Real Gardens

Lowest Maintenance Front Yard Ever

My absolute favorite front yard along my regular power-walk route is also the lowest Allshrubfrontwebmaintenance.  And it’s completely filled with shrubs.  I know some of you are stubborn nonbelievers in the doctrine of shrub supremacy in the landscape, despite my repeated sermons, and this post is for you.  Whether it persuades, cajoles, or just annoys, I’ll soon learn.

Allshrubfront2webWhat you see here are crapemyrtles, spireas, shrub roses, and various evergreens along the house and at the curb.  Do I need to mention that it looks good all year?

Posted by on September 15, 2006 at 7:56 am, in the category Real Gardens.
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12 responses to “Lowest Maintenance Front Yard Ever”

  1. r sorrell says:

    You’re right, it looks great. I often notice how yards that only use shrubs as landscape look nice all the time… I, however, am not disciplined enough to stay away from the smaller plants. There’s just too much good stuff out there. Plus, I don’t care that much about my garden being low maintenance.

  2. Heather says:

    Now this is the kind of shrub treatment I respect! They’re basically treating them like big perennials, right? Not just rows of green bawls with nothing but the occasional useless berry to show for themselves. Really beautiful. And I appreciate how the house paint matches the crape myrtle blooms. Cute.

  3. Claire Splan says:

    Well, it looks green, and full, and there are spots of color. And god knows, low-maintenance gardens can look much, much worse. But that’s about the best I can say for it. To my eye, it looks like one of those paintings that’s best viewed from a distance, because there’s nothing that intricate to draw your eye in close.

  4. Joell says:

    Yes, indeed I like it a lot, but I would like to see a picture of it in winter. I know there are some evergreens and the crepe myrtle has interesting trunks, but I will have to overcome my nervousness about the off-season look, especially in the front, before I try it.

  5. Amy Stewart says:

    I actually think a front yard is a good place for all-shrubs-all-the-time, as long as they don’t block the house (that’s a pretty house–I wanna see it!) and as long as you include big flowery perennials (like my beloved salvias) in your definition of “shrub.”

    In other words, those big evergreen thingies are great because they behave themselves all year round, but I want something to pop up out of the ground as if coming out of nowhere and go crazy all summer long, too. That’s the fun part!

  6. I can live with that look. Why I do live with that look. Those tropical plants that people baby on the mainland are not in the least bit hesitant to fill the entire space and crowd out any notion of a perennial or groundcover when planted in the ground here. And you thought you were going to have a small lawn in that tiny back yard with all this planted around it?

    The first two years of a landscape are spent in filling every void from impatience. The rest of the life of the garden is a chopping, hauling, editing process to try and beat the garden into submission to look like the layered composition above.

    That pink trim is another matter. It has got to go. At least there on the mainland it is more subdued. Here there are certain cultures that would have all the trim, decks and windows in neon pink, mixed with some black to really show it off.

  7. Kim says:

    I think I’m with Claire on this one. It looks okay–definitely better than grass–and is probably pretty low maintenance. However, I wouldn’t get much more excited about it than “okay.” No real textural differences or contrasts in foliage color, or even tasteful yard art… nothing that beckons you to investigate further.

    Of course, maybe that’s their point–to contrast the house and draw your eye, and you, up toward the front porch immediately?

  8. ginger says:

    It is a lovely front yard and there is something to be said for low maintenance but for those of us who love to actually garden (i.e. dig, amend soil, deadhead, etc) it would be frustrating. It certainly beats green grass and foundation plantings for interest! A very thoughtful planting with the trim matching the flowers on the shrubs.

  9. Carol says:

    Here in zone 5, I can think of only one shrub/small tree that would bloom all summer like that… Rose Of Sharon, and it isn’t all that attractive otherwise, certainly it is no crape myrtle.

    I am all for good shrubs and trees in the landscape, but I can’t see where you would walk into this garden for a closer look.

  10. firefly says:

    I have to agree with Carol (except on the Rose of Sharon thing — I’m a sucker for hibiscus). I think the picture is lovely and the shrubs are attractive, but it looks really crowded. Maybe the camera perspective just compresses the spacing, though; I find that all the time with pictures of my garden.

    Butterfly bush and spiraea ‘Shibori’ bloomed all summer here, also in Zone 5.

  11. susan says:

    Man, you guys are tough critics! Think of what all this replaced – lawn – and I bet it’ll start looking pretty damn good. And somebody made a good point – that low maintenance is for homeowners, not gardeners (my words). Susan

  12. Kathy says:

    “Low maintenance is for homeowners, not gardeners!”
    Susan, do you mind if I add that to my collection of garden quotes that I display in my sidebar?

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