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The Front Border

September 9, 2020

imageIn year six of my five-year front garden project, I have managed to complete the big border at the front of my property. This runs from the shrubbery to the driveway and extends from the property line to the grassy path. I began this border last summer, but only managed to get enough done to plant a row of shrubs (northern bayberry, Morella pensylvanica, and beach plum, Prunus maritima) along the property line.

front border shrubs

During the winter, I spent some time creating a plant design for the rest of the border (see Looking Forward: Plans for the New Front Border), and in late June, I finally began preparing the soil. That work went on until the end of August.

front border dug

During the first week of September, I finally started putting plants in the ground. I already had most of the plants for this border on hand. Some would be relocated from the old circular bed that was to be dismantled and incorporated into this larger border. Some were gift divisions from gardening friends that were waiting either in pots or in my holding area. Some were plants that had been moved to my holding area when I dismantled my old front garden seven years ago in preparation for my house addition or that I had brought north with me from my Gettysburg garden six years ago when I retired. A few were divided from plants elsewhere in my garden, and a few were bought new this year from nurseries.

Front border partially plantedI worked on the planting over the better part of a week, beginning at the end furthest from the driveway and moving plants from the old circular bed as I went. As always happens, the design on paper was just an approximation to the actual garden area on the ground, and adjustments had to be made as I planted. There are still some blank spaces for a few plants that I wasn’t able to get this year and that I’ll need to purchase and plant in the spring. The new transplants always look a bit limp and bedraggled, but I know they will come up looking perky and fresh next year. It will be exciting to see this come into bloom next year and even more exciting to see it turn into a mature planting the year after that.

front border planted

Now I only have one small area left to design and create in my new front garden, a woodland border that will sit along the edge of the grassy path above the shrubbery. But that is for year seven of my five-year front garden project.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. krispeterson100 permalink
    September 10, 2020 12:00 am

    It’s a dramatic transformation, Jean. Congratulations! I look forward to seeing more of it as the plants mature.

    • September 17, 2020 11:56 am

      Kris, Because we’re now in a fairly serious drought, I’m just trying to give these plants enough supplemental water to help them get established, and I’m also trying to keep them from being damaged by a flock of wild turkeys who have decided that this freshly dug soil is the perfect place to take daily dust baths. (It’s always something!)

  2. Pat Webster permalink
    September 10, 2020 9:47 am

    I agree with Kris, it is a dramatic transformation. You have worked so hard and so consistently — that fills me with admiration. One of these days I’d love to visit.

    • September 17, 2020 11:57 am

      Pat, It’s a lovely thought to look forward to a time when the border will be open again and we could visit one another’s gardens.

  3. September 11, 2020 4:21 pm

    It looks great. Must have been quite an effort.

    Next year will be the real payoff, yes? And many years after.

    • September 17, 2020 11:59 am

      hb, I imagine the planting will still look kind of sparse next year and that I will also be contending with a bumper crop of weeds in all that disturbed soil. I’m looking forward to 2022 as the payoff year.

  4. September 12, 2020 7:53 pm

    Is beach plum mostly for wildlife? (I may have asked earlier.) I got some seed, but the seedlings got roasted during evacuation. I expect a few to recover, but I do not know what to expect from their fruit. I want to try it because it is a North American plum that I knew nothing about.

    • September 17, 2020 12:00 pm

      Hi Tony, You did ask me about the beech plum earlier. I planted it because it is a native plant with attractive flowers that should grow happily in my sandy soil. I had flowers this year, but I haven’t noticed any fruit.

  5. September 23, 2020 9:33 am

    Hello Jean, reading “year six of my five-year front garden project” really made me laugh as I know exactly how you feel. While I didn’t know how long it would take to sort out the garden when we first moved in, eight years and counting wasn’t a time frame I envisaged, yet here we are. I like the much more substantial and expanded border, I look forward to seeing how it grows in the subsequent years of your five-year project.

  6. Molly permalink
    October 18, 2020 4:12 pm

    Look forward to seeing it next year. Always fun to see a thought/plan come into being.

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