"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. " ~Lindley Karstens

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Front Garden -- Finished!

...at least for now!

When we hired people coming to install the concrete border for us about one and half month ago, the workers did not follow the curve of the original front yard bed.  The result was that the bed got expanded by one foot length wise.  I have to say that I love this unexpected surprise.  In addition, I asked the extra grass area at the right to be included within the border.  

Here is a picture of this same area from last June.  Notice we have changed the exterior color and the front door color since then.  I am not a big fan of a pink house :) 

This front bed was the only area in this house that had some mature landscape before we moved in.   On this flower bed, from the back to the front, three palm trees, Crape Jasmine bush in the middle, Ixora bushes, crotons, sago palm with Acalypha reptans (Dwarf Chenille) as ground cover underneath.  Between the crotons and sago palm, there were something similar to Split Leafed Philodendron but much smaller, only 1 to 2 feet tall.  I used to see the names somewhere, but could not remember it now.  Two colors of stones were separated by the black border, with the dark red stones inside and the lighter color outside.

After the border was installed, I did the west side garden first, and I knew this front garden area would be the next one that I want to put my hands on.  Thanks for the day light saving time, I was able to find more time after work to start working on this front bed before the spring break. Last week was kids' spring break, and I took two days off.  Except for the two visits to some local historical places with family, we used most of the time to finish the front yard.

With all these activities, I cut the blogging time completely for the last five days. I am glad that today I can come here to have a garden update.

While I love to experiment different plants in the backyard for different seasons, I want the front yard to have a more "designed" look, low maintenence, and yet still provides enough interests and colors throughout all seasons.

The grasses were removed, weed-block sheets were laid on before husband carried white marble chips on the outer half of this bed.

Here is the finish look of the front garden.

Two out of three big boulders were moved outward to match the wider bed and make them more standing out.  Two ground orchids, two agaves and various bromeliads were planted against red stones or white marble chips to show the colors and stay low maintenance.

For the new area at the right corner, I have been picturing a welcome pot with plants trailing down for a while in my mind. Finally we found the welcome pot at a local store, and I planted Aptenia cordifolia 'Red Apple' into it. Since Aptenia cordifolia 'Red Apple' has been established in another container for a while, so that trailing effect was immediately achieved. More bromeliads and one crown of thorns were spreaded around the pot.

Most of "new" plants in this bed were moved from other areas of my garden except for the following three: Aechmea 'Mend', one unknown bromeliad, and one crown of thorn with large flowers.

Aechmea 'Mend'

Oh, I also found this cast iron blue bird stake in a store over the weekend, perfect for this corner too!

I probably will plant more bromeliads or other plants with foliage interests into the white stone area of this bed, but for now I consider this bed is "finished".  Since the day we finished it, I could not help walking around it again and again, feeling proud of this new design of my garden area.  I am sure you all felt the same thing when those pictures that have stayed in your mind for a while are finally becoming true!

I think by now, our neighbours should have known the lady living in this house love gardening since they have seen me working on this front bed to move the plants around almost every night for quite a while now :)

Spring is here, YAY!   Now I can play more plants in the back yard...


  1. Ami-it looks gorgeous!You have done a beautiful job.I only hope our front garden renovation looks half as beautiful as your's.

  2. WOW Ami ~ I love the new look, garden bed, plantings, and your house color, all very classy looking. You've done a wonderful job, and your love of gardening shows all around your home.

    Happy Gardening and Happy Spring,


  3. Hi Ami,
    It is a lovely new area. You know I am all about wide curving borders so I like the increase in size. The new house color and door are a perfect choice as well. It is looking so finished! Although I think you'll be glad you left a little room to add some bromeliads along the way... I have a feeling you will not be able to resist.:-)

  4. Your larger, curvier bed looks terrific. Your hard work has really paid off. I really like the new house color too. It allows the garden to stand out more. (Although, pink IS my favorite color.) Your new garden bed gives a very well designed look to the front of your home, and I just love the idea of a "welcome pot."

  5. Ami, it looks beautiful! I love the way the plants seem to "pour" out of that pot, and your little cast iron bird is so cute! The white stones bring out the white trim on the house too.

  6. Hello Ami, you did a great job! The general overall picture now including the house is so elegant, classy, well-tended. However, the pink with original landscape looks more welcome, i dont know maybe it is just a personal feeling, doesnt mean a generality. On the whole, it looks very organized. Congratulations, you can now relax, have some favorite desert and smile!

  7. Very spiffy and rich, Ami. It has that touch of elegance. You're entitled to be proud of it. It's all beautiful and very well done. I love your pot.

  8. Your front garden look very neat and a beautiful piece of art. I like the slanting pot with overflowering creepers. How clever!

  9. Love, that spilling-over pot. It adds a perfect accent to the white rock bed. Your new house colors look nice as well. What a beautiful transformation it all makes! Of course, I love all your bromeliads! I recently bought that Aechmea 'Mend' at Home Depot. Couldn't resist it, even though I didn't really have the money. I don't get to HD very often, so I had to check out the garden center.

  10. Hi Ami - wow, that is a really an impressive bed - you have much more of an eye for design than i will ever have!

  11. How beautiful Ami!! I bet you love arriving home to this welcoming garden.

  12. It all looks fabulous, Ami. What a great job you've done! I'd be out there every day wandering around admiring it too. Love that spilled pot!

    You were asking me about growing conditions for my White Wings. I have three of them and they all grow outdoors in full sun and now they are fully matured, they receive very little watering ... except of course during our wet season, but they cope with this well. For me they are a no-fuss plant and I don't do much for them ... no fertilising, the occasional trim back and that's it.

  13. Hi Ami...Your home and your garden look beautiful. I love what you have done with the two-colored rocks in your front bed. You definitely have a green thumb and a talent for design. I'm jealous of all those wonderfully large tropical plants. Ours are just coming back to life from the roots.


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