Friday, June 10, 2011

Front garden update.

After a late start, the garden is slowly coming together. The back yard, home to two dogs and a toddler (with a plant-destroying push wagon), still needs a lot of work, but the front yard is going to be totally epic, dudes. 

Front garden 2011

Okay, maybe it doesn't look that epic right now. But, if all goes well, this will be a sea of calendula, shelling beans (see that tee-pee in the middle?), sunflowers, and tomatoes in August. There won't be anywhere to walk, but I'm hoping it will be overflowing with bounty.

As friends and long time readers of this blog will remember, our front yard has gone through a pretty dramatic progression since we bought our house. Here's what it looked like when we moved in:

House before

Nice, huh? This was back in 2006, so if you want to know what I saw in this house, the answer is: a big yard, hardwood floors, a reasonably decent foundation, and a slightly less exorbitant price tag than all of the other houses we had looked at. Remember those days? If I had a dollar for every time I heard the statement "You can't lose money on real estate!" I would probably be able to pay off my exorbitant mortgage.

Ah, if only we had known then what we know now. We were suckers, but as far as that goes, at least we are in very good company.

But let's not dwell on that - back to the front yard! After moving in, the first thing we did for the front yard was to remove the concrete parking lot covering the whole yard. While we appreciated the extra space to put several old junkers up on blocks, we decided we would prefer room to plant. After that, it looked like this:

House after removing concrete

So now you are starting to see why the current yard deserves the adjective "epic," huh? Compared to that moon-scape, almost anything would be epic.

For posterity's sake, here is the current view (definitely not an "after," as this is very much a work in progress):

House Spring 2011
One of these days, I'm going to ask the city to put in a street tree.

The new front fence makes such a difference, right? And you can see hints of greenness! I hope that by mid-summer, it will be more than a hint of green.

But right now, everything is still pretty small and not very photogenic. Baby plants just aren't that interesting to look at.

Little jalapeno.

Sunflower Plant
Teeny weeny sunflower.

Bean plant
Baby bean.

See what I mean? But there is so much epic promise hidden in those little plants!

Our little fig tree has really gone crazy in its first year of life (first year in our garden, that is). I love big, mature fig trees so much. Well, at the rate this baby is growing, it should be a beautiful, arching tree in only ... uh ... 15-20 years? Here's the side-by-side (top-to-bottom) comparison.

Fig 2010
Fig tree
Fig 2011
An aside: Is anyone interested in purchasing a "fixer upper"? Please consider this house, directly across the street from us. We are not picky about our neighbors - seriously, all we ask is that you not deal crack from your home (what you do when you are not home is none of our business and we won't bother you about it). This is an investment opportunity, people. Opportunity.

Abandoned house
If there is anything worse than a crack house, it is a condemned, boarded up and abandoned crack house.
How is your garden growing this year?


  1. But if someone moves in, where will I park on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays? Where????

  2. Ha- we bought in 2006 too. I hear ya' on mortgages and the "You can't lose money" story. Sigh.
    And our abandoned next door house isn't a crack house...but is a bustling home to many families of raccoons, possums and rats. No boarded windows, just giant holes in the roof and cracked windows. Argh.

  3. Rebecca: You're right. Never mind. Let's hope it stays the way it is. :-)

    Meg: See, I knew we were in good company! That house is boarded up, but that doesn't stop a whole clan of feral cats from living in the crawl space. They provide constant entertainment for my dogs, as you can imagine. Still, I guess I should be thankful there are no broken windows. Ah, city living.

  4. You have made such a difference! Well done for keeping a photographic record. We had a bunch on concrete ripped up out the back of our place and underneath was some horrible road base stuff, so it has been a struggle to grow things. I envy your fast-growing fig!

  5. Janke, thank you! We are very soil-blessed, which is very lucky. We mulched the front yard for a year, let the rain water it and watered it some more ourselves, but expected the soil to still need a lot of work (hello, it was a parking lot!). Actually it's fine. So if I never recover our financial investment in this house, at least the soil has not caused too much back-breaking work!

  6. Of course I meant "Jane." Hazards of typing next to a toddler. :-)


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