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A Colourful Front !


By louise1


Well ….. i’ve been a member here now for about about a month and i finally feel that i know my way around the site !!!

So here i am several weeks on and i’ve almost listed all the plants that are in ‘my garden’, when i look at that section it makes me smile at the number and the diversity of it – and all from scratch and all without help because when i moved here it was a grass only garden – both front and back – so i had a lot of work to do to make it ‘my own’.
I didn’t have a set idea or plan i’ve just made it up as i go along, the back is finished but the front garden is a constantly changing place !

I originally wanted it to be very minimalist but inch by inch it’s got decidedly ‘cottagey’ !!!!
I remember saying to some people last year that cottage garden was not ‘my thing’ but if you could see it now …… all you have to do is look at the plants list and a picture will emerge!
Infact GOY member Crazydi may remember that very conversation because she was one of the people i spoke to about it’s possible design !
Last autumn i ordered and bought a few perennials and set about making this garden look prettier.

The one part that i’m really not sure about are the ‘ribbon borders’.
I have a central path made of concrete and i’ve always kept it as grass right up to the edges but this spring i decided to create these ribbons either side.
I planted, in ascending height, Scabiosa, Erigeron, Euphorbia, Artemisia, Monarda and a different Euphorbia, these are designed to stay pretty much in the border and not spill too much over the path because wet ankles from wet foliage irritates me !
However, i cannot decide if i like this look …. i’m veering towards the clean lines of the previous arrangement but i’ll leave it for this season and evaluate it in a few months time.

Here are a few pictures of the front garden
This is the right side of the ribbon border – i’ve mirrored the planting left and right and i planted in twos

This is the left side of the ribbon border

This is the rest of the front garden, the ‘sunny border’, it faces south

This is the right hand side of the front garden, it’s the ‘semi shade border’, it is opposite the sunny one, so this is north facing …. it has the Escallonia hedge as its backdrop (whereas the south facing border has the Pittosporum hedge. It’s divided into 3 ‘waves’ of colour. This is the 1st ‘yellow’ wave

The 2nd ‘wave’ is purple

The 3rd ‘wave’ is pink

This is the east facing border, it gets absolutely baked as the south facing one does

All of this (front) garden is very stony and has very poor thin soil, i think this helps winter drainage a lot but means that in the dry times i need to water copiously if there are newly planted items.
Anything that’s been in the ground over a year has to find its own water.
I enrich the soil in places and in others leave it as it is depending on what that areas planting requires.

I hope you like seeing my warm and sunny front garden :)

More blog posts by louise1

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Yes, I see what you mean, Louise. The borders are great and do give it a 'cottage' feel. Maybe the 'ribbon' borders need fill-ins to 'thicken' them a bit? Under-planting to 'soften' the edges of the concrete? Am I being super-critical? I don't mean to be - I'd just like to help when you are not too happy with them. :-)

21 Jun, 2009


Great front garden Louise. Love your sunny border - very nice planting - and the semi-shade border is great with its colour changes. I like your ribbon borders and think Spritz's idea would work very well - something with dark foliage perhaps?

21 Jun, 2009


A good, interesting blog, Louise. I do like your colour-themed borders. Great photos too. Isn't it odd, though. No matter what the original plan is, the garden makes your mind up for you, and most of the time you have to go where it leads.
I would be inclined to plant in threes, rather than twos. Odd numbers always seem to look more balanced.
Rather belatedly, welcome to GoY. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

21 Jun, 2009


You have done well here. You will find that as the years go on you will be changing bit around.

21 Jun, 2009


Thank you Spritz, Bernie and BB :)
I like ideas.

They are starting to bush out, the right side ahead of the left!
It's the extra filling in and bushy-ness that i'm put off by a bit, i'm just wondering how much of the path will be invaded !!!
I'll mess around with that idea though and see where it goes!

The ribbon borders are at half length because of my undecidedness !
I didn't want to run the whole length of the path just yet!!!!

21 Jun, 2009


I do like your ideas of waves Louise - it gives each part a theme.. I love the colours in your East facing border. Everything seems to meld together in your garden and I see what you mean about the ribbon borders... I've been doing that along one of my grass edges at a atraight path too - I inplanted with filler annuals this year to see if I liked it or not and I can either widen the border or take it out again when I've made up my mind.
Love the blog!

21 Jun, 2009


Very interesting blog Louise. It's lovely to see other peoples ideas, I especially like your sunny border. I joined about the same time as you and have also just about found all the goodies this lovely site has to offer!

21 Jun, 2009


Lovely blog Louise and welcome to GoY,
As you will find out about me, I don't have the brains to do flowers but I enjoy a beautiful garden when I see one and yours is one of the nicest I've seen for a long time. Your ideas of waves and colour are great.
If I was acquiring a garden like yours then mrs. digs would insist on filling in the ribbon border with bedding plants and such. Hope this helps

Big H & K's...........Ian

21 Jun, 2009


Thanks Ian :)
Mrs. Digs has a good idea there.

21 Jun, 2009


Yes Louise I enjoyed your garden :o)

21 Jun, 2009


Thank you Hywel :)

21 Jun, 2009


Fab blog I spent ages looking at your photos on Friday night was delighted when I seen your blog with photos of your garden - I love your style I wish my garden was bigger - however looking at crazydis garden anything is possible regardless of size

21 Jun, 2009


Thanks Angie :))
Yes, Crazydi has a small garden too, hers looks 'enchanting' :)

22 Jun, 2009


You made it up very well as you went along, Louise. I did have a plan(sort of) at the start, but still tended to make it up as I went along, particularly when I saw a 'must have' plant and then had to get some more to compliment it!!! That's much the more enjoyable way isn't it? Even sticking rigidly to a plan,it doesn't always work out how you intended so needs a little improvisation! Nice blog and pics.

22 Jun, 2009


I think this looks really nice. Well done. I agree about 'filling in' the ribbon borders with some low ground covering plants. No room here for such but we are feeling happier this year with what we have achieved. Today is a corker up here so hope others too are able to get out in their gardens and enjoy the fruits of their labours. Oh, spell check doesn't like labours! too bad.
Some parts of our garden look a bit 'off' so need ideas to pretty them up. I'll show you mine if you show me yours.
Elder daughter yesterday gave us some foxgloves and mesembryanthemums (yes spell check has clobbered that too!) and I meant to put them in this morning, however, other things cropped up. You don't want to know!!!

23 Jun, 2009


I agree with Paulthegard - you can have a detailed and to scale drawing and plan of all the plants, but in the end, planting is such a fluid thing, and adjustment along the way is good. Not to mention when you get bored a couple of years later and want to change the shape, colour, look, height, add new varieties....

24 Jun, 2009


your garden is very nice, love all the different colors

24 Jun, 2009


It looks lovely Louise well done

25 Jun, 2009


I can't believe the difference those border have made, they really are filling out now, and I love your cottagey feel, well I would wouldn't I :)
I'm sure you will have lots of ideas after this week

27 Jun, 2009


I'm looking forward to it so much Grindle.

Grindle and i are going to Carol Kleins Open Day for the NGS :)))))))

28 Jun, 2009


You are lucky Louise and Grindle, wishing I was coming too. Don't forget to take your cameras:)))))

28 Jun, 2009


Me too I'm sure it's going to be a brilliant afternoon

28 Jun, 2009


:D we'll be thinking of you Amblealice

28 Jun, 2009

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