, which is actually a miniature of a front yard garden, in a potted plant).
Exhibit A: Wrought-iron gate and fence
I love love love the idea of gating/fencing off my front yard. Nothing elaborate or befitting St. Peter’s Palace in Russia or what have you: just simple Victorian wrought iron. Bonus: I don’t have to worry about my ridiculously cute almost-3-year-old bolting out into traffic. He hasn’t figured out how to get out of his crib in almost 3 years, so he won’t be scaling any stabby fences in the foreseeable future.
Exhibit B: Japanese Maple and easy-to-maintain shrubbery
This yard really caught my eye. Simply spellbinding Japanese Maple, and terrifically low-maintenance shrubbery. One downside for me, here, is no grass — I like/want/need grass in my garden. As well, I’m not really a shabby-chic kinda gal, so not everything here works for me. I like architecture and order in my design, and in my gardens. Ironic, considering I thrive on chaos everywhere else.
In addition to a gate and fence, I am desperate for a retaining wall. There is no point in doing anything until this happens, as everything tends to get washed away with a slight sprinkling of rain. This is why (or so I tell myself) I’ve not done anything major to date.
Of course, as soon as I start thinking about gardenscapes and everything that they entail, I immediately revert back to obsessing over my porch/front door/trim and what the heck to paint it all. Yet another reason why, more often than not, I’m paralyzed by indecision. Of course, it doesn’t mean I stop fretting about it…
I’ll leave the paint dilemma for a future post. You’ll need to restock your own gin supplies before I open that can of worms.
In the Comments, let me know what you think works best in an urban front yard garden. Whether you’re a gardener or not, I could use the help!