My husband and I have been having a long running disagreement about how to do our yard. I am excited to get really into this urban homesteading, but he is not so much. If it were solely up to me I would not plant any grass. I wouldn't go so far as to till the whole yard and plant every inch of it with rows of crops, but I would like to cover it with raised beds and stone walk ways. I feel that if it is done right, it can be very beautiful. I would keep in mind aesthetics, and economic feasibility while maximizing production. He is not so convinced that the neighbors would appreciate this approach and is also concerned that this type of landscaping will make it harder to sell our house in four years when we plan on moving away.
I think that we have come to an uneasy truce. I have yielded to his need to have grass by telling him the small front yard can be his lawn, while I get to plant one or two small fruit trees and a couple blueberry bushes as production oriented landscaping features. Blueberry bushes are beautiful in every season, except maybe winter, and the pear tree I chose for the front yard will be beautiful, with out making too much work for us. We were having one of our "discussions" about this topic while walking into Home Depot and we noticed that they had several clearance sale signs up in the area where they had all of their shrubs and trees. It was very late in the season. Most people would have considdered it too late. We decided to take a look. My hubby has always had a thing for boxwood shrubs and they just happened to have loads of them on 75% off sale. We did a quick guesstimate of how many we would need to border the front and walkway around the front lawn and bought twenty of them.
It turns out that we guessed pretty close. It would have been exactly right if it weren't for the water utility access cover that takes up space in our border area. We had one extra. Don't worry we found it a good home with a neighbor.
There were a couple of different varieties to choose from and a few sizes, too. We just chose the one that they had at least twenty of, and was the least expensive. They are quite small, but they will grow.
Here is one all tucked in and happy. I buried some lightly composted rabbit manure with each one. I also put down landscaping cloth and then bark mulch. Once the grass is planted the yard will look quite nice, I think.
They came with planting and fertilizing instructions. I kept one tag just in case I forget.
Here is the new view from the front porch. Just imagine a lawn where the dirt is.
The view from one corner of the lot looking down the street. The white is the end of the french drain stocking. My husband still has to put the cap on that. I should remind him.
While we were looking at the discount shrubs I noticed this little guy. I had to rescue him. He cost me 5 dollars, so if he doesn't do well, I guess I am not out a huge investment, but I will be sad. He is a comise pear, my favorite variety. I have never seen a tree of this variety around here, so I am hoping that it grows well here. Our area is very good fro growing pears in general. I am hoping that the reason I haven't seen them around is not because they are not good in our climate. I planted him in a raised bed with plenty of compost and rabbit manure. You can see in the background of this picture the first two raised beds we made earlier. They match. I am not very sure that the placement of this tree is quite right. If I still don't like it next fall after the leaves drop, I might try to move it.
It seems that I forgot to take pictures of the bulbs I put in at the same time as the shrubs. I bought some large bags of dutch irises and tulips and planted them in clumps between the shrubs. The taller irises towards the back and the tulips in front. In the very front corners where the sidewalk meets the street, I planted two small clusters of dwarf irises. I can't wait to see them come up in the spring. The irises are purple and the tulips are the pointy variety in lavender.