This summer, we will be focusing on the main garden. The aim is to have the structure in place by the end of the year, so I can spending next year gardening rather than building the garden. It’s not that it hasn’t been an interesting experience, and I’m loving watching the design unfold and become the garden we want, but I’ve spent far more of the year wanting to garden than I will spend actually gardening!

This involves lots of day dreaming, and flights of fancy, and pondering what will go where in the garden. With the main garden design well under way, I have continued to think about the other two areas that we will need to tackle in the future.

Roadside plant sanctuary

The furthest strip from the house is currently a refugee camp for my plants in pots. Many of them will come back and find a permanent home in the main garden in due course. The strip (and I’m tempted to call it the Sunset Strip, since it is west facing) can only be accessed from the road in front of the house, and so is far less convenient to garden. In permaculture terms, it’s a different zone, and needs to be treated differently. It will need to be planted with species that can take more care of themselves – almost certainly all perennials. On the plus side, I do walk past it on my way to and from work every day, so it’s not as if it’s out of sight (as long as I remember to look!).

So that’s a project for later, probably next year. Ryan and I toss ideas about occasionally. Eventually some of them will stick and we’ll come up with a plan.

Front garden

The front garden is an easier proposition, because it’s half finished. The paving is done, and the planters are in place with temporary contents. The idea is for the planters to become a herb garden, as they’re in a sunny and sheltered spot that it quickly accessible from the kitchen.

Behind the newly-painted picket fence, I have always envisaged having a low hedge of Chilean guava (Ugni molinae), as I have a number of plants that need to be planted out. I haven’t done the maths yet, to see whether I have enough, or too many.

They won’t take up all the space, so that leaves a strip between the hedge and the paving that is currently… well, it was a weedy lawn. After being used as a staging area for my plants in containers, and then the paving materials, it is a sorry looking patch of ground.

Ryan doesn’t want it to be one big bed, with the hedge as a backdrop, and I can see his point (to a certain extent). We have toyed with the idea of re-turfing it; it would be the only grass in the garden.

Unhappy lawn

We’ve also toyed with the idea of replacing the grass with a high-end artificial turf, so that we can get rid of the mower and save the space in the shed. The environmental cost of the material itself could be out-weighed by the lack of inputs it would need over its life, and it is only a small area.

Other ideas I have pondered include stepping stones and creeping thyme, or a traditional chamomile lawn, although they are not entirely straightforward, according to my research.

What do you think – keep it simple, or go for something a bit more interesting?

Intrigued about what we went for? See how the front garden design panned out in 2016 🙂