The Front Sidewalk Garden in April

There are few things a gardener appreciates more than see the positive results of his hard work payoff. Over the years I've moved plants, added plants, trimmed plants, propagated plants in various areas and in some places I'm just now beginning to see the results. One such location is my front sidewalk garden. It's the garden between the house and the sidewalk and a narrow strip of garden that runs the length of the sidewalk. In the beginning - no we aren't talking the book of Genesis here - there was nothing, well nothing of appreciable value. Several Japanese hollies had just bit the dust in the freeze of 2007 and the only other thing to make it through was the Nandina.

We quickly removed the hollies and tossed them. I found a deal on some densiformis yew. I know yew is rather common but you need some sort of evergreen backdrop for other plantings and at $2 a piece the price just couldn't be beat. They've come a long way since then! Two 'Emerald Gaiety' Euonymous plants were tucked in near the yew. I do not recommend planting this euonymous. It spreads, it runs, I think it may idolize kudzu like little kids idolize that Justin Bieber guy. (Ugh) Still the euonymous really is just a little kid compared to kudzu. I'm rambling now - let's head back to the garden.

Later I added catmint which has turned into an incredible performer for me! Tulips came by the names of Negrita and Shirley, sorry no Laverne. They were a big box store buy that has turned out quite well! 'Autumn Joy' sedum found a home here along with everyone's favorite spring blooming ground cover - creeping phlox! I'll show you another garden later this week with a little phlox on the rocks. The opposite side of the sidewalk - the strip side - blooms later in the season with salvias that will emerge by May. I used to have Russian sage but I received too many complaints from important people that the pollinators were taking over the neighborhood. Since then the Russian sage has been moved farther away from the heavily traveled territories of our garden.

I mentioned before that the only thing to make it through the freeze of 2007 was the nandina, that's not entirely true.  Our house was a foreclosure when we bought it and if you know anything about foreclosures you know that often they are let go, both inside and out. The garden was like that too but at some point at realtor came through with a crew to demo the overgrown shrubs in the front garden. One little spirea was cut to the ground and later emerged after we moved in to show off its reddish tinted leaves. Here it is now with its friend phlox. They are pretty good companions although in all honesty I just stuck them together without any thought. It's better to be lucky than good sometimes!

Phlox and Spirea
And here is the garden together. It has three good seasons of interest and a shade of the fourth when the nandina berries are standing out with a bright red for winter color. Daylilies, catmint, salvia, 'Silver Mound' artemisia, gaillardia and a butterfly bush will decorate the front garden in summer. Mums and 'Autumn Joy' sedum will add to the color when fall arrives.

I look forward to the spring every year so I can follow the calendar of color to come!

What do you look forward to about spring each year the most?

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