Think that a front yard has to be a stretch of lawn and a foundation planting filled with a lineup of the usual suspects? Have you thought that flowers belong in a row along the path to the front door, or in a circle around the lamppost? Think again! This Weekend Project is about planting a Front Yard Flower Garden.
- You don’t have to dig up the grass. You could smother the lawn this fall, and plant a flower garden next spring! Follow the no-dig, newspaper-and-mulch method I pictured at Whole Life Gardening. Lay papers and mulch now and next spring just tear holes in the paper and plant directly into the ground. If your soil is compact or poor, spreading a layer of compost or composted manure (one or two inches thick) on top of the grass before you lay the newspaper down is a good idea.
- Don’t want to wait until spring? Taking advantage of shrub and perennial sales so you want to plant in the fall? No worries. Use a different form of the newspaper/mulch method. Decide where you want to place plants this fall. Dig up a circle of lawn about 18″ round where every plant will be placed. Next spread a layer of compost/manure over the entire bed, not just on that little hole. Plant your shrubs and perennials in the circles you’ve cut out and then cover the remaining lawn with the newspaper and mulch.
- Be sure to space perennials so they have room to grow larger. Perennial plants that don’t spread much and grow vertically, such as Echinacea, Salvia, Agastache, and Stokesia, can be placed 18 – 20 inches apart. Perennials that grow wider, such as daylilies, peonies, and the larger Nepeta can be put 24 – 36 inches apart, and those that spread, such as Monarda, Iris, Physostegia, and Leucanthemum should be put at least 36 inches apart.
- Think about including a few smaller shrubs in your front yard flower garden, including a couple of evergreens for winter structure.