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A Look at the Front Garden

The Front Garden wraps around the lawn in front of our house and is a source of pleasure whenever I look out the windows.

Here are a few recent images of this area:

We haven't had rain for many days now. I have been hoping for a thunderstorm, but no luck. The above watering can is well used!

Japanese maples provide texture and color contrast to all the green. The following Japanese maple grows in front of our dining room window. It was an unnamed seedling, only a few inches tall when I planted it about twenty years ago. All of my Japanese maples were tiny when I planted them, because I never had the budget for more mature specimens. My patience has paid off!

The leaves on this tree are technicolored. Here is a close-up look at some of them, all recently photographed from the same tree:

Some colorful plants grow next to the parking court out front. When I first began my garden I envisioned  pastel washes of color here. I soon learned that pale tender blooms have no hope under the white hot summer sun. Brazen beauties with flashy colors stand up to the heat better. Tropicana Canna Lily in the first photo below is a good example. Soon it will bear torches of bright orange flowers. In the second row are 'Stella D'Oro' daylily, autumn sage and a purple allium. The alliums have not done well, having weak stems and puny blossoms. I will give them another year. The artemesias in the lower photos do add a cooler touch. The gold variegated artemesia 'Oriental Limelight' is an agressive spreader.  I have planted it in a pot buried in the ground to keep it within bounds..

The garden is a haven for many  creatures.

You may have seen the lizard above in my post, A Snowy Monster and Other Things in My Garden. I think he likes summer better, but with the triple digit temperatures we have been having, I would appreciate a dusting of snow!

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Reader Comments (24)

Your front garden looks amazing. I planted a few shrubs/baby trees this spring, hoping they will one day screen our place from the road. Now I know I only have to wait 20 years, lol.

Your front garden is so full and lovely! I also purchased several small Japanese Maples and am anxiously waiting for them to grow. Hopefully it won't be twenty years!

Triple digit weather, oh my. I can not fathom, I too would be wanting the snow back. We get very few days to reach one hundred, the plants would all be laying on their sides in your weather. Yet yours look fresh and verdant. And it does not seem to stop your squirrels! You are lucky to have a garden rich in shaded glades. Even a drop of ten degrees must help.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

I love seeing a garden that has a 20 year history to it . . . hearing about the tiny Japanese maples that you planted and then seeing how extravagantly lush and beautiful they have become. Some day my gardens will have 20 years of history!

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Hi Deb,

Lovely photos, your Maples are wonderful and I love how many trees you have, it really must be a delight to look out :) Plus, I imagine you need the shade they provide!

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

I love how your maple leaves are just as colorful as your tropical cannas! As for rain, I'd be happy to send some your way. We had the most rain in June in more than a 100 years this weekend...2.93 inches! At least we won't have to water for a while ;)

I hope I have as much patience as you. You've definitely been rewarded. Your Japanese maple looks stunning as do your lilies.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBom

I just stumbled onto your blog via a picture search and what a wonderful find! Your garden looks lovely and you have some stunning plants.
Those maples are amazing, its fun to grow something from scratch/or close too. I sowed some Japanese maple seeds in 2006, several germinated, but most plants then ended up as either rabbit or mice food ;-(
Some lived on as gifts and one still grows in my garden as a 1 m high shrub/tree :-) (the autumn colors are a bit bland, but its still my "baby")

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHA

Beautiful photos and I have grown to appreciate the color of maple trees. I don't have one but a few yards in our neighborhood do. Maybe something to purchase next year.

How are you holding up with the lack of rain and the really early heat? I already have some hostas that are fading since I have not been able to keep up the watering.

See ya,


June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Hi Deb, your garden is a picture of envy, with all those lushness and colors. Even the previous post is so inviting especially on that hanging chair. However, i would want to be surprised by that reptile on my walk, it sure is scary! I saw your comment in Africanaussie's kiasu post. You should see my last kiasu posts on butterflies in response to hers and One;s kiasu posts. haha

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAuthor

Deb, I love the blue chair or bench in the first photo and wish it were next to the blue hydrangea--technicolor. Your Japanese maple "seedling" is glorious. Carolyn

Love your canna! Wonderful variegation.

I am actually just growing my first this year, in an attempt to liven up the summer show.


I'm sure lizzie appreciates the heat more than the snow...

