Exploring My Front Garden: More Than Just a Yard
Do you have a front garden adorned with perennials and succulents, or do you simply call it a front yard? Personally, I prefer not to refer to the front area of a home as a mere ‘yard’. The definition of the word ‘yard‘ is “a piece of ground adjoining a building or house.”
A Burst of Color from Perennials and Succulents
Now, while I do have a piece of ground adjoining my house – it is so much more than that.
The piece of ground is filled with trees, shrubs, perennials, and succulents, which in my opinion makes it not a ‘yard’ BUT a ‘garden’.
So, I thought that I would show you a little of what is growing in my front ‘garden’….
Blooming Beauties: Firecracker Penstemon and White Gaura
This time of year, my firecracker penstemon (Penstemon eatonii) is in full bloom, much to the delight of bees and hummingbirds.
This tough perennial blooms January through April in my zone 9a garden. In cooler climates, it will flower in the summer.
Underneath the front window, lies a row of white gaura (Gaura lindheimeri), which flowers in spring and fall. This perennial is hardy to zone 5.
Embracing the World of Agave, Alongside Perennials and Succulents
Agave are my favorite type of succulent and I have several different types in my garden.
This one is near the front entry and is called artichoke agave (Agave parryi ‘truncata’).
It is a medium-sized agave and can grow in zones 7 and up.
As you can see, it has produced some offsets (babies, pups, volunteers). They are attached to the mother plant by a underground stem.
I have taken several of the offsets and replanted them around my garden…
This one was planted 2 years ago from the mother plant.
It is easy to take offsets and plant them in other areas in the garden. I wrote about it a few years ago and you can read it here.
The Charm of Globe Mallow in Various Shades
In late winter, I am always impatient to see my globe mallow begin to show the first glimpse of color peeking through.
I have several globe mallow plants and each one produces a different-colored flower.
Here is my pink globe mallow.
And it’s neighbor, which has white flowers.
This globe mallow has vibrant, red flowers and is located on the other side of my front garden landscape with other perennials and succulents.
While I love all of my globe mallow flowers, I think that the pink are my favorite…
The most common color of globe mallow is orange. But, as you can see, there are other colors available.
Agave Wonders: Octopus Agave and Victoria Agave
I mentioned that I had a few different species of agave in my garden.
This is my largest one, which is called octopus agave (Agave vilmoriniana).
I raised this agave from a tiny pup (bulbil) from the flowering stem of its mother, who I had grown in a large pot.
This agave has a tropical look with its curvy leaves and does best in areas with filtered or afternoon shade.
Victoria agave (Agave victoria-reginae) was named for Queen Victoria.
This smaller agave has a very distinctive look and is highly-desired, which makes it rather expensive.
I was given the largest one in the photo, above, by a client and it has since gone on to produce many babies for me.
A Twist on Lantana with a Splash of Color
Some people may think that lantana is overused in the landscape with perennials and succulents, but I like to put a twist on the traditional lantana.
There is a lantana called ‘Lavender Lace’ that produces both purple and white flowers on the same plant. BUT, it can be hard to find and is expensive.
So, I create the same look by planting both a purple and a white trailing lantana in the same hole.
Succulents Adding Texture to the Garden
My favorite types of plants are flowering shrubs and groundcovers. However, I like the different textures that succulents add to my front garden.
So, I have green desert spoon (Dasylirion acrotriche) on both sides in the front. This species of desert spoon has a darker-green color then the gray/blue leaves of regular desert spoon.
Valentine: A Favorite Flowering Shrub
Finally, I’d like to finish with my favorite flowering shrub, Valentine whose red blooms began to appear at Christmas and will last through April.
I hope you enjoyed this partial tour of my front garden. I do have trees and other plants growing, but because they are dormant in winter, I will show you them in the future, once they are looking their best.