the journey continues... project 2009
As I have said before, to me developing the garden is a process that I enjoy for it's own sake and to 'finish' the garden is not an end I seek. But I do look to improve it each year. Last year's major project was reshaping the lawn in the backyard. This year's major project will be to reshape the front garden by adding a new bed that will wrap the driveway border around the main bed and turn the remaining bit of lawn into a path.
In the drawing below, the new bit is the narrow bed at the road side. (Pardon the crude, unlabelled drawing - it is to scale; because it is just for me and I know what all the plants are, it is unlabelled. My course teacher would probably not approve of the quality of the drawing but I'm an easier taskmaster :- )
All the other plants are already in place - you can see what various areas look like now by checking the linked album. Only the narrow strip has to be dug, brick -edged, and planted. At this point, my plan is to use the same range of plants as are in the driveway border - Pink Beauty potentilla as the dominant plant, with peonies, hardy hibiscus, asters, lilies and spring bulbs tucked in here and there.
I also think I'll change the grass path that runs between the back of the driveway border and the small rose bed tucked into the curve of the driveway to a bark mulch one. That will leave the main path around the bigger bed as a sweep of grass and make the loop around the rose bed clearly a secondary path - and, since it is heavily shaded by the rose and its neighbours, the grass is dying out there anyway!
The paths through the main bed always remind me of 'Gumby goes to Heaven' (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/27503925@N00/108748204) when I look at them in plan view. I tend to like more formal cruciform paths but while the big cedar lives, that doesn't really seem to be an option. This layout is functional since it aids in maintenance and takes me where I want to go when I walk around the garden. So I just call them 'Gumby goes gardening' and leave it be :-) The odd shape is more obvious in the plan view than when walking about I think.
Comments on other things I should be considering...? I'm halfway through the 'The Poetics of Gardens' book that Ink recommended. This morning I read this:'A garden you walk through, however small it may be, must be composed in time as well as space.' I'm not quite sure how to address that - but it seems profound :-) My garden is definitely one you walk through - lots of paths in both front and back garden areas. There is an element of time in that we've been working at developing this over the last 8 years. Some of the things - like the cedar - are mature plants that have been incorporated into the garden while others, like the flowering trees, are still too young to be making a big impact.
Now is a good time to solicit ideas for other things to consider - so add your input here....:-)
(P.S - the blank spaces in the beds are where perennials are; the narrow bed on the south side of the driveway is largely an herb bed; the round circles on the driveway are pots of strawberries, blueberries, peas and misc. other veggies and annual.)
Here is a link that might be useful: front garden