Green @ Home Project Preview: Gregory & Emily's Green Garden Makeover

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July is just about upon us and the readers and editors of Apartment Therapy will be sharing their personal green tips, solutions and changes in and around their homes all month long. The Green @ Home Sharing & Giveaway is an opportunity for everyone to share inspiring solutions, great and small, hopefully revealing there are many different shades of green that can collectively make a difference. We kick things off with our own personal project: making over a neglected front yard into a herb and low-water garden using green techniques...

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Challenge: Our former neighbors created a unique, whimsical garden filled with found objects, a mish-mash of landscaping material and a mix of tropical and desert plants that quickly fell into decay once they moved away. Emily and I have been inspired by books like Edible Estates, hoping to reimagine the wasted front yard as a communal herb and drought tolerant garden. With years of neglect, the project involves a lot of physical labour of moving out a seemingly endless amount of random rocks/stones, pulling out an ill-conceived mix of high water use and desert plants, and carefully considering the hot westward facing section to improve curb appeal.

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Goals: we're already well on our way, spending this last weekend cleaning out the garden of debris, cleaning the dirt filled fountain (with an ugly urinating cherub) and all the stones within, and yanking out all the dead and remaining water thirsty plants. We've also invested in a composting bin, which is already working great with the help of our neighbors, who now all throw in their coffee grinds and vegetable matter in the hopes of providing some nutritious planting material months from now.

Future goals are to build a raised flower bed for an herb garden, xeriscape the rest of the front with succulents and drought tolerant bee/butterfly attracting flowering plants (inspired by Sara-Kate's childhood home), and also bring the poorly looking fountain back to life using a solar technology (alongside some lighting). The project will most definitely be a long term project, taking a few months if not years, but it's also one which we're taking day-by-day, always remembering to enjoy the whole process rather than stress over the details. Because in the end, as Maxwell once noted after seeing the disparate garden during his recent visit, "...anything will be an improvement!". If anything, I'll personally be in great shape at the end of this projects from lifting/carrying heavy stones and all the yard work.

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