White flower carpet rose

I have been dreaming of relandscaping our front yard for many years.

We have the typical Las Vegas front yard: a strange shape of grass, surrounded by rocks, a few bushes and a single tree. (Newer homes are not allowed to put grass in the front yard anymore, per a law that was passed after our house was built). We also do not have a sidewalk.

At our last house, we relandscaped the front yard before we did the backyard.

At this house, we did the backyard first. I’m so grateful that we did; the backyard has been a wonderful source of food and great place for the children to play every day.

I’ve had a few different ideas in my mind over the last few years about the front yard. A few weeks ago, I finally measured the yard and drew plans for it.

It’s a small front yard, and I’ve been looking at other small (yet formal) gardens for some ideas. I found that the same things kept appealing to me. I basically am looking at a scaled down version of our backyard planters with hedges, including a center round circle planter.

We want to level most of the garden (except for the walkway) and install a short wall a little bit back from the street (We will install a pipe for drainage).

Instead of grass, I want to have a concrete path. This will mean that my husband won’t need to bring the lawn mower around the house to mow a tiny patch of grass (which is what he does now).

The more pictures I saw, the more I realized that I loved the impact of a white garden, so I have been planning white flowers that will bloom at different times throughout the year. I have chosen the following flowers (all in white varieties):

Iceberg Roses
Violas (known to reseed; a fall through spring flower here)
Foxglove (grows in shade; they take two years before blooming)
Larkspur (fall planted; May blooming)
Vinca (these have reseeded themselves in my garden in the past)
Star of Bethlehem (a bulb that should naturalize)
Narcissus Curlew (a white daffodil that should naturalize)
Iris (Dutch Iris White Wedgewood)
Lilies (Oriental Lily Casa Blanca; I have some in my backyard already and have divided them, so eventually these should be able to be divided as well for more flowers. May blooming)
Zinnias (summer through frost)
Stock (a fall through spring flower here)
Flower Carpet Roses

I also hope to put in Meyer lemons to form a hedge; these will have white flowers as well. I already have Meyer lemons in back, but we would love enough lemons for lemonade.

I would like to put in two Early Elberta peaches (pink flowers in spring; I have one in the backyard and I would like more for canning and fresh eating) and two Flowering Plums (these have red leaves in summer and pink blossoms in spring; they generally do not fruit).

I plan on planting large quantities of Genovese basil (which also has white flowers when it goes to seed in late summer/early fall), a white alpine strawberry, and I am considering planting white veronica as well.The goal with the basil is to stop buying dried basil and to dry my own.

The hedges will be Greenspire Euyonomous.

I hope to plant vegetables in the planters (spinach in cool months and squash and Aremenian cucumbers in the hot months). I will plant parsley from seed (which I already have) in a few spots as well; I have parsley in two spots in the back and I have parsley in that spot by the front now (but it is going to seed in front). I would like to have enough parsley to stop purchasing dried parsley.

I already have two gardenia plants in pots by the front door, and I recently purchased two white Lady Banks’s roses (in a small size) to climb up the house.

I’ve made several more changes to the plans since I photographed these last week. The lavender, rosemary, allium, and honeysuckle have been cut and I am planting something else in those spots. I’ve added even more flowers into the overall plan.

To see some of what I’m envisioning, you can check out my front yard pins on Pinterest.

To keep costs down, we are doing several things:

A friend of ours offered to let us use his backhoe. This will make leveling the front yard and digging trenches for the water into quick work, and I won’t have to pay to rent one.

We have leftover blocks from the raised bed planter in our backyard that will be used as part of the wall in front when we level the yard (the yard currently slopes to the street). We have been saving these blocks for years with this purpose. I will still have to purchase more blocks, but this will reduce the number I need by about one-fourth.

I am watching for sales and hopefully more coupons from our local nursery. I will be buying smaller plants from the nursery to keep the costs lower. This cuts the cost for bushes and trees in half compared to buying larger plants. I am hoping to buy all plants on sale if possible.

I found a place to buy bulk white flower seeds. I already purchased my flower seeds in bulk (around 2000 seeds for $4.99 for most varieties) from Outside Pride  for foxglove, larkspur, vinca, Genovese basil, white strawberries, stock, hellebore (this beats the cost of plants by a lot on these), and violas.

I will be ordering bulbs in bulk from Van Engelen. These will not be available for sale until June for October shipping. These need to be planted in fall for spring blooming.

