The front garden two years on

Its been two years, and a couple of weeks, since I, well my youngest son, dug up our front lawn.  It was  decision I laboured over for more than a year – what would I put in its place? Well plants obviously, but what? What theme would I have? Did I need a focal point? How would I get round the space? On and on the questions went until in April 2016 I concluded that I knew the lawn needed to go and I would just trust my instincts as to what came next.

The decision for how to plant the space was sort of made for me as I wanted to relocate a lot of later summer perennials from the back garden.  So a whole host of asters and rudbeckias were relocated along with a group of Calamagrostis ‘Overdam’ which is at its best at the moment with its fresh stripy foliage.

However, there is some early summer colour from various Aquilegia seedlings which have popped up here and there and the acid yellow flowers of Alchemilla mollis are about to erupt creating a vivid stream along the beech hedge.

I had the height of the beech hedge reduced by something like 3 ft last Autumn and it has made such a difference to the balance of the space. I am toying with removing the Laurel hedge at the front but I’m not convinced yet.  The Grevillea ‘Canberra Gem’ has become a bit of a monster.  Its well established now and has come through numerous cold winters.  I love it firstly because it’s just a strange looking plant, well here in the UK and I like strange, but mostly because I bought it with my late sister; who was thrilled to take me to a nursery she had discovered.

However, the highlight of the front garden this week is the Nectaroscordum siculum which are a real mecca for the bees.  I have a host of seedlings which I have been wondering where to plant so I think I will now add them to the front garden to extend the effect.

I need to move a few plants at the end of the season to give them more space but essentially the front garden looks after itself. I do a bit of dead heading to the bulbs and then a big cut down in late Autumn and that’s it.

So to conclude any hesitation I had about digging up the front lawn has long gone.



Author: Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited

18 thoughts on “The front garden two years on”

  1. I think you made a fantastic decision. The gardens look so healthy and there’s a lot to see there. We dug up some of our front lawn ( which was quite large by suburban standards) and the garden we put in gives us a lot of pleasure.

  2. I looks glorious! I’m a huge proponent of the “simply get on with it” approach to gardening – sometimes indecision is our biggest hurdle. Congratulations on creating such a beautiful space – and having done so in only 2 years seems to me to be quite the achievement.

  3. Beautiful! Isn’t it funny when something turns out so well, one wonders why so much angst (in my case, the perpetual procrastinator) went into the decision. Very lovely Helen.

  4. It looks brilliant. Honestly Helen, it looks as though it’s been there a lot longer than two years. I’m really taken with the grevillea. Have been tempted for a long time but concerned about how hardy it would turn out to be. You’ve convinced me!

    1. It probably needs some protection over the first few years while it gets established. But mine has survived being covered by snow for days and down to -18 degrees

  5. Just beautiful. Piet Oudolf would be proud. I think I sometimes keep plants for sentimental reasons until I don’t need to anymore. Maybe you need to have a plant to remember your sister for now. Mine is a catmint named ‘Cat’s Meow’ that I use to remember my sister by. She loved cats. ~~Dee

    1. Hi Dee
      I think if I lost the Grevillea I would buy another one to remember my sister by as they are so linked in my mind.

    1. Hi Cindy
      I don’t know if they are, I have always assumed they saw me as the eccentric woman who dug up her lawn

  6. It looks fantastic – definitely worth digging up the lawn for. It’s amazing how mature a garden can look after only two years. It just shows how well-planted it is.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.