Monday, February 1, 2010

Dreaming of flowers

I went and dug out one of my most favourite perennial books, Lois hole's Perennial Favorites. I have a lot of gardening books. I have two shelves dedicated to flower books and flower fact cards. It's almost as bad an addiction as my birds. Anyway, I'm starting to think about replanning the front yard. Normally, I would probably start in the backyard, but there's been some talk of putting in a garage and definitely a new fence, so I don't want to do a bunch of work back there only to have it trampled or have to be pulled out.

It's been kinda hard for me to think about the front yard just because of the nature of it. It's in full sun, it's super dry (there's grass, but it's mostly dead), and it's on a slope. These are all issues I've never had to deal with before. Well, I suppose I've dealt with full sun, but even then my sunny areas had a little bit of shade during the day -- this spot is full sun all the time. Just to give you an idea of the heat, the little bit of planting I decided to do in the window box last year started out well, but when I stopped watering them because our new windows were going to be installed (I didn't know whether they could work around the box or if they had to remove it), the plants burnt to a crisp within two days. It's pretty hot.

Anyway, one thing I would love love love to get rid of is the lawn. I absolutely hate grass. It's not just because I'm allergic to it (try living with that allergy your whole life), but I just see it as this complete waste of time and energy. It gives you nothing back and it takes so much work just to keep it up. Especially in a spot where it can't grow at all unless you have a sprinkler on it 24/7. Here's what I've always wanted for a 'lawn.'

(all images from weheartit)

I love the idea of having a wildflower-filled lawn. It would be so beautiful, unique, and (most importantly) it would be self-sufficient. I wouldn't have to mow it or do anything to it at all. The problem would be in actually doing it and finding a plant that would work in those conditions.

The other idea I thought would work, would be to make raised beds that staircase down to street level. That way the grass would be gone and I'd have some nice flower beds to plant whatever I like. There are a bunch of houses in Red Deer that have this kind of design. Since their front lawn is set up almost like mine (only in most cases, the front lawn is actually steeper than mine), most of these houses have created rock gardens that staircase. Next time I'm there (in the summer!) I should make a point of taking some pictures. I just think that this would be super interesting and it would give me something to build on, plus it would give a clear division between our lawn and the neighbour's (I'd really like to have either a hedge or a small fence or something to show where one stops and the other begins).

I love having a winter break. It gives me lots of time to think about and imagine the endless possibilities available for gardening and bonus! I can't feel guilty for not doing a stitch of work outside the entire time. :D

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