Sunday, May 15, 2011

Planning the Front Garden

Gold Star
I've been giving some thought regarding how best to landscape the front yard.  The front of the cottage is fairly close to the road and half of it is semi-demolished at the moment (a leftover from the sewer hook-up project.)  Right now we have a small wooden porch and steps by the front door.  In a year or two, we hope to have a deck running across the front so I don't want to plant anything that will end up being removed to make way for that eventual construction.  I'm also not a big fan of lawn and my significant other calls it "the inedible crop" so I don't want to reseed it either.

Blue Star
At a previous house, we used crushed stone near the actual foundation.  It discourages critters and bugs from moving into your house and makes a great base for raised beds or container gardens.  I'm thinking this will be the way to go here as well.  The crushed stone will cover the area that will eventually be under the deck.  In the short term, I can use the area for containers.  I'd like to try growing sunflowers against the house this summer, so this might be just the thing.

I'm also looking for some small evergreens to help populate the front garden area.  I like evergreens as they provide visual interest through all four seasons.  I need to be careful about the size of whatever I choose as I do not want the front of the house to be shaded.  The wonderful light and passive solar gain the cottage gets was part of its attraction.

I've been researching low growing junipers and have already purchased two different kinds.  Juniperus Squamata or “Blue Star”, grows to a height of only 2-3 feet, and spreads out to a maximum width of 3-4 feet.  It is a slow growing, dense evergreen.  The young needle tips have a bright bluish tint.  Juniperus Chinensis or “Pfitzeriana Aurea Gold Star” grows to a maximum height of 4 feet and to a maximum width of 6 feet.  It has golden tipped branches that arch gracefully and a light green body.  I picked up three of each at a local home centre for just under $10 a pot.  These are quite small at the moment, but that makes it a little easier to get them home.  And the price was right, so I can be patient.  Regardless of their present size, the color of each compliments the other quite nicely. 

I'm planning to use them to anchor the corners of area in front of the cottage that will be covered in crushed stone.  These rectangular areas on either side of the steps will have raised beds in front of them, and the front two corners will be planted with these lovely evergreens.  I'll post more pictures when they are in place.


  1. I have the "Blue Star" in my front garden at the base of a tree and I really like it. Like you I started out same size container and it has spread covering the area that I put them in nicely.

  2. They are such cheerful shrubs aren't they? Thanks again for dropping by msfullroller.