Front Yard Landscaping Part 1: When Plans Have To Change

I have been dreaming about spring gardening, drawing plans, online tree shopping, and pinning like a madwoman for literally the past 8 months. But like a lot of things in life, my plans are not exactly….well, going to plan.

We have a super exciting project in the works for the back of the house, that I’m not quite ready to share yet (everything’s still kind of up in the air), but it will more or less require me to not do most of the things I was planning to do this year. And I was planning on doing so much! Here’s a rough drawing of what I was thinking:

I wanted to plant, like, five more trees, create a new pathway, a rose garden area, a cut flower garden area….I was so excited! Needless to say, once I realized most of this wasn’t going to happen this year, I spent a couple of days pretty disappointed. But you just gotta feel your feelings, and then move forward!

So instead, I am going to focus most of my gardening energy on the front of the house, which I usually neglect much more than the back. This is what the front of the house looked like last summer:

So it’s not very big, and there are some empty spots to work with. I had already started making some changes last fall. I transplanted a climbing rose from the backyard to the front yard trellis that’s attached to the house. I also moved all the peony bushes I had to the front yard or the flower bed to the side of the stairs.

Here’s a rough outline of what we already had in the front yard come winter and just a couple of changes I began envisioning:

I haven’t done much to change the layout or add new plants yet. The necessity of clearing the backyard/rehousing existing plants changes every day and I think the final layout of the front yard will have to involve a lot of housing some things I already have that need to get moved, at least for this year.

I also have to work with the many seeds I’ve already started, PLUS the bulbs, corms and bare-root plants I had ordered months ago, with all my backyard plans in mind.

So basically, the front yard and front stairs need to become a kind of dumping ground for:

  • some of the plants in the backyard that need to get temporarily moved
  • some of the plants I’ve already started from seed
  • some of the bulbs, corms and bare-root plants I’ve already ordered

Needless to say, it’s a lot for such a small space!

So I took advantage of the recent warm weather we had (which melted most of the snow) and started getting rid of some of the plants in the front yard that I knew I didn’t want.

I got rid of a small bush in the back that had some pretty white flowers in the spring, but otherwise, was pretty unimpressive, two types of ground cover near the front, and a row of bushes that were acting like hedges. I have no idea what any of these plants are (they came with the house). And with such limited space, I really had to declutter ruthlessly. Keeping only what brings you joy can certainly extend to the outside of your house!

So as soon as the ground could be worked, I started digging things out!

This is all I managed to dig up in two days. Most of the hedging, the bush in the back, and the ground cover in the corner. My body’s just not used to the intense manual labour after such a long gardening hiatus!

The only other task I was able to finish before it started raining was transplanting two of my climbing roses onto our short fence. One of them was already transplanted to the trellis against the house last fall and the other one needed to get moved from the backyard.

Another climbing rose needs to get transplanted from the backyard to the trellis in the front. And I have two more being mailed to me soon that were supposed to go in on the arbour in the backyard. What can I say? I love a climbing rose. They are the most romantic flower, in my opinon!

I might be able to do a few more tasks this week. But there’ll be a few rainy days coming up, plus the temperatures will dip back to around freezing for a few days, so I’ll have to see. The good news is, that almost all of the snow in the backyard has melted and I should be able to finish transplanting everything from the backyard that needs to get moved, as soon as I get a couple of days of good weather!

Have you ever had to change big plans suddenly? How did you handle it? I think I’m pretty good at being flexible when I need to be. Even though I have strong opinions and ideas that don’t always work out and I end up being disappointed, I can move on and forward pretty fast. I actually can’t wait to blog more about this front yard, and eventually, backyard transformation!

Happy gardening!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *