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Suburban Front Yard Transformation

When we bought our house years ago, I was thrilled. I looked forward to raising our kids in this home and having a backyard for them to play in. We loved everything about the house except for the large front lawns. To us, the front lawns were just boring. We also knew that our kids would never play in the front since not only did we have a backyard lawn but we also live near a school with large playing fields. So there was no functional use for the front lawns. So we knew the lawns would have to go.

We viewed the removal of our front lawns as an opportunity. We had an opportunity to create a more interesting, environmentally friendly and inviting front yard. So I set to work designing an ecologically friendly yard that would also create some privacy for our front bay window.

My husband and I worked together to transform our front ourselves. After the lawn was successfully removed, we brought in additional soil to create curved mounds in the front of the house near the sidewalk. This would create some dimension to the yard but also allow us to layer plantings to create a border to the front of the property. We used Dianella 'Cassa Blue' plants to create a ribbon-like hedge. My Mom thinks it looks like a lei in the front of our house (we lived in Hawaii for a few years so it reminded her of that). This set up a nice unusual border that weaves up and over the mounds on either side of the front walkway.

Since we repainted our house grey, we used gold fine dust pathways to compliment the house color. Two additional pathways were added. One from the driveway to the front walk and one on the other side of the front walk that wraps around a centered planting area. A solo Japanese maple tree raised up in a raised rock planter and centered on our front bay window is the showcase on this portion of our yard. The maple tree is one of my favorite plants since its colors change seasonally as well as from year to year depending on our temperatures (Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost'). Colorful flowers offset the maple tree to add interest to the raised rock bed. The area directly below the maple tree, has succulents and more drought tolerant plants such as hesperaloe parviflora 'brakelights'. Rock is the mulch used in this area to help add dimension to the front.

The rest of the front yard plantings are in mostly tones of green and pink. Various flowers in different tones of pink compliment each other throughout the landscape to help make the landscape more cohesive. The best part of our yard is that it is lively year-round. We love watching birds, butterflies, bees and other native insects visit our garden throughout the seasons. Flowers come and go throughout the season adding interest year-round. Every time I walk through my yard, I love to explore the tiny moments in our yard (ie. new blooms coming up, a nest being built in the tree or the flutter of a butterfly).

Our yard, is also a certified wildlife habitat and we display a sign proudly on the side of our yard. It makes me smile every time I see someone walking by our house and take a pause to read our sign. My hope is that it will inspire them to rethink how they use their outdoor space.

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