Monday, December 29, 2003


So when I looked at my front yard, I had that moment of anxiety. What do you do with all that nothing?

I had two large trees. Viburnams and yews across the front of the house. And sloping grass to the street, divided on one side by a black-top drive.

That side of the yard was also filled with a giant wall of shrubby junifers. Ah, a boundary. You cannot see over them. Rough, slightly wild texture. Robins love it, by the way.

So I started imagining how to divide this space, to get control over it so that I would enjoy working in it.

Only a third of the main yard was in near enough sun to support sun loving perennials, roses and herbs. It was a long edge or belt of land, and it was bounded by the driveway.

I like beds one can walk through, so I started thinking about two long, skinny beds. It just so happens that this sunny belt of land was also centered on the living room picture window. So if I did these two parallel beds, and centered them on the window, I would also have something fun to look at.

This framing also worked the other way, from the street. Instead of seeing the whole yard in one swoop, the parallel beds would provide a garden allee, so speak, bringing the eye to that part of the house.

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