The front yard has a semi sunny wildflower area between the slate walk and the house, a line of roses on the far side of the driveway, then grass and three sycamores lined up near the sidewalk with flowers (snapdragons, chrysanthemums, coleus, violets, primroses, alyssum) at their bases. The shaded, undeveloped east area (total weeds and sand) finally became truly and finally landscaped in 2009; it is my pride and joy.
We won't see too many critters outside the one pair of doves, blue jays, and squirrels here, but the colour of the yard seems to invite them to the back area. There is not a waterfall or pond in the front yet, something we look forward to adding as water seems to be a main element in attracting critters.
The wild area is by far the most prominent, dominated by free form plants and shrubs in blues, pinks and purples.
One purchase of Mexican primrose, a lovely pink flower was enough to inundate the entire wild area. It runs amouk and dominates any area it is planted, but kept in control by simply ripping out. We never fear for trying to destroy this plant. It is plagued by the Mexican beetle (hmmm...) which is best kept under control by hand picking. We have never found a bug killer that works unless we absolutely saturate the area over and over again, and too many other insects and creatures would suffer. We just pick and squish, pick and squish, then wash the beetle juice off our hands. Beetle juicing.
Lamb's ears is another invader, but it fills the area nicely and has to be trimmed back, cut out or cleaned out as the under leaves die off and shrivel. Please feel free to come by and get as much as you would like!
The mountain sage (salvia clevelandii) is one of the most treasured items. It's bark is grand: twisted, rough and dry, appearing to have died. The fragrance of the leaves and purple flowers is the most delightful, woodsy smell, and we oft times take a flower stalk in passing just to smell it. Seeds collected in 2003 sprouted in 2005!
In front of the wood walkway are taller plants, Indian Hawthorne, escallonia, rose of Sharon, a red bud tree, coralbells, Jupiter's Beard, and blue plumbago and many other unidentified plants.
Near the lamp post lives purple pink and white alyssum, day lilies, bacopa, dusty miller and smaller flowers.
The "more wild" area (aka Handicap area) contains crepe myrtle, vertical status, purple daises, heather (that doesn't do well due to the lack of light), trailing daises, Jupiter's Beard, and more unindentified plants. Lilac, pink jasmine, and flowering maple (hummers drink from this regularly) peek out above the fence line, potato vine covers the fence. The fragrance while on the wooden handicap ramp can be delightfully overwhelming in spring.
The porch and the three steps house every geranium we have found in our town in pots. If kept trimmed and deadheaded, they provide constant lovely colour and a fond fragrance of childhood.
The rose garden is a perfect situation with almost all day sun. We are constantly complimented on the roses. They take constant dead heading but we are rewarded with a continual supply of magnificent roses. White alyssum and volunteer lamb's ears cover the ground, joined in the spring by peonies, sweetpeas, daffodils, freesia, crocus, tulips and ranunculus. The roses were chosen for their fragrance and colour. Dolly Parton and "777" have the most incredible fragrance. A complete list of the roses is here.
A Mockingbird nest was discovered in April 2003 in the Yves Paget rose bush. Three little mouths popped out of the blue and brown eggs on May 4th.
The shade garden to the right (east front) took some work (and funds) and will always be in process. In 2007 I built an octogon bench around the large sycamore tree and it came out wonderfully. There is a walkway leading to the pond area gate that displays a piece of my stained glass: a spider web in Winchester House style. A classic bird bath is in the center with stepping stones that are constantly covered up by baby's tears. The plants that can live here are causing a bit of a problem as perennials are preferred but do not thrive in such a deep shade, but we managed to fill the area well with my handgrown cyclamen, coral bells/huechera, all sorts of ferns, elephant ears, dead nettle, daphne, justica, pieris, camillas, alstromeria, statice, violets, pansies and kalanchoe. On the sunny edge we placed weigela, hummingbird bushes, hibiscus, and gardenias to form a natural fence.