Sunday, March 6, 2016

Front landscaping, garden plants and path

Picture heavy! A long overdue update... 

Front garden landscaping

enjoy planting a garden, watering it, feeding it and watching it grow. What I didn't think of is how long it would take just to do the front yard when we have a 10 meter setback, sloping site and heavy clay soil! We have been in our home for 19 months and I have *almost* finished planting the front garden. The sloping site proved to be a bit of challenge. In November 2014 we had the garden retaining walls put in. You can see them in this post.

Main front garden

I planted these plants in March 2015. There is a mix of Phormium (Black Rage and Yellow Wave), Lomandra (Lime Tuff) and Nandinas. I also have three Birds Of Paradise and a Magnolia Little Gem. There are also three Acmena Forest Flame plants, which are a type of Lilly Pilly.

Then of course we have bucket loads of black mulch!

A few progress photos taken in March 2015. 

landscaping retaining wall


garden, lomandra, lime tuff, phormium, nandina, birds of paradise

The images below show how it looks now; 12 months later 😊  
The Phormiums will grow to approximately 1.2 metres so they still have some growing to go. The Lomandras shouldn't get too much bigger, I just expect them to get a little more wide and bushy. 

garden, lomandra, lime tuff, phormium, nandina, birds of paradise

We will be laying pavers and stone between the retaining wall and garage. It will form a path so we can wheel the bins to the back of the garage so they're no longer an eyesore. 

garden, lomandra, lime tuff, phormium, nandina, birds of paradise, landscaping retaining wall

I have left the garden bed at the side of the driveway, towards the front of the house, bare as we will eventually be putting in a low fence and electric gates. Well, that's the plan anyway. So I didn't want to plant a garden there only to have to rip it out later. I spread mulch there so at least it looks neat. 

garden, lomandra, lime tuff, phormium, nandina, birds of paradise

We have had these bluestone pavers for 10 months now. I'm sure we will get around to laying them eventually 😂 
bluestone pavers

My Magnolia Little Gem ❤️ I have had this tree since November 2014 and it has grown a fair bit since I planted it. I cannot wait for it to grow. 

magnolia little gem

Raised garden bed

Hubby built a garden bed for me in front of the driveway retaining wall. I'm lucky to have such a handy man ☺️ 

In early October 2015 I planted a row of Kangaroo Paw Regal Velvet, which has lovely large strappy foliage. I then planted more Lomandra Lime Tuffs as a border. 

kangaroo paw regal velvet, lomandra lime tuff

kangaroo paw regal velvet, lomandra lime tuff

By late November they were flowering like crazy! 

kangaroo paw regal velvet, lomandra lime tuff

The below photos show what the garden bed looks like today. I have trimmed the flowers from the Kangaroo Paw as the flowering season is over. Both the Kangaroo Paw and Lomandra have filled out quite a bit. The Lomandras impress me with how quick they grow, even in difficult sites. You can also notice in the below photos we have placed rock/stones between that garden bed and the house. Underneath the rock we have plastic sheeting which has been laid in such a way that it directs any rainwater into a drain. This is to further prevent too much water going under the subfloor area; a common problem with sloping block sites. We haven't finished spreading the rock, I think that's a project for this weekend. The same rock will also be used in my first garden bed project in the backyard.

kangaroo paw regal velvet, lomandra lime tuff

kangaroo paw regal velvet, lomandra lime tuff, garden, landscaping, retaining wall

Narrow garden beside driveway

Unless you're on a very large property with a sweeping driveway lined with trees **sigh** we all have the "awkwardly narrow garden next to the driveway" garden bed. I didn't know what to plant here, it was doing my head in! I know I wanted low growing plants towards the front of the property as I didn't want to block our vision leaving the driveway and taller bushy plants towards the house. I also couldn't have anything that grew too wide. I could trim it often of course, but who can be bothered with that!? So I planted Nandinas along the top as that is what I have lining the bottom part of the driveway on the other side (leaving a space for the future gate/fence pillar) and Pittosporum Stephens Island for the rest. I was initially dead against Pittosporums as they're everywhere, however I came across Stephens Island which I had previously never heard of before. They have larger darker green leaves than most Pittosporums with a black stem. They only grow 2.5 metres tall by 1.5 metres wide which is perfect. Sold! 

garden, nandina

I planted this side of the garden back in November 2015, so it's only four months old. In that time the plants have filled out a little. I expect the Pittosporums will have a good growth spurt next spring. 

garden, landscaping, pittosporum stephens island

garden, landscaping, pittosporum stephens island

Just before Christmas we had some concrete steps and path laid which leads from the side of the driveway, down past the side gate and into the backyard to meet up with the back steps. As you can see I have some narrow space between the concrete and the fence to fill. I'm considering some Mondo Grass for the more narrow sections and Lomandras in the wider sections but I haven't decided as yet. 

landscaping, sloping block, steps, concrete path

landscaping, sloping block, steps, concrete path

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