Monday, April 15, 2013

Dreaming Big: The garden I would love to grow

This writing prompt from You Grow Girl happened two weeks ago (which I think means another one is coming up really soon...), but I've been semi-computerless for the last 2.5 weeks. Our hard drive seems to have crashed, and we're waiting on news if it's recoverable. In the meantime, we were able to borrow another laptop for basic uses...

"There have been times when I have walked into a space and felt like I could move in and be happy there forever. But when it comes to the realities of gardening there are always so many limitations and practicalities to consider… the climate, the size of the space, the environment, the food that I need to grow, the amount of work that I can reasonably take on, other uses for what is already limited space, and of course, always, always, always at the foreground: the impairment of a very limited budget... This is the garden that you would make if you could do ANYTHING."

I wrote in this post about my love for my distant relatives' garden in the Netherlands. If I could dream big and have my garden look like anything, it would be something very similar to that. I can remember driving through the neighborhood and being glued to the window (practically salivating) at the beauty of no-grass lawns.

I love the idea of a front-yard garden (especially since our lawn is horrible). We also have a fairly large backyard (for city living -- about a 1/3 acre). I could imagine that space being used for some raised beds for vegetable growing, some trees and shrubs, winding pathways, a children's grassy play area, benches and birdbaths and a water feature. But mostly in the front yard I just want a variety of flowers. Tall ones, groundcover, all blooming at different times during the year so something is always alive with color. I want to be one of those houses where cars slow down as they drive by because of the garden beauty.

Front yard gardening in the U.S. is pretty uncommon (although a quick Google or Pinterest search will show the trend is gaining popularity). But with the amount of water and fertilizer and mowing it takes to keep up with a perfectly manicured lawn, it's a wonder that more Americans don't take the plunge.

While I don't expect to ever have a complete no-grass lawn, last year I did take the time to pull my landscaping border out farther from the house, and circled off another small area for a flower display. My irises and tulips and some other perennials are slowly popping up, and I'm excited and ready to work with what I do have.

I still envy those European "lawns" though...

Grow Write Guild
This post is linked to the Grow Write Guild by You Grow Girl


  1. I have a free bush (or 5) that you can have :) You're lucky to have a house with a lot of sunshine so that you can grow so many things.

  2. I agree with you about the no lawn thing. I've always had a bit of a soft spot for a little grass here and there, but the realities of mainting the kind of grass that feels like high quality carpet are so horrifying that it's just not worth it. I don't want to use chemicals to kill weeds. I don't have the money to spread fresh seed and lawn fertalizer every spring. Plus we go through a summer drought ever other year, so water for lawns is banned. I say bring on the the grassless lawns!

  3. I am trying to convince my husband to let me get rid of our front lawn! Half of it is too shaded for grass anyway, and 2/3 of it is already covered in trees and flowers. I'm hoping he'll let me grow thyme instead, if nothing else...who needs grass?

  4. I adore gardens...I'd have all flowers if D would let me! But it does break my heart that my passion only gets to get lived for 1/3 of the year in Wisconsin.

  5. I love your ideas. I realized a few years ago that I have spent so much time in the backyard, that my front yard was looking pretty sparse. I have started focusing more in the front to spruce it up. I want a yard where people slow their car down too! :-)

    Here's my dream garden... My Dream Garden


  6. Carrie, I agree, most people don't question the time, money, and water they invest in a front lawn. I like the photo above, especially the impact of one red petunia.

  7. I would so come and walk in your garden. And by the way, I dream big as well.

    Delighted to meet you. I hope you don't mind if I splash around to get to know you a bit more. This looks like a refreshing place to dip into some goodness.

    I'm also on the hunt for ideas to splatter some joy into our summer. I would love to hear your ideas. Come splash with us!



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