Reclaiming The Front Garden

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”  ~ Lao Tzu


My garden has become a chore over the last few years.  Weed, grass and wildflower filled, it has lost its shape and feel.  And I lost my connectedness to my garden as well with not being intimately involved with it.  Trying to reclaim it and get a handle on the wildness became an impossible task, and one I almost walked away from.
But I decided to give it one more try.  To do this I had to find the right attitude to attack the issues which were many.

So I found when I approach any creative task with a playful attitude, it becomes much more satisfying.  With that playfulness, comes more of an interest in what I am doing, and I am able to stick with the task or project for the long-term.  This has helped especially this year working in the garden.  Keeping the playful spirit alive has made the tedious tasks more enjoyable when I was able to garden.



So this is the small front garden that borders the sidewalk and driveway to the left of the front door.  This was later spring when echinacea, iris and verbascum were beginning to bloom.  I decided to work in this bed first to get some control before attacking the other side of the sidewalk.



The front of the bed was looking much more like a garden after I weeded it the third time this spring.  Sage and lavender (above) also beginning to bloom.



I was overjoyed to see some volunteer sage to spread it around.



There are hydrangea, daylily and poppy about to bloom as well.



Columbine fading and violets done…..agastache and balloon flowers still growing.  This is the only part of the sidewalk garden I was able to reclaim before my back was injured, and I had to stop gardening for 4 months. 



Fast forward to late October…..I had one more weeding session in this garden.  I did make sure I trimmed the dwarf willows on either side of the porch.  This bed still needs soil/compost added, and mulch, but I am pleased with the plants that I added or moved around.  As I needed time to weed the other bigger part of the sidewalk garden, I had to move on, and decided to amend and mulch this garden next spring.



After several days of weeding between the raindrops, I was able to clear out the other bed of weeds, grass, volunteers and overgrown plants.  And in early November, both gardens that border our sidewalk were cleared.


Here’s another view….



The long garden on the outer side of the sidewalk has many smaller gardens and views.  As I stand on the driveway and gaze down this long garden, I see echinacea seed heads left for the finches, lavender still with that beautiful bluish foliage, a dwarf red rose still blooming, the dwarf forsythia just beginning to get a purple tinge to their leaves, but few have fallen.



This unnamed carpet rose was such a wonderful surprise to see blooming so late in fall.



And I love seeing the forsythia put on its fall colors….isn’t this an amazing array of colors.



Stepping to the other side of the forsythia, you can see more of the bones with boxwood and potentilla.



Past those shrubs as I move down there is little left here….a fairy rose, daylily, a few echinacea and agastache, 2 variegated Weigela shrubs, a bit of phlox, violets and a clematis.  This is where the fun will be come spring….deciding on what plants should be added here.



And if we look at this same spot from the sidewalk view, there are also a few columbine, dwarf iris and lilies.  This whole long garden needs to be edged better, lots of soil needs to be added and then once planted it needs mulch.  But that probably won’t happen until late summer/early fall.  I will need to weed it several times throughout spring, summer and fall to get rid of the majority of weeds that have invaded the gardens for a few years unchecked.



A week after I finished this front garden, the snow storms came…..3 storms leaving 2 feet of snow burying my garden. These storms snuck up on us leaving me dazed as I had so much left to do.  I wanted to get out and draw a sketch of the 2 gardens, noting the plants already there and adding the many bulbs in spring.  I am hoping for a thaw so I can get this sketching finished.  It is important so I can plan the redesign before spring.  But the garden is happy to be nestled beneath that warm blanket of snow.



The Last Vases From The Garden


The rose that was still blooming has been so resilient surviving weeds, rabbits and voles.  So of course I had to cut it and bring it in to enjoy.



Most of the hydrangeas were turning red and green, but there were 2 small ones just blooming.  I wanted to put them with the last of my green tomatoes that had ripened.  Good thing I rescued these flowers as the 2 feet of snow and frigid temps in the 20s would have killed them quickly.


I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. The pictures shared here were created with my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma.

I am posting poetry, almost weekly on Sundays, on my other blog, Living From Happiness.  You can read my latest poem here.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2018.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.