"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...
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