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New Front Yard: Where to Start

I am not a gardener--I even lived in a condo to avoid it. However, the idea of a new front yard is starting to grow on me. Here's my checklist.
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I am not a gardener. I lived in a condo for ten years in large part to avoid gardening. However, the older I get, the more the idea of a beautiful yard and garden start to grow on me. I also don't want my neighbors to hate me for having the worst yard in the hood.

Moving into our house almost three years ago, the most notable thing about the front yard was that it was boring. It was green on top of green with a swath of lawn and a few half-hearted yellow day lilies. In order to sell the house, the previous owners had pulled out a few large shrubs and left their roots and giant blank spots in the landscaping. There were some strangely placed trees, generic shrubs, and to our surprise, at least a few tulips and daffodils--long forgotten gifts planted by the lady of the house years before.

My Sad Front Yard

My Sad Front Yard

The first summer we lived in the house we could barely do more than mow the lawn, especially since we had just moved into the place. The second summer we were in the house, I weeded the blank spots where the shrubs were pulled out, but we didn't have the funds to do much else. The third summer I was a million months pregnant and then I had a newborn--nothing was getting done that year. This year is when I start a plan to create the kind of new front yard I've always wanted.

I started by looking through magazines and websites to find the types of gardens that caught my eye. I did some soul-searching and knew that since I live in Utah, I needed drought-tolerant plants. The amount of resources I'd need for a formal, lush, English garden just isn't responsible nor feasible--I don't want to fight my climate, I want a yard to work with, not against. No sense forcing my yard to be something it can't at the expense of huge maintenance and high water usage. I think our native landscape has a lot to offer, so I want native plants if at all possible. My personal taste runs to the mid-century and modern look, if I could incorporate that into the landscaping of my front yard, I think I'd really like the look. My house has a specific architectural style, a yard that enhanced the look of the house instead of hiding it seemed like a good idea. I love bright colors from fashion to design and decor, why not my garden? And, finally, I want a yard that doesn't look like anyone else's.

new front yard before picture
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My New Front Yard Checklist:

  • Drought-tolerant plants
  • Native plants
  • Works with my climate
  • Low maintenance
  • Modern look
  • Enhances architecture of the home
  • Bright colors and unusual textures
  • Unique garden, like nothing you've seen before

Will you follow along with me as I re-landscape my front yard and start this gardening journey? As a novice gardener, even a scared gardener, I could use your advice. I'll share what I learn, what works and what doesn't. I hope we go from almost the worst garden in our neighborhood, to a true showpiece garden.

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