I already have white zinnia seeds from Wildseed Farms that I ordered earlier this year.

Many of the flowers I have ordered/will order are naturalizing bulbs and plants that reseed themselves (I should be able to collect seeds from the larkspur and zinnias). This will keep costs down over the long run, plus in years to come, it will mean an abundance of flowers.

There will still be expenses (dirt, plumbing, concrete, blocks for the wall, and plants) of course. Everything will be watered with drip irrigation. I am looking forward to more fruit, more vegetables, more pesto (and enough basil to dry), and more flowers for the table, not to mention the way the flowers will feed my spirit every single day.

I’ve taken the necessary papers to the neighbors to sign per HOA rules.

Now I just have to get the HOA to approve everything, and we’ll get started!

This post linked to Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest.

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  1. I’ve ordered things through Ebates before from Home Depot (a new dryer was one of them) but it looks like Home Depot doesn’t have the grey–only Lowe’s does. It’s a pick up in store only thing, but it looks like I CAN order online, and get 3% back from Lowe’s. It’s a very small amount (around $7.50!) but they would have my order ready for pickup, which could also save me a lot of time. I hadn’t thought of ordering the block online, but it’s possible!

  2. Well, that’s the thing, I’ve never let it bloom – I just saw tons of it coming up in the back plot and knew I wanted to plant vegetables there, but didn’t want it taking over that bed, so I pulled it before it could flower. This year, some has come back around the edges and even made it to the front bed, so I’m going to let it bloom and see what it actually is. I’m pretty sure that’s what it is though from the look of the leaves – they look like crocus leaves with a white stripe down the middle, but haven’t bloomed yet.I’m the opposite of you on the mint – you want more flowers, I want more mint! But I didn’t plant it in my garden bed – I don’t like mint THAT much :). I just put some in next to our kitchen step in an area where nothing else was growing, so we’ll see if it goes crazy or not.

  3. Brandy and Marivene,Have you joined the Home Depot Garden Club? They sent me a 10% off coupon when I joined, and another 10% off coupon just before this Black Friday sale started. I put one of them to good use to replenish the mulch in my gardens.For Lowes coupons, I subscribe to the Lowes Creative Ideas magazine. It is free, and does often have clever ideas. Most issues have some type of coupon.Brandy, your plan looks wonderful. I can already imagine what a transformation it will be. I look forward to “seeing it” on the blog!-Melissa

  4. I actually ended up planting mint in 2 different beds this year. I couldn’t keep it alive in a pot with the heat here. We’ll see how it does and how much it wants to take over 🙂 I’m hoping to have plenty now (I have peppermint and spearmint).

  5. That was the same reason I put mine in ground – it didn’t do well in a pot at all. I think that in your climate, it might do something entirely different than it would in mine. I have lemon balm in the front bed (previous owner) which is said to be invasive, and it pops up here and there, but it’s not like it’s choked out everything else. It tends to stay on the edges of the bed now.

  6. I had spearmint choke out a few things at my last house here, and it spread by runners and seeds. Cutting off the flowers helped, though. It got in the grass and killed a lavender bush as well.

  7. I had planted vincas for years at my old house, but I always pulled them in the fall and replaced them with pansies.When we moved here, I put vincas in the garden and left them until frost (December–2 more months than usual). They died at the first frost, and I didn’t have money to replace them (which is why I left them in until then).The next year in June, my husband thought I had a ton of weeds in the garden. I looked carefully at the leaves and realized they were vincas. They grew and we had vincas that year. I left them in and we had vincas again the next year.The hard part is that they like it really hot to germinate. Also, it meant that I didn’t have them as soon as I would have had plants if I had bought them, but they didn’t cost me anything, so that was good 🙂 I’ve had to transplant them in the evenings from one spot to another so that they were everywhere I wanted them.I’m not sure how I’ll switch between vincas and violas unless I start the violas in another spot in the garden and move them, but that could work, too. Violas only go until May here, but they need to be fall planted here.

  8. How beautiful that will be! I live in some high, dry prairie where it’s hard to keep anything going. Things just don’t ‘green up’ here, and we tend to be skimpy with the water, I think (because we are using it for our garden instead). Still, I would like to have a little oasis outdoors. You’ve inspired me to do a bit of dreaming too! :)The only plant I’ve ever had ‘invasive’ here is horseradish. If it didn’t get these icky bugs all over it, I’d consider it as a foundation planting all around the house. The foliage is a deep green, and fern-like.

