Front Yard – Advice on beauty without watering and fertilizing

05200146sm“Americans have long treasured a well-tended lawn. But a small, if determined, movement would replace vistas of unrelentingly green front lawns with at least pockets of exotic flower and vegetable gardens that not only are feasts for the eyes but sources of cheap veggies, too.No statistics exist, mainly because the movement so far amounts to little more than a persistent dandelion. But largely because of an art project to turn a front lawn in Salina, Kan., into a so-called Edible Estate, it is gaining widespread publicity through the Internet.” – Paul WenskeI have this patch o’ grass in the front and another small patch in the back of my yard. I spend a lot of money watering and fertilizing each year. Truth be known, I pay a landscape guy to keep the place looking spiffy. But for three months a year, the front turns into a straw farm. Brown, unhappy the grass just dies unless I pay hundreds of dollars to water it. This I refuse to do.CasaDuGlassaSo I’m looking to find a solution to the front yard. The back is green all the time because it is protected by trees. Suzy wants to plant a bunch o’ trees in the front. I’m toying with replacing the grass with clover and other drought resistant stuff that only needs to be mowed once a year.The Germans, where Suzy and I lived for around five years, luv to plant every inch of their fenced, front yards with flowers, fruit trees, and the like. But then they are wont to spend hours tending their spaces and making it beautiful. I’d like to find an almost maintenance-free solution that will not put the neighbors up in arms.So my gardening friends, what say yea? What would you do?

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About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra, and enjoy time with family and friends.
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9 Responses to Front Yard – Advice on beauty without watering and fertilizing

  1. Rambling says:

    My middle son did the clover thing..you will regret that.  He did.  It is pernicious.  It needs mowing actually and..it looks bnad ultimately.  You may wish to investigate a differing type of grass(es) that are more hardy and overplant with those to where it will soon overtake what you presently have.  Have you an agricultural campus as well  at your University  that you can consult for grass advice?

  2. L says:

    The problem with planting a lot of trees is they require maintenace and money to maintain as well. Not to mention if left overgrown they detract from the house and can be a threat during storms (summer and winter). Don’t get me wrong I love trees but I would never want them detracting from the house…not to mention my biggest complaint is they block out the natural sunlight. I’ve been in homes that are so depressing and gloomy because very little light gets through due to the trees. I could never live in a dark house.
     
    I should take pictures of a few houses in my neighborhood which are beautiful homes but the treed lot really detracts from it. About the watering, I am no help. Our lot is one acre of beautiful green grass. Keep in mind I am in Michigan though, we have inground sprinklers that run twice a day and water costs nothing…we have a well. So the only increase is the electricty it takes.
    Of course it costs for the 5 fertilizing trmts a year and the mowing, but mowing is cheap here. For our yard we pay $35.00 a cut and that includes a stadium cut (double cut) trimming and blowing. My Dad in Ohio pays that amount for his little dinky lot.
     
    Let us know what you decide.

  3. Isabelle says:

    Cows and Sheeps…..unexpensive mowner and fresh milk in the morning!….Ok just kidding!
     
    I have absolutely no idea…but i agree that pretty much water and fertilizers are used in here..not good for the pocket and not good fo the environment!
     
    I think I would go for a veggie garden! If made aesthetically i think It can be fun and yummy!!
     
    Dwarf fruit trees can be just great in the summer……also strawberries patches! Ok I know I don’t sound American style…..because I am not!LOL!
     
    Not many people have the luxury to have a patch of green and if I were you I would make the best of it! if you have kids they might just develop a taste for nature and gardening! I think it is a healthy hobby!
     
    Take care,
    Isa

  4. Beth says:

    You have a beautiful home.  Of course, I love flowers, but mine are filled with weeds now so don’t take any advice from me.  LOL

  5. Elizabeth says:

    What a beautiful home! I’m actually desperate for a lawn like yours.  But if you are wanting a maintenance free landscape you could always try astro turf. 😉

  6. JaAG says:

    Funny you should mention astro turf. Microsoft’s soccer fields have fake grass and there are people who’ve walked over them and didn’t even notice that it was fake! But to do my little 20 by 30 foot yard in this fake stuff would cost me $10,000. :o(

  7. Bertie says:

    You might want to talk to your Dad about this.  He was raised in a greenhouse, and now as co-chair of our community Landscaping Committee, he is purusing Western garden books as I write, looking for new ideas for our 206 unit community.  At present they just learned that the expensive sprinkling system they paid for years ago was put in wrong.  And they are wondering about replacing some plants that need a lot of water with some that need less.  I love your house as it is.  The patch of grass sets it off nicely.  There are people around Seattle called super gardeners, and they are associated with some agricultural dept, state or county.  They probably would be helpful.  Mom

  8. Laoch says:

    Japanese rock garden!

  9. Jade says:

    well, definitely not trees because they need alot of water, especially when starting-they do make more drought resistant grasses that set deeper root systems.Perhaps a more efficient weeping watering automatic type set up? Or I have to say I like Loaches idea- f*k the grass!

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