There is a lot of shelter and garden eye candy out there, this much we know. But if you ask me, Fine Gardening has got the lock on gardening for all levels be itÂ gumshoeÂ or advanced.Â Their tips areÂ concise and actuallyÂ helpful, probably because they are written by real gardeners living in the regions they write about planting in. The writer that isÂ advising usÂ on the top ten shade plants for the Southeast actually lives in the Southeast.
I was recently drawn to this article in Fine GardeningÂ about front yards and first impressionsÂ and specifically to the brief section on designing for Arts & Crafts style homes.Â The edging caught my eye because itsÂ simple,Â tumbledÂ bluestone and the beds aren’t raised or mounded.
Why this particular article, well becauseÂ Dan and I realized that after we spent a significant pile of cash on the stone planting wall in the front of the house, we felt ourselves pulling out of the driveway slowly feeling like the front left something to be desired. I guess we thought that the wall was going to give us this instant perfection and that we were going to be the starsÂ of the neighborhood.Â Truth be told, the front yard isn’t done but it’s done for this season because we are committed to working the backyard before winter and we need our fire pit ASAP.
After standing in my front yard and staring, I realized that the beds coupled with the old concrete paths band together to become linear overkill, everything is straight and squared off.Â The beds don’t have any natural curve and yes there are other obvious problems as well like the plants are young, the concrete walkways are old and non-descript and the squares of grass are boring and really unneededÂ and I need a window box underneath the left bank of windows.Â But…as I said before, backyard takes precedent.
It does make me feel better when I remind myself of what we started with, gnarly, old and abused boxwoods and weeds.