  9. I love to plan ahead too. I adore my iceberg roses but absolutely hate my carpet roses! Have you grown them before? They have wicked thorns on them. I’ve already pulled out several that were planted 8 years ago when we moved in and will probably pull the remaining 3/4 this fall. Since you have small children you might want to reconsider.

  10. I put in two in the pots out back and yes the thorns are quite prolific on them. I’m not real worried about that. I garden with leather gloves; especially when pruning any roses!The children won’t be touching them. They know they have thorns. They’re pretty good about not picking things. Plus, they will be in the front yard, down by the street. The thorns could be a really good thing; we’ve had problems with the neighbors being in our yard (both people allowing dogs to go in our yard–and then moving our rocks to cover it up–leaving bare dirt–and teenagers sitting on our grass smoking in our yard). I’m hoping the new landscaping will discourage that.

  11. Melissa, thank you for the info. I just signed up, & received a $5 off $50 purchase coupon in my inbox 3 seconds later, valid thru 4/28 instore. I will probably use it tomorrow when I am in Provo, since that is my closest store.

  12. Brandy, we used to live across from the high school in Idaho, & 3 houses down from the jr high. Even tho I didn’t have sprinklers, I learned to water the front lawn 10 minutes before school let out. Wet grass worked wonders for keeping teenagers from smoking on our lawn.

  13. Brandy, would placing a glass jar mini cloche over top provide the heat the vincas like, so they would germinate earlier? Just a thought.

  14. The high school gets out here at 1:00–and it’s illegal to water during the day soon. Love the idea though. I hope that the yard will feel more private with a low hedge and then flowers above that. I do realize that putting a bench out there could be a problem, though–hopefully it will be well hidden with plants by the time I find and purchase the bench :)It’s the adults who are the trouble with the dogs, however. Hopefully the dogs won’t like those roses 🙂

  15. I second you on the smoking and the inconsiderate adults! I live on a corner lot and find cigarette buts up near my house and it is set back twice as far from the curb as your house appears. What on earth are people doing that close to my house! We have a sidewalk, stay on the side walk! Here’s hoping people respect your bench as being yours! Not available to the general public! How tall will your front wall be? that should help.I am just starting to really work on our yards and we have been here for 11 years, part of the problem has been I generally kill things. I do not have a green thumb, we even killed two trees within the first 3 years we lived here:(But now I have an 2-1 apple in the back, and this year I planted a 2-1 pear and a dwarf lemon in the front. I really want to put up a fence in the front, need to figure it out.

  16. It will just be a low retaining wall to level the front yard. Then I am putting a low hedge above it, which adds height. The roses behind that will add more height (they are 3-4 feet) but I hope it shows as a barrier. Unfortunately our neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks.

  17. Anona,The watering can is a Swarovski miniature crystal watering can (it isn’t hollow inside; it’s a piece of crystal). I bought it from my mother’s shop when I was in high school. I sometimes wear it as a necklace. It’s been retired for a long time; you can get one from a place where people sell their retired Swarovski crystal pieces: http://www.swanseekers.com/gallery/gallery.html Type “watering can” into the search and it will bring you to them. They’re non-functional but fun. I think they’re a bit too small for a bonsai tree, though; there’s only about the size of a thimble. I was fascinated by this piece when I was in high school; I never dreamed then what my own garden would be like and how gardening would become a regular, every day part of my life.

  18. Wow is that going to make a difference! And what a lovely difference! We’ve been “working” on our front yard for the last 3 years – hopefully we’ll actually get it finished this year. Nothing as fancy as yours but it will look nice anyway.Thanks for sharing – I can’t to see pictures of the finished project!Lea

  19. High School gets out at 1:00? What time do they start? You might want to grow a huge hedge of those carpet roses. Let the boogers deal with falling into a bunch of thorns if they dare, lol. I just don’t get how our society has so fallen apart there is no longer respect for other peoples’ property. Pretty scary.

  20. They start at 7:00. Very strange, though–I had high school (in another state) from 8:00-3:30, and then because of marching band we actually started at 7, and one day a week I had to stay after an extra hour for band as well.Supposedly it’s because of the bussing schedule, but still, it doesn’t seem long enough.

  21. Oh Brandy!’not to mention the way the flowers will feed my spirit every single day’This is exactly how I feel too.My mother used to say: Every flower is a message from The Almighty.

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