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreggo

Most impressive as always Debs! Gorgeous foliage and plants in your garden, not to mention the wildlife :) I was talking to a friend the other day and we both saw a stunning iron chandelier, and I immediately told him about you earlier post wherein you bought a similar looking chandelier and hung it in your garden, love it!

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Now I know why you have so much shade, you need it with temperatures like that. What beautiful trees you have, especially your Acer, such lovely colours. I have been growing some seeds from my reddest acer, will have to see how they turn out.

June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Mulligan

Deb, I've really enjoyed your blog and the pictures are like looking in a magazine. I tried to find a post where you talked about how you water all that. Some of your rooms look like they are a good ways from your home. How do you water everything living in the south where the summers are so hot. Getting enough water to things seems to be my biggest problem.

June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Hi, everybody! Thanks to all of you who took time to stop by my blog and comment.Your kind words mean a lot to me, and I appreciate your support. Linda, you asked about how I get water to all my gardens. I dream of a built-in sprinkler system, but that is not in any foreseeable budget. I have outdoor faucets in three different outdoor areas, and I have about 600 feet of hoses I attach when needed. These hoses reach to most of the garden, though there are a couple of spots I have to haul the water by bucket. I routinely fill up my watering can with leftover or waste water from inside faucets. I try to plant thirstier plants closer to the faucets, and more drought tolerant ones farther out. But I expect my water bills this next month will be much higher than usual, as it still hasn't rained!

June 8, 2011 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

Thanks Deb! After looking at your gardens, I told myself "she must have a better way of watering than I do and that's why hers looks so much better! " lol...guess I was wrong. I think I've made the mistake of planting things that aren't tough enough for southern summers. At least when I'm toting heavy water buckets, tugging on water hoses (and trying not to say dirty words) I tell myself it's good exercise! My husband says "lantana and crepe myrtles only" and I'm about ready to believe him! It's still hot, dry, and no rain here in my neck of the woods too. Thanks!

June 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Your front garden would be a pleasure for anyone to view ~ I especially love the warm colors of your Japanese Maples. Your garden has matured beautifully. I can't get over how real your lizard looks. lol

June 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

I LOVE your Japanese maples! They are really incredible! We've had brutal weather lately and I'm dreading my water bill. 5 rain barrels aren't enough when it's 100 degrees and dry as a bone. Every time you show that lizard I think he's real!!

June 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

Hi Deb! I can't believe all your huge maples were planted by you when they were just babies! They are gorgeous! I found several maple seedlings in my garden, put them in pots and watch them growing. Maybe, one day I will have so big as yours are... Your hydrangea is blooming already. Beautiful! I also use watering cans very often. I turned off the sprinklers in my vegetable garden, since tomatoes, etc, don't like their foliage to be wet.
I appreciate all your comments on my blog! You are my dear virtual gardening friend!
I wish you a big and long rain!!!

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTatyana

Deb I love this post! It's a great journal entry of all that is going on in your garden right now...I love the collages of the wildlife and leaves and plants...beautiful. I might have to pinch this idea! Btw, so glad to be of help in the discovery of your mystery hibiscus. I really love having the Pavonia as it is in a really tough spot in my garden and manages to thrive! The seedlings pull up pretty easily and are easy to identify. Look forward to seeing your photos of the flowers...they are so pretty.

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercat

hello Deb, I wanted to comment but was soooo behind with reading blogs I just kept reading intending to come back later and comment, I love the canna lily foliage worth growing for that alone, did you know Laura Ashley only started her bright prints when they started selling in hotter climes where the oringinal pastles just don't work,
your maples are beautiful especially the unknown seedling, all the trees I have planted were 1 yr seedlings or cuttings, I didn't plant the lodge pole pines and spruces they were in the garden when I arrived, I couldn't (still can't) afford big ones, I take lots of cuttings too so have many of the same plants, I have read that it is better to plant small then the tree/shrub grows with roots to support it in the conditions it is growing, in your garden I imagine it means deep roots searching for water, in mine it's spreading roots to anchor in the wind,
after reading your tomato post I hope Lou leaves the next one for you, Frances

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIsland Threads

You're garden is stunning!!! Just discovered your journal and now I'm an avid follower. Looks like we are about the same age, both obsessed with beautiful plants and with gardens to nurture. Gardenwise quite different; different continents, weather, plants - I garden in about 1 acre in rural Shropshire in the UK - different challenges!

I'll be back to view your garden frequently - I'll say it again, just STUNNING!

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan@Holly Grove
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