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Keep central garden or move to perimeter of yard?

Posted by trovesoftrilliums 5 (My Page) on
Fri, May 3, 13 at 10:56

The standard model seems to be a central area of grass surrounded by garden beds. I understand several reasons for this--maybe the garden bed follows the property line or is planted in front of the fence. Plus this leaves a continuous grass section.

My garden has developed into the opposite model though as we extended from existing trees/shrubs. My main garden areas are in my side yard--the flattest sunniest part. It is a highly visible large central garden surrounded by grass. It looks a little...funky!

We need to make some decisions on path and patio placement. We also will probably have a dry creek and rain garden put in the back due to water issues. With all this work coming up I am considering repositioning my garden area. I will have to dig up numerous plants for the retaining wall anyways. But...I feel reluctant to make this much of a change. Argh.

Pluses: we could have more perimeter screening. I could devote more space to larger shrubs and small trees. The yard might look more normal (thinking of eventual resale). I could have the new bed created and transplant directly from existing bed and thus eliminate the need to pot up or temporarily hold dug up plants.

Cons: More expensive. Would end up a more permanent feature (my concern here relates to how long we plan to be in this house. We like it but do not love it. Is that good enough?? Do I put my dreams if owning a couple if acres in hold for now? Of course, I know no one else can answer that, just putting my thoughts out there. :))

It is so hard for me to decide. I did not choose to have the large central garden (long story!). But now that is is this way, switching it seems silly! Part of it is the thought I'd replanting grass. Can I possibly just add in new beds along the perimeter and have zero grass??? When I start thinking like that I wonder if I have gone off the deep end.

Anyways...any thoughts? Here's my side yard last summer, it is a large rectangular bed surrounded by grass in front and in each side with trees to the back.

Would you keep it as it is or go for a redesign?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Keep central garden or move to perimeter of yard?

Ha! I meant to post this on the cottage garden forum.

RE: Keep central garden or move to perimeter of yard?

Well here's a picture from today.

RE: Keep central garden or move to perimeter of yard?

I love it. I wouldn't move a thing. I love the style of your gardens. Very relaxed and cottage-like. A lot like mine!

I like unpredictable gardens. Especially if you live in a subdivision. I think it helps you stand out!

RE: Keep central garden or move to perimeter of yard?

I say keep it. I planned to have both, but we end up using the middle of the front lawn as extra parking sometimes when there's several guests...sooo...perimeter is what I've settled with. I see nothing wrong with an "island garden"!

RE: Keep central garden or move to perimeter of yard?

I took a large, established rectangular perennial garden much like yours, cut it in half diagonally, set a rough-cut granite bench in the middle of the long side and curved the edges of it off to either side of the now triangular bed. The linear edges of the rectangle offended the vision I had for my garden--I was going for a more soothing, relaxed look. It's now got curb appeal and when sitting on the bench, one faces my French curve butterfly bed. Cutting it in half also substantially reduced maintenance, mulching, weeding, etc.

FYI - I drove my truck to a nearby quarry, loaded the patio granite in the truck myself & hauled it home. Migrant workers laid the patio in concrete so the cost was well within my meager budget.

RE: Keep central garden or move to perimeter of yard?

The only thing I would change would be that your garden be right side up. ;)


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