Sunday, 13 February 2011

Garden Tour Countdown - 15 - The Front Yard

Come for a walk around the garden with me.  Over the next couple of weeks I want to take stock of what’s been happening around the various areas of the garden and make a few plans. To keep me on track I’m counting backwards to one. Otherwise I may be tempted to stop halfway. I've placed an aerial view of the garden (from a website called on the sidebar so you can see how each section of the garden fits together.

We're starting in front of the house on the corner. In contrast to the rest of the garden, the front is quite bare - mainly grass – not lawn, but when the weeds are mown you can hardly tell the difference.

The lone tree on the corner is a poinciana Delonix regia – a gift from John’s Mum. It’s now five years old and hasn’t started flowering yet. They can take 10 years or more to flower, but it is starting to develop the lovely umbrella shape they are known for and is turning into a nice shade tree. This tree also proved to be surprisingly drought tolerant in its early years so it’s a keeper.

The other tree, near the driveway is a eucalypt, already there when we bought the block of land. These trees are notorious for losing large branches or toppling over during storms, but it's far enough away from the house not to be a concern. Not a tree I particularly like but it’s been there a lot longer than we have.

The front of our house faces east so this area has afternoon shade and morning sun. We spent the Easter break a few years ago planting a hedge of mock orange Murraya paniculata, laying pavers and shovelling rocks to create a private sitting area behind the hedge.

In front of the hedge is a garden featuring Strelitzias and Hippeastrums bordered by variegated Liriope.

Bordering the driveway is Duranta Sheena’s Gold, clipped into a lowish hedge. If I had known how much time and effort is involved in keeping hedges looking neat and tidy I would never have planted them. Both are rapid growers. Keeping them under control would have to be one of the hardest and least rewarding jobs in the garden. It’s like scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees while you have 3 children and 6 dogs running through the house. (back-breaking and never-ending).
Our driveway forms a Y shape, splitting to go to the garage attached to the house and to John’s shed.

Between the house and the shed is a retaining wall and a high wooden fence covered in climbing bauhinia
 and in the centre of the Y – a garden of shrubs – the white calliandra, red Acalypha and russelia.

Future Plans
I think this area is much too bare. I would like to have a garden bed defining the front and side boundaries of the yard – not totally enclosed but about 8-10m either way on the corner. I’m picturing it wider at the corner and narrower at each end – sort of boomerang shaped. (Knowing my long-suffering husband will read this and panic – don’t worry darling, a job for after I retire)


  1. This is fantastic...I am going to enjoy this tour as it unfolds.

  2. Thanks for the tour. I look forward to more - I love a peek at people's gardens.

  3. Wow. Looking forward to more of your garden tour.

  4. what a lovely idea - that bauhinia is magnificent - how much of the time is it in flower? I love poinciana - didnt know they took that longer to flower.
    funny it must be the time of year as I have been re-thinking my garden as well.

  5. How awesome to have such a great aerial view of your garden! It all looks so perfectly planned and beautiful! Love your Royal Poinciana! That is a fave of mine. I've never been a fan of gold Duranta, as it is overused in my area, but I do love the way you've used it in your garden, so I might just have to work some in.

  6. Hi
    Could you spare a few Brazilian red cloak cuttings? A magnifique garden.


I would love to know what you think and appreciate your comments.


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