Friday, 23 May 2014

Front Garden Fix

A full year of construction on the back decks, a determinedly sunshiney few weeks of spring after a long harsh winter and a long weekend of raking and turning soil and weeding and seeding and planting in the back garden have turned our backyard from bleak to beautiful.

Front garden and steps, interlocking stone, townhouseWith all the focus on the backyard, though, our front garden has been sadly neglected since last year's front walk makeover when we put in a new garden with a stone retaining wall, a new stone step and a stone pathway up the side of the driveway to give our little townhome a little curb appeal. We had big plans for the entrance to our home this year - resurfacing the concrete steps and porch and replacing the white wooden railings with black wrought iron railings, then planting a few more cedars and finishing off with a couple of hanging baskets with ferns. It will be gorgeous. But between soccer every evening and weekend tournaments and end of school activities and endless spring and summer events filling up our weekends we haven't been able to get to it yet - and looking at the calendar going forward I'm not sure when we will be able to.

So, rather than leaving the sad, neglected mess that was our front entrance until we actually get around to making it over, this week I pulled out the shovels and rakes and grass seed and cedar mulch and tackled the front lawn and garden. I rebuilt the retaining walls which had loosened and started falling apart and started to look sloppy over the winter. I raked the lawn, regraded a mysterious hump, added topsoil and lawn seed. I turned over the soil in the gardens and topped up the cedar mulch covering all the beds. I pruned back the damaged bits from the hedges and shrubs.

A couple of hours of hard work later and I'm pretty happy with my no-money front yard facelift. It's back to looking...well, exactly like it did last year before this ridiculous polar vortex winter happened, half-killing our shrubbery between the ice storms and the extra twelve feet of snow piled on top of them all winter long, leaving a mess of broken branches and brown patches and salt damage and general yuckiness in place of our cute little front lawn and garden.

And you see that awkward gap, where the front garden wall and stone steps and stone walkway come together but don't quite meet? That teeny spot that's too narrow to grow grass and doesn't look quite right? I finally figured out what to do there. A couple of enormous boulders transplanted from our backyard and carefully positioned to look casual and natural cover up the awkwardness and the gap and add a little warmth to our front entrance. A cheerful pot of sunny orange flowers finish it off and keep our front walk welcoming until we can get to the big makeover later this year.

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