We have made some good progress on our project in our front yard garden! We have all of the grass out, and all of the new plants in. I have a mixture of drought tolerant plants mixed in with landscape succulents. There are also a few exceptions, like the Cecil Brunner climbing roses that I planted on the arbor (I am just crazy about roses, as you can tell from our back yard), and our fruit trees which need a bit more water, but once everything has established their roots systems, all of the other plants will need very little water!
Originally, I had planted blackberries and climbing white raspberries on the arbor. When we started working on our yard a little over two years ago, we paid for a “garden expert” to come in and give us a consultation, and make sure we were planting things in the right spots, and help with plant identification. She told us that spot was fine for the berries, but it didn’t seem like they were getting enough sun lately because of our huge pine trees. I moved them to the back, in E’s garden, where they get full sun, and they are thriving there. The “expert” also told us that one of the trees that I thought was a fruit tree was just a plain old non-fruiting deciduous tree. E and I just tasted our first apricot off that tree the other day, so sometimes you have to trust your instincts. 😉
In front of the arbor, I have my new medicinal herbs planted. 🙂 I will have lots of posts coming up about these various plants.
On the other side, I have some of my culinary herbs. These are the herbs that like dryer conditions. The ones that like more moist conditions are in a small self-watering planter near the front door. I love having all of my culinary herbs closer to the kitchen now, which makes harvesting them for cooking dinner much easier. Before I was walking through a semi-dark back yard and it got frustrating at times.
The upper half of our yard was a challenge because of the way the hill is graded, but we are going to turn part of the empty part into a dry river bed.
The dry river bed will continue down through here.
This fountain is my favorite part of the front yard now. I found it for free on Craigslist, and knew I wanted to use it to plant succulents in. It didn’t have a motor, and seemed to be missing a top piece, but that was easily remedied with the something from the collection of little garden sculptures I had collected for the backyard. 🙂
I put down a layer of pea gravel in the bottom of the fountain layers, then put in potting soil, planted my succulents, and finished with another layer of pea gravel for mulch.
There are several types of succulents in here that will eventually cascade over, including string of pearls, string of bananas, and donkey’s tail.
I planted some larger succulents below the fountain, with some pretty lava rock around them.
There are varying amounts of sun throughout the front yard because of our huge pine trees, so plant selection for all of the various areas was important. I selected plants that range from full shade to full sun, depending on the location. Some of the plants that I used include Mother-in-Law’s tongue, jade, geraniums, red valerian, Cleveland sage, dune buckwheat (native variety to the Palos Verdes penninsula, which I purchased from our local Botanic Garden), aloe vera, salvia, and a variety of other landscape succulents. Some of the plants that I planted previously include lavender, rosemary, iresine, helichrysum, pink breath of heaven, asparagus fern, and iceberg roses.
If you are planning a garden and are unsure of how much sun a particular area gets, I found a great sunlight meter online that I use to confirm the amount of light an area gets per day, full sun, partial shade, etc. You can find it here.
We still need to put in mulch around all of the new plants, but we had been having a hard time getting mulch from the location nearby. After I wrote my blog post about free mulch for Los Angeles residents, I have been getting tons of traffic on that post. Coincidentally (or not), we have had a really difficult time getting mulch since then. 🙂 We have gone multiple times lately and the mulch has been all taken. We finally got another truckload the other day after checking with the city on the timing of the refill schedule. Once we get the mulch down, we will be adding in the dry river beds and finally the pathways in the remaining areas. I can’t wait until it is all finished!