Friday, May 6, 2011

Front Garden

Last May, existing garden beds in the front yard were expanded. For many years the only plants in this area were the azalea bushes along the side of the driveway and a viburnum hedge across the front of the house.

Native and Florida friendly plants were placed in front of the viburnum hedge to add a different height interest and to take up more of the space previously allotted to grass.  There are  plans whirling through my mind for future additions to eliminate even more lawn area.

Shade loving blooms have been brought in to give some brightness to an area that previously was all green.  I'm still amazed at the plants that will flower in very shady conditions. 

Many caladiums were planted in the entry-way garden and African iris was used as a filler plant for all season interest.  Ample space was left for the iris plants to increase in size.  I'm a little impatient to see this happen as I really want the mulch to be covered and not so exposed.  All in due time.

The flagstone pathway has been a very helpful addition as a way to get from the driveway to the front door.  Plants that withstand winter temperatures were used to keep the garden structure.  Other spring and summer loving perennials round out this garden area. 

Layers of green foliage are kept interesting by using varying heights and leaf shapes.  Spring emerging caladiums and colorful bromeliads provide a spot of brightness and contrast.

Bromeliads are one of those Florida friendly plants that sail through winter and bloom in spring and summer.  They produce pups that increase the size of their clumps and gradually fill in bare spots in the garden.

This is my front garden "thinking" spot.  I enjoy dreaming up ways to add more plants and take away more grass while sitting here after a good day's labor in the front gardens.


  1. I love your front garden area, and really love your 'thinking spot'.


  2. Every gardener needs a good "thinking" spot, and it looks like you've got a great one. Your front beds are filling in nicely. It is hard to be patient and wait for plants to multiply but eventually your patience will be rewarded. Have a great weekend!

  3. Love your bed extension. Extending flower beds is always a good thing I think!

    Don't you just love the white caladiums with the green trim! ♥ this time of year when all the caladiums are popping up.

    I am jealous of your shady areas. We have one area in the back that is shady (2 big oaks). Wish we had more oaks even though they are so messy at some times of the year.

    Did your area get a lot of rain yesterday? We had almost 2 inches. The plants were loving it!

    Enjoy the weekend!

  4. Very nice...most bromeliads succumb to the cold here in North Florida..

  5. Love your thinking spot! That begonia and peace lily combination looks lovely and peacefully together for soothing a gardener's mind when thinking :)

    Your shade area looks really filled in in just one year. I actually found there are quite some plants they flower in the shade, or at least partial shade. Begonia, bromeliads are definitely good choices. When iris becomes more spreaded, your front yard will look even more beautiful!

  6. Loving your shady front garden, Kay. You must be so thrilled with the growth in the last year. I can remember when some of those plants were much smaller. The iris seems to be one of those plants that takes off all of a sudden after a couple of seasons of seemingly stalling. Before you know it you'll be digging them up to divide them in even more places. The good thing about them is they bloom in partial shade or sun. A wonderfully grassy vertical interest, too.

    Looking good!!! Bromeliads are just great fillers.

  7. Your front yard is looking great!I say the same thing as Meems,relating to the African Iris.It took mine a couple of years,but they have filled in nicely.And I was able to divide them to use in our front garden enlargement.Love your 'thinking spot.'I think all gardeners have one.

  8. Flowerlady - I'm enjoying this front garden even more now that summer-like weather is here. It's a very cool, shady spot.

    Susan - I have being patient with my garden as a goal this year. I have spent too much time moving things around in the past. This year I am determined to let things settle in before I start moving too many plants around.

    Siesta Sister - I do love my shady areas. Especially in the summer. Gardening would be impossible without them. We did not get as much rain as you did. Only 3/10 of an inch. I'm happy for every drop we get but a lot the garden is looking pretty droopy.

    Darla - I think the oak canopy protects most of my broms from severe damage though they do get a little burned on the edges sometimes.

    Ami - Thank you. I love the angel wing begonias a lot. They are blooming non-stop so far this spring. I'm trying to learn to wait for things to grown into their space a bit. It's hard.

    Meems - Thanks for the encouragement. I got those bromeliads from you! I love the little tinge of pink on them. I am trying to use more tried and true plants like the African iris to lend background and structure. I've kinda' gone at it backwards though. I should have started with those and then branched out to the more "specialty" plants. But, it's all starting to come together a bit.

    ChrisC - I'm glad to know that the iris might be a little slow this year but with patience will be what I want. I need to spend more time in that thinking spot before I go plant shopping :)


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.