Front Garden in Dry Times

Gardening Gone Wild is currently inviting us all to one of their popular Garden Bloggers Design Workshops: Front Yard Revisited. And with my Great Front Garden Remodel last October, I really have a story to tell. Except I've already told it. So, if you really want the whole story, go to all posts with the label Great Front Garden Remodel by clicking This Link.

But, just to summarize, I started with a front garden of blue hibiscus, cycads, a palm tree, and other plants that loved water.

It was pretty but not sustainable. I had also fallen in love with native plants, and the front garden had a lot of sun, ideal for chaparral and oak woodland plants that struggle in the partial shade of the redwoods in the back.

Now, my native plant paradise is slowly coming on its own. I started with 1 gallon pots, so the initial photos were really nothing to write home about.

Sure, it's nicely mulched, but the plants are looking a little lost.

But as it got warmer, the bulbs brought forth beautiful blossoms. Then the Mimulus, Penstemon, and Heuchera started to blossom. And the salvias are filling in, in fact, I'm pretty sure I overplanted. So, just six months later, we're getting some coverage and some color.

Grasses and succulents round out the picture. I've used the grasses for repetition along the dry stream bed, and it's restful for the eyes to watch them sway in the wind. Some of the other plants are, as they say, for the informal garden and I just let them spread out and be happy (for now).

I'm also pleased about the low bamboo edging I added and about the sign I have in the garden.

And the best thing? I only water every 10 days. Right now, I handwater, mostly the plants that might like a little extra in their first year. A great opportunity to see how all my plants are doing and pull any weeds. Though, truth be told, I have very few weeds now that only the plants get wet, and I do have a lot of mulch.

And what do the neighbors say? So far, all comments have been positive, and I keep hoping native plant fever will be contagious so that we can truly create a California habitat right where we live.


Tatyana said…
Dear Mouse, I like your house... ehhh... Dear Madam, I like your garden... Don't be mad, I like your front bed!(Just trying to rythm a bit). If seriiously, I think you did a great job. I LOVE the bamboo edging!
Gail said…
I love the changes...they fit your philosophy and house beautifully! I am in the process of making a few front yard changes myself...but only planning at this point! Gail
Country Mouse said…
Wow! what a difference between first planting and now - and between the prior planting and the current one. Aren't photographs great - and in five years you will have added more to the series - it'll be interesting to see how tall your taller plantings get - the vertical differences will open up more over time.
Susan Morrison said…
Your garden is filling in beautifully! I know its important to have shrubs and other long term structural plants, but I love the way perennials and grasses reward you right away with speedy growth.
Dear Mouse, what a lovely and wise transformation of your space! The pale yellow Mimulus by your Native Garden sign is particularly delicious...what variety is it? Will certainly be back to see how things develop!
Pam/Digging said…
When people see how good native plants can look in a garden setting, it can inspire them to follow suit. Your example is sure to inspire your neighbors, even if they just start out with one or two native plants that they admire. Well done!
ryan said…
It looks really nice. That's great that the neighbors like it too.