9.24.2012

The Front Yard: How It's Holding Up

It's been about a month since the front yard Before & After so I thought I'd post about how things are holding up. The first piece of news is bad: the penstemons in our mosaic planters are not happy


They have looked like they might come back from time to time, and I started off by cutting the dead growth when they first weren't looking very happy. But it looks like they're totally on their way to DEAD. The other plant in the planter (of which I do not know its name...) is very happy however, so that's nice.

There are one or two (though off the top of my head I can only think of one) other plants that have similarly decided to end their short little lives, but other than that the yard is blooming and happy. And out of the 70+ plants that went in, I consider the front yard planting a great success.

Here's a pretty good comparison so far



It's not a huge difference, but I can definitely see a lot more color in all the blooms and the shasta daisy is super super happy. I love these flowers (of course I don't know the name...)




I love the multi-color blooms on the some plant, it's so cool! Wendy and I have been meaning to put together a binder of all the plants and how to care for them properly (because I'm an idiot), but we've been so busy we haven't been able to get around to it yet. I promise (Heather) it'll come soon! :)

Here's another comparison shot



There's not too much of a difference. The shasta daisy over here is currently about ready to burst into a bunch of blooms, the emerald carpet manzanita is starting to spread, and the coral bark has become a lot more happy (when we first planted it the leaves were starting to brown a little and they have gotten lighter with all the happy sunlight).

I am happy to report that we are - so far - very happy with the landscape cardboard weedblock that we put down


It really does keep the weeds down really well. I think because landscape fabric is actually a fabric and allows light to come through and weeds to poke through breaks in the fabric it's not as successful. But the cardboard is an impervious surface so the soil below doesn't get any light through that would allow weeds to grow through it. The trade off is that wherever there isn't cardboard, weeds SHOOT up because the cardboard helps keep the soil really fresh and full of nutrients so the weeds are very happy when they do find an escape.

For instance, they found the little hole we cut for the plant and sprouted out the side



And the large hole that we had to cut away for the coral bark is always littered with weeds


After I cut away from the cardboard to dig the hole for the tree I should have put down filter fabric in it's place, so that was just stupid of me. It's on the to do list to move the mulch to the side, roll out some fabric and spread the mulch back, but we'll see when I get to that... :)

The crazy thing is that if a weed sees any speckle of light it shoves its way to the surface if at all possible


If you can't tell, this weed is actually growing out sideways in a break it found in the cardboard


All in all though the weeds really aren't too bad and I would really recommend the landscape cardboard as a successful alternative to fabric. I spend about 30 minutes every 2 weeks in the yard cutting back dead growth and doing really minor weeding, so I think we had a solid conquering of the front yard :)

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