Friday, June 1, 2018

Front Yard #Landscaping…DONE!

Meghan and Harry, move over. I’ve got the next big news bite backed by six months of execution, the amount of time it probably took to plan the royal couple's wedding. Finally, my giant front yard, once blanketed with thirsty grass, is lawnless. Instead of a slew of rotating sprinklers, we have a drip system that uses so little water, we’re planning our next trip with the money we save each month (uhh, after we pay the bill for the makeover, that is!). But hear this: the county is paying us $3,000 ($1 per square foot of removed grass) because we ripped out our green carpet and replaced it with drought tolerant plants! 


Succulents abound in our yard, plump plants that store water, a boon for forgetful gardeners. I’ve used of a variety of palms, Pindo palms, tall Queens, and Robellini’s (pigmy palms). To draw the eye away from our three car garage and giant concrete driveway, a meandering walkway cuts through the front yard welcoming guests to our front door. I used tall planters to add height and a modern look.  Overall I went for a contemporary Palm Springs/desert vibe where succulents belong. And we put in lights!  How I wish I could take a good picture of the space lit up at night. 


Instead of working with a landscape company and architect, I chose a bright, experienced man who has a yard maintenance business with only two guys working for him. I told Albert: “I want a yard requiring care an hour every other week. Period.  And you’ll be the man I hire to take care of it.” I had a picture in my head of the look I wanted…he helped me make it a reality.

Now comes the back yard. We begin next week!

While you're waiting for more pics, name your favorite plant in your yard/planter.  I name: Parrot’s Beak (groundcover-deer and drought resistant!), Crassula Capitella (orange/yellow succulents: Campfire and Red Pagoda), and dwarf rush (coming soon in the back yard)

In between choosing plants, I plan to write a mystery novel about a landscape architect...poison plants and burying bodies, hee-hee-hee!


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16 comments:

Leah St. James said...

Wow, Rolynn...fabulous! You have created TPM's (hubby's) dream yard (i.e., NO maintenance). :-) Seriously, it's stunning. I also wish you could have shared a picture of everything lit up at night! I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to plant names, but I guess my favorite from my little flower bed would be Nandinia Domestica (Firepower) because it looks like fire...sort of. :-) Have fun with the back yard!

Margo Hoornstra said...

You did an amazing job. You and Albert, that is. Simply beautiful. I’m pretty plant ignorant, but in my mid-western yard Iris and Peonies would be my favorites. Mainly because they came from my mother. She was a plant master extraordinaire.

RE Mullins said...

Lovely. I am quite fond of Mexican Heather. It looks dainty but is a tough, drought tolerant plant that blooms from spring until frost. Check it out for a great spot of color.

Jannine Gallant said...

Your yard looks wonderful! Congrats on an excellent job! Uh, I don't plant anything in my yard. The good news is the last of the snow finally melted last week. The thimbleberry bushes are starting to leaf. They'll look great in a few weeks.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Leah, thanks for the flower tip... Nandina 'Firepower' is a plant I could use...it has color, is evergreen and comes from the family of heavenly bamboo, which is an easy care group of plants. I like that your plant is low-growing, too. Thanks also for your compliments; our front yard was truly a collaborative effort...and the process was fun!

Vonnie Davis said...

OH, I do love your new yard. No grass to mow, huh? I kinda like that idea. I have a Japanese Red Maple by the sidewalk. It's supposed to be a tree, but it's twisted limbs give it the appearance of a big, round red bush. Our weather wouldn't support your palm trees. I wish it could. I love the look. Thanks for sharing.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Margo, thanks for the kudos. I yearn for peonies! My brother and sister have plants from my mother's mother plant, and I am envious. But peonies aren't as happy in CA as they are in the midwest...is what I've been told. I need to find out more about that!

Rolynn Anderson said...

R.E. thanks. I looked up Mexican heather...which draws butterflies! What a pretty plant!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Jannine, I don't mean to bug you about plants when you don't have much interest in gardening. When I get into a project, I am rather obsessed. Thanks for being patient as I get through this yard makeover phase :-)

Brenda Whiteside said...

Looks fantastic, Rolynn. We've been in the RV long enough I don't miss a giant space, but have fun with my little garden. Maybe I'll feature it on my next day to blog. My favorite is Rosemary. The rabbits and javelina won't touch it, but I use it in my cooking. And it gets pretty little purple flowers.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Vonnie, thanks. Do you know there is a community across the street, where they don't allow people to plant palm trees. When we first came to Arroyo Grande, we considered buying in that community...until I heard about the 'rule' against palm trees (the houses are more Craftsman style than CA ranch...so they were trying to avoid the palm vibe). Anyway, I rejected living in that community....I wanted palm trees! So glad we bought where we did!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Brenda, thanks! I love rosemary...and you don't need much for cooking, so it's perfect for an RVer. I groan when I think about the amount of money we'd have saved if we didn't own a half acre lot...but I do love the privacy and the feel. If this project does what it's supposed to, I'll have lots more time for writing...and guilt will end about gardening chores, water waste and curb appeal.

Alison Henderson said...

I've been so anxious to see your new yard, and these photos were worth the wait. It looks fabulous! What I find most interesting is the obvious difference in climate between you and me. We both have the same style landscape, but not the same plants. Palms don't do well in our more Mediterranean climate, but succulents thrive. I've got plants from the Mediterranean, Australia, and South Africa. Can't wait to see what you do with the back!

Diane Burton said...

I love your new yard. Beautiful. Perfect for where you live. I think my DIL is in awe of Michigan gardening (she's from AZ where their previous yard looked more like yours). Our son is back to vegetable gardening now and is adding annuals. I plan to give them some of my irises (a fav), daylilies, and lilies of the valley (another fav). In the fall, I might divide my peony and share that, too. Hubs spends a LOT of time outdoors maintaining the yard. He enjoys being outside and I like the quiet time to write. LOL

Rolynn Anderson said...

Alison, I've been anxious about opinion since (I figured) we were in similar zones. I'm right by the ocean and we get marine layers...so certain fruit/citrus trees aren't happy here. I do have to be careful what I plant. I've been told King palms don't like it here, either, and I planted one. We'll have to see. As we speak, workers are taking down a GIANT Eucalyptus in our yard. I will miss that tree...but the arborists say it's half dead, so it was time. Taking a picture now...

Rolynn Anderson said...

Diane, the bulbs in the midwest are amazing...you are so lucky! I tried some here and they never came up...I think a vole snacked on them and thanked me for the treat. So no one in our neighborhood has a plan that looks like ours, so I was nervous the whole time. My landscaper, Albert, talked me into using mulch/medium bark - instead of more rocks-he promised a better look and easier maintenance. We've debated palm tree and rock issues from the beginning. It's a fun/fraught ride, landscape redesign is. Thanks for joining me on the journey!