Re-designing my front yard consumed the better part of spring/summer 2012. I had a decent front yard at first.
until the day I decided to separate my dogs from each other. My smaller terrier Shadow was getting too roughed up in battles with Trooper my new Rottweiler. Trooper wasn’t aggresive but Shadow was bent on proving he was pack leader and would continually start a scrap…he never won and would end up beat up so I put up a fence in my front yard and settled him into his new home.
When we bought our home the front was a hodgepodge of dirt and scrappy plants so we added grass and I put in a pond. Shadow was just a small dog, how much damage could he really do other than wear a strip along the fence yapping at people as they walked by.
Our home sits lengthwise on our 50 by 150 ft long lot.
The windows you see all face south and stare straight at my neighbor’s home. The living room starts with the small little piano window (yes it’s an old home) then we have a larger window that offers a view of my neighbors stucco home and lastly the kitchen window. The kitchen window view is also fantastic…my neighbors back door, I hate my view passionately and need to come up with a brilliant way to change it.
My biggest problem are 3 big pine and spruce trees that hug the property line which is also lined with a short concrete wall. Initially the trees hid the house kinda sorta but as they grew the branches went up leaving only a trunk to hide the house. Putting up a fence is proving to be a big challenge. At least I have a great neighbor but still…I would prefer “no exposure” especially when I sit at my kitchen table with my drapes open.
My husband is a great collector aka hoarder of all that can be fixed or utilized. My re-designed project would have to start with re-homing a Yamaha trike, stacks of sheet metal, and a claw foot tub but before finding new homes I would use these items first.
I started with the old Yamaha trike that was stashed in the corner of the front yard. I drug it to the sidewalk next to the sheet metal. That is where I first sat and started to think.
After a few weeks of moving my butt from the trike to sheet metal stash and back to the trike I settled my rear on an old dog house that was stashed in the other side of the front yard, puckered my lips, scrunched my brows, I was still thinking and getting frustrated.
Just what the hell was I going to do with my “once beautiful” front yard that the dog trashed and turned into weeds and dirt over the past 2 years and where would these props go live.
After much procrastination I decided to start moving the junk. I began with the sheet metal, 2 pieces at a time IS IT EVER HEAVY! I carried two at a time 50ft to the north side of the house, miserable job. Then I drug the trike with flat wheels 150ft behind the garage in hopes that someone would steal it. Now the clawfoot tub was a trick all to its own and needed some extreme creative thinking. It felt like 300lbs of dead steel weight and I was slight of 100. I found some 2 ft copper pipe pieces and pushed the tub over top of them then rolled the tub up the sidewalk and up 2 steps on to the deck; looking back now I honestly don’t know how I managed to get it up the steps but I did.
With most of the props gone and shovel in hand I decided to just start digging a new flower bed just a few feet from the pond garden you see here.
I used some 4 by 4 posts ( extremely handy stuff my hoarder husband salvaged from work) for my new flower bed. Then I added another sloping bed beside the pine tree and bought a statue.
I extended this statue sloping bed and cut out an interesting flower petal pattern along and in front of my neighbors bush border.
I dug a flower bed at the front of the yard….
And decided my narrow yard needed one more touch of something so I added a flowerbed bird feeding station. I had spent a lot of money on plants so I couldn’t lay the ground walkway material just yet. I did have a lot of left over roofing paper so I lay that down instead. It kept the weeds from sprouting. For fun and interest sake I cut holes in the paper and grew some pumpkins.
I love my front yard view now. We have started putting in fence posts to add a lattice fence but stopped at the big pine tree…crap…haven’t figured out that problem.
Until I get my fence up I put the lattice on the chain link at the front, It spruces it up I think…can’t say I’m crazy about chain link but hey! it was free.
The dogs are now all together again in the back when I’m outside but Shadow comes in the house when I do. Having a dog problem was a blessing in disguise. It caused me to create something spectacular out of something good enough. I have an abundance of wild birds that visit now, Hawks, doves, sparrows, pileated wood peckers…
A hawk swooped in and stole a magpies lunch.
My yard is now virtually maintenance free, I have no grass to cut and with so many healthy plants weeds are few. I use no chemicals but only natural source fertilizer; my chickens and the kitchen compost they love to scratch in. I even planted a little corn and red bean garden just for them ha ha, I love them.
Maybe I’ve inspired you to create something fantastic this year, maybe you already have? I love design that not only utilizes all the rooms in your home or yard spaces, but adds interest and beauty, and the more disastrous a beginning the better because that is where the true challenge is and your genus exposed.