My front yard continues to be a long, drawn out process of learning and work. It started with a naive idea that I would design and install all the landscaping myself...evolved to a belief that I should hire a professional to do the project...and quickly flipped back around into a DIY project when I saw the $10,000 price tag on said professional's bid. I've learned about kinds of grass, types of watering systems, flowers that live in Phoenix heat and magazines that lie when they say "needs partial shade." I started the front yard driven by a desire to keep the neighbors and their anonymous complaint notes quiet, but this space quickly changed into something I do because I like it and am proud to do because it has transformed my little home from a dirt lot into the not-too-manicured kind of place dogs want to stop and roll around in glee.
(You've seen these pictures before but since I can't get enough of them, you have to glance at them too. The difference between the before and after makes me smile.)
The thermometer is edging up to 80 degrees, however, and I'm trying to prepare myself for the next step after the inevitable death of my gorgeous winter grass. The sprinkler system is still too complicated and expensive to tackle, the overgrown bushes I love in the front of the house still haven't been trimmed like the landscaper suggested, and I still haven't decided if I want plants along the sidewalk or just grass. But I did start to creep forward on the design I had drawn by a landscaper. It was worth the ridiculous cost ($250, but that was 50% off what it normally was because I found the landscaper through the Maricopa County Home and Garden Show last year). I've spent far too much money on plants that I put in the wrong location, and I was tired of watching flowers die. I now have this lovely map of what should go where, with at least some assurance that things might continue living once I put them there.
So here, ladies and gentlemen, is the first investment in my "treasure map" for the front yard: a cape honeysuckle.
To celebrate and to add more color to the other side of the yard, I managed to get this great chair home in my little car:
This is the kind of progress that doesn't make for a very exciting blog post, but it does make every day a little brighter. There's another addition coming to the front yard next week...stay tuned!