A while ago, I mentioned that we were "redoing" the front yard, entirely removing the grass in front of our house and putting in a garden. We have finished with the bulk of the work, so I thought I'd share some pictures.
Okay, this is what our front yard looked like from the sidewalk as recently as a month or two ago. As you can see, it's not a big yard, so the mowing wasn't terrible. However, what you can't see is the enormous tree on the other edge of the sidewalk with roots and shade making it nearly impossible to keep the grass healthy. Also, I hate mowing grass.
Here we are digging up the tulips in order to replant them in the back yard- something I'm told you aren't supposed to do, but it worked out fine for us- as well as... I think the technical term here is "rototilling the shit out of the yard". This left a surprising amount of soil in the front yard. In fact, I spend several days hauling dirt to the back in order to level the plain. We now have a huge mound of dirt in the back yard, which will be a problem to solve another day.
After leveling out the soil, we planted some bushes and hostas towards the house. Then, we cut through the yard with a stone path. We found a nursery that would sell us rough stones from their pile for two bucks a piece. The finished path is a bit different from this picture- it's a bit tighter and doesn't veer so far to the right. But, you get the idea here. We were trying to prevent the whole thing from looking too regular and planned out.
Lola, our cat and ruler of our lives, here shown inspecting the work. She's taken the whole thing in stride, although we're not sure digging up the yard and bringing in all the plants did her allergies any good. And, yes, we discovered (after bringing her to the vet to see why she was coughing on a daily basis) that cats can indeed have allergies. Being a cat, she's now walked through the yard once and lost all interest in it- at least compared to her abiding interest in what's under the car.
Here's the edge of the yard closest to the house. You can see the path and various bushes and hostas and lots of cedar chips. This was what we had intended to be done with by year two, but we pretty much plowed through the plans in a month. It helps that I'm home nearly every day now. I have also added a small trench along the side for rain water and some moss in between the first few stones.
This is what it looks like currently. There's a bit more blooming and I'm going to add some more moss to the path, as well as digging a small trench in front, and growing some grass on the right side. But you get the idea. Given a few years, I think it will grow in quite nicely, and I will not have to mow any grass here.