First impressions

I live in a garden’s paradise.  I have flowers galore; birds, acres of trees, blue skys and peace and quiet but all of this good stuff is happening around the back of the house, away from the road.  I just hate the front of my house and it bugs me that people driving pass it are perhaps judging my gardening skills because it is so ugly.

The beds are poorly designed and they were filled with weeds and grass.   Raised beds.  Does anyone else hate them?  I know they have their purpose.  In cooler climates they keep the soil warmer and therefore extend the growing season, but really?  They are so unnatural and restrictive. Ugh!


It is the first impression one has of this house.   I feel it is now a high priority to get it cleaned up and looking right.

ahhh if only it was that simple.

I have been working on the front garden for over a year, on and off.  Other projects have been started and finished, but my front yard still remains a work-in-progress.   When we moved in last year you could barely see the house from behind huge overgrown scrubs.


One of the first things I did was pull out the overgrown shrubs. Bags of triple mix, and manure were dragged in and mulched leaves were added to the top. It didn’t help much.  This year I can hardly shove a shovel into the soil.  It is clogged with roots from the former shrubs.  Gardening isn’t much fun when the soil is poor and you can’t even dig a hole.

I’m a fair weather gardener.  I don’t mind pulling weeds but the soil must be fluffy and the weeds should  give-way easily.  Out the front of my house the gardening is darn unpleasant.  Who wants to do a downward dog while pulling out long grass twisted around the  perennials? My face quickly becomes hot and red, and my hamstrings ache.  F*ck this!  I quit, leaving the task to another day.  Meanwhile the problem worsens.


Last year it was so hot.  I just gave up trying to clean out the grass.   I needed a Plan B, a new design and someone to do the heavy work for me.  I’ve lost my steam for working out the front.

I wanted a crew of workers with heavy equipment to come and give me a day’s labour. I wanted the wood around the raised beds to be gone.  Phoof.   Next up, this crew would scrap away the old front walkway and driveway gardens and lay sod in their place.  I want a smooth simple lawn instead of garden.  This crew would then temporarily dig up my new little scrubs and perennials, bring in a backhoe and pull out that nasty root ball and replace it with ten inches of fluffy triple mix.  They would then return my new perennials to the front bed. Voila.  Problem solved.

All spring I have been chipping away at this project.  I have rescued as many of the old perennials as possible and transplanted them to the back yard into my new destination garden.

I hired a neighbour with a backhoe and he removed the wood from the raised beds.


That was two weeks ago.  The project has since come to a halt.  Two landscape companies have been to the house to review the site.  We wait….. Finally last night the quotes came in and a decision was made.  Work will begin in 14 days.   Only 14 more days before the weeds are gone and the  fluffy compost rich soil is delivered.   I can’t wait.

Stay tuned.  I will give updates.


About westlakemusings

In 2013 my husband and I retired. We bought an old pre-confederation house out in the country. This blog is about our new world in the country as we explore all of life's possibilities.
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3 Responses to First impressions

  1. Kathy says:

    Good luck with this ambitious project Diane. I can’t wait to see the results after you have applied your creative touch to the front garden.

  2. You are an amazing gardener – looking forward to seeing the end result

  3. We have some work to do at the front of our house too – we are just needing the time. My husband has a bunch of overgrown shrubs to pull out, mulch to put down, and new plantings to put in. At this point I would just be happy with empty mulched beds, It’d look better than the mess that is there now.

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