Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop – Front-Yard Gardens

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Here's my post for this month's Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop - Front-Yard Gardens

Front-yard garden in June.
front garden

I've got big problems with my front-yard garden. Oh, it's actually not all that bad. The path leads to the front door. There are lots of interesting plants along the way -- some small that cause you to pause and bend over, others that release fragrances as you brush by them. And it's not as wild as some of my plantings.

The big problem is no one uses the path to the front door except for the occasional deliveryman who's new on the route. We've had packages sit for days between the front doors, unnoticed.

Those doors open directly into the living room. No mud room. No entryway. You come in that door and you are standing next to the sofa. That just doesn't work in this climate. During winter, you can't even get to the unshoveled walk because the Christmas lights block the gap in the fence you'd have to walk through to follow the path.

Despite the fact that no one uses the front walk, I maintain the illusion that this is the way into the house. The proverbial Bible salesmen knock out front, giving away their lack of familiarity with the daily patterns of life in Ellis Hollow. But anyone who knows us goes right to the back door to be greated by Jade and Fred.

Clematis and hosta flowers on the way to the front door in August.
clematishosta flowers

Another June shot out front.
front bed

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Pings on Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop – Front-Yard Gardens

April 30, 2008

Comments on Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop – Front-Yard Gardens Leave a Comment

April 15, 2008

Benjamin @ 5:11 pm #

You know, I might (might) be a sinister fellow, but I love the idea of a beautiful walk to the front door and it’s not in fact a front door. I think it’s charmingly funny. Witty. Beautifully cruel. I might have to adopt this policy as I’m always out back in summer, and the doorbell rings, and I never know it. Just come round back y’all, the gate’s open (or, leave me alone, good luck finding a way to get to me, because if I liked you I’d let you know the secret knock / walkway).

what a great job! Would love to see all seasons in your garden.

Kim @ 9:22 pm #

Solve? Problem? Count me in with the bunch who see no problem here… just a beautiful walkway. Of course, I don’t really blame the delivery guy or the Jehovah’s witnesses. I’d be tempted to walk down that path just because. Especially when that huge goatsbeard is in bloom. I’d probably take the “escape route” to the right instead of turning left to the front door, though… looks like some more interesting gardens to see around that way… :)

I also like how you offset the straight path with those curving beds and arcs of lawn in front of them, Craig. Really nice.

April 16, 2008

nhnursery @ 5:21 am #

I think the walkway is beautiful. You have to get great comments by all passersby’s.

April 17, 2008

Mary @ 4:35 am #

Cool. I love the plants along your path.

I am on a corner lot, and have mock terraced both sides of the corner, 3 beds on one side, and 4 beds on the other, with a trianbular bed of roses at the actual corner. It is so much nicer than just having a boring yard full of grass and weeds.

I still have weeds, but they aren’t nearly as noticeable, with all of the flowers growing.
Mary

Are you Italian? Nobody uses my parents’ front door except strangers & delivery people, even though the front door opens onto a perfectly good entry hall. No, my family prefers to open the door to the garage, walk through the garage & just walk into the house in the entry near the kitchen. (Maybe we’re led by our noses.)
Your front walk is quite a treat to those ignored Jehovah’s Witnesses. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Kathy @ 9:41 am #

My front door is also never used, partly because, like yours, it opens right into the living room, and partly because the side door opens right onto the driveway, so everyone getting out of a car (99% of our visitors drive a car to get to us) naturally gravitates to that door. Unfortunately, the side door opens right into the kitchen, so it becomes the de facto mud room–and looks it. Doesn’t help that the driveway isn’t paved, either.

My faux front door only has lawn for a pathway so is not as tempting to strangers.

See you on Saturday.

April 18, 2008

Not that I think you need a “solution” for such a beautiful area in your garden, but I know someone who also doesn’t use her front door either and she just puts out a giant pot of fleurs on the stoop that effectively dissuades anyone from using it. Come to think of it, I have the same “problem”…! (and I’m not Italian either)

lisa @ 3:19 pm #

I agree with the others that “problem” isn’t really the word. I think you have a solution-to maintaining peace and quiet when you’re out back. Kris’s idea is good, too…maybe a large planter smack in the middle of the porch would make the appropriate statement. :)

Don @ 6:38 pm #

I love your problem. We have four doors that come into our farmhouse, but none of them have any problems like your front door! I am inspired to get going with some trouble-making.

I will get lost in your blog, and won’t want to be found!

April 20, 2008

naoto @ 6:03 am #

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Apple @ 12:54 pm #

Back door guests I like the best! Your front path is lovely. I haven’t done much with my front garden because very few come to the front door and we don’t spend anytime there.

eliz @ 7:32 pm #

The people who lived in our house before us outlawed use of the front door and never let anyone set foot in the living room. They basically lived in the kitchen. I’m not sure it’s an Italian thing.

I don’t do that, because there is a perfectly good vestibule and hallway. I love your walkway.

April 21, 2008

misslynn @ 12:58 pm #

Craig, you’ve mentioned lack of light before…maybe seal off that door for good and make a nice big fat window there that looks onto the fabulous plantings? Looking forward to seeing it this June!

April 28, 2008

Nan Ondra @ 2:36 pm #

I’d keep the path as it is just for the photo opportunities. The setting is so charming, and it looks like you get some lovely light effects there as well.

April 30, 2008

Pam/Digging @ 7:17 pm #

I like the way you created a curvy border around a straight path. It’s very unique and looks lovely. Even if no one ever sees it.

May 1, 2008

I love the front walk. It looks like a wonderful place to escape to and have a cup of tea.

Heirloom Gardener

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