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My Birthday Wish

So with some of my very first income as a Tastefully Simple consultant, I decided that I wanted professional help with my front yard.

The house sits on quite a little hill, and the yard....well the yard is pathetic :)

Here are pictures of it, as it looks right now.
Here is the center main garden. Its actually a large space that sits right in front of the dining room windows.

Here is a broader shot of the very front garden areas of the house. See all that lovely dead grass?

And here is another bane of the front yard - the utility crap. This also sits almost on our property line.

I showed this area off yesterday, but this is right at the corner of the house, at the garage.

So anyways, back to my professional help. I visited Merrifield Garden Center here in Gainesville, and signed up for a consultation. I met with Karen, who was amazing, and she listened to all my lists of wants and 'in-realities'.

Because the real deal is I want pretty, gorgeous gardens with a minimum of work. I don't want fussy plants. I want plants like the lilies and the irises that I only have to mess with in February and it only involves cleaning up the dead crap from the year before. I wanted a carefree formal feel to the gardens, but I wanted it get nice and full like it'd been there for forever. Karen told me that it'd take 3 years or more to finally get the fullness I was looking for but the formal bit was easy to accomplish.

So she drew up plans for my new garden, and I am going to attempt to show you guys that interpretation. :) There are supposed to be rockwalls, but I did not include them because 1) I'm lazy and 2) I couldn't get the change in elevations to look right. But to explain in a nutshell, the very lowest part of the garden, where the crape myrtle goes will be getting a 16" boost. The irises new spot out, at the outside corner of the walkway get a 12" boost, and everything from there gets a nicer, more gradual slope.

So here's my butchered interpretation of her plans.

Lets start with that garden right in front of the dining room. The hollies stay, but I've made them grow, because eventually they will get that big, but more trimmed. :) In front of that are some gold flame spirea, and a whole bunch of big blue liriope. Framing out the entrance to the porch are some dee runk boxwoods. Can't you just imagine Christmas lights on those suckers?

So now onto the bigger front garden. We've got some 'Henryi' clematis on the light, which is anchored by some 'Sunfire' careopsis, and then surrounding all of that is more liriope. As we get towards the corner of the walk, there is more careopsis, and a dwarf blue globe spruce (love this plant!), and then more careopsis. On the outside corner of the walk is where my irises go, then after the bend we've got more spirea and then on the opposite side of the entrance is the other dee runk boxwood. Now here's where the garden will be terraced down, because it drops 5' from the walk to the opposite side of the porch. In the center terrace will be some otto luyken and offset on the corner of that is one bunch of my lilies (the rest will frame the two trees out in the yard), then in the lower terrace will be more spirea and a 'White Chocolate' crape myrtle (so excited!). You can see the crape myrtle at the very edge of the picture.

Ok, so now we move to the utilities. Let's hide them! On the street side there are 3 bushes of 'Conoy' viburnum, and then around the telephone thingy are some 'Kobold' liatris, and then finally on the backside of the transformer are some 'Autumn Light' miscanthus. Doesn't that area look so much nicer?

Finally is the garage garden, which will be expanded, and will include more liatris, but also some caryopteris and nandina domestica.

I would love, love, love, LOVE, to have these gardens done as my birthday gift, but the total cost of all the work (rock wall, removing some plants, etc) came in at just around $6,000. That's a hell of a birthday gift, and its not going to happen, but what I  would  like is to maybe do the garage garden and the utility garden. There is digging and expanding required for those two, but no rock walls need to be built. :)

Let's see if I get my birthday wish. Its in 3 months exactly. :)

Have a great day guys!

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