We moved to our house in September 2003 and decided to dig up our front garden to allow parking for three cars. It’s made it very low maintenance because although I love lawns they do tend to look parched in hot weather, and being on a water meter I didn’t want to use excessive amounts of water. However, we then had to find suitable plants for a small garden.
The only piece of garden we kept at the front was the gravel area under our small front window. We added three grey paver’s to break up the structure and we used the middle one for one of the blue fired pots. And the great thing about a gravel garden means less weeding! One thing I didn’t expect to do so well was my favourite little plant the Alchemilla Mollis (Ladies Mantle). It self seeds in my back gravel garden and I planted two of these last year and one this April and its gone a little mad. But the nice thing about it is you can use it as a cut flower for the house. The lime green colour works well and makes the edges softer on the driveway.
This summer I added more alpine plants but the little plants I bought didn’t include name tags so I need to look them up! They are thriving in their new home because they get the sun all morning and shade in the late afternoon and they won’t need much water once established. I have two small evergreen shrubs to remove this weekend and two more alpine plants to replace them, one with lovely lavender spikes. I will get round to looking up the names this week. My sister knows I like gravel gardens and bought me the Beth Chatto Gravel Garden book for my birthday in May and I now want to visit this summer to see a large scale (and world Renowned) gravel garden.
My front garden isn’t a huge area but that doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting. I’ve added hanging baskets and blue fired pots with summer bedding including geraniums and trailing fuchsia and they can be changed for spring with pretty bulbs and pansies to go with the seasons. I’m planning on growing my own winter pansies; I am going to try Pansy ‘Petite Mixed’ great value for the colour and cheerfulness they give you.