A year ago in April, I was so excited to finally landscape the front yard. We were in the planning stages then. I was particularly anxious, because it looked like this:

A year later, it looks like this:

The amazing thing is, the changes I made resulted in a lusher garden–that uses less water. The entire garden is watered with drip irrigation. My water bill in April was 1/3 of what it was the year before.

I’ve been saving water from indoors from the shower and from rinsing produce. I’ve been able to measure how much that saves, and it is a very small percentage of my bill (though still worth it, I feel). Most of the change, however, has come as a result of re-landscaping the front yard.

As a bonus, some of the water used in the front comes back to me in food, as well as flowers. In the photo above, you can see the red lettuces growing up the walkway next to parsley. In the summer the lettuces will be replaced with basil.

White Wedgewood Iris

April is the month where most of the bulbs that I planted are blooming.

Star of Bethlehem


Here is the view from across the street.

I added this delphinium plant from the nursery. It has gone to seed now and I am collecting seeds from it this week.

My neighbor remarked to me recently that it doesn’t look like I just planted it last year. I would agree. Still, I know in a couple of years, the growth will make for a huge difference.

The next thing to bloom are lilies. I’m excited for those!

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  1. I came back because after looking at the pictures again I was wondering why you chose the white flowers. The color of your home is a sand color, (beautiful by the way) and the white does look beautiful; I guess I am just trying to figure out how you decided that white would look good. In all the world there are so many different colors to pick from. When we do the front of our house in the spring my husband wants me to do different colors ever year. We have some things that bloom year after year like Iris, day lilies, and roses, but we fill in the spaces in springs with small plants. Your garden is just so pretty. I was wondering what you took your inspiration from. I do a pinterest search often looking for new ideas.

  2. I remember when this was going in – it is already gorgeous and agreed, not new looking. You should give some serious thought to putting up before and after pictures on a website and offering your services as an ‘eco-friendly, hot climate garden designer’!

  3. In my backyard I have lots of different colored flowers.At my last house, I planted annuals a lot (pansies in October to last through May and vincas in June to last until October). My husband always commented how much the white ones and yellow ones stood out more, especially at night. I put in several colors then anyway, not wanting to do all white then.When I started pinning garden ideas for this garden, I realized that I was pinning white gardens. It was not something I had planned. I realized then that I should do a white garden. At first I thought it would be white and purple, but I later decided to do just white. It DOES stand out at night. Of course, now my husband points out that I can add some annual colors 🙂 There are a couple of non-white things: the peach tree has pink blossoms, and the flowering plum trees have pale pink blossoms–plus they have dark red leaves. (Of course the blossoms will only be flowering for a couple of weeks). Those were a joint decision to put in, though I really wanted to put in something else there that gave fruit. We had those at my last house and we really liked them; originally I wanted them in the backyard, but we put in two apple trees in those spots instead. Most of the garden, however, is white. You can see my white garden Pinterest board if you like. Click on the Edible landscaping board on the right-hand column, and then go over to my boards and check out the white garden board.I never thought of my house as a sand color. I always thought of it as a light peach–and my next-door neighbor’s is a dark peach. “Sand” makes it sound so pleasant 🙂 I will try to see it that way from now on. We are not allowed to change to color of our house. The HOA wants everything to match–no contrast. Originally the front door was the same color as the house. When we moved in it needed to be painted. I decided to paint it white, hoping they wouldn’t notice 🙂 I would love a black door or a blue door but I can’t do that. I did find out that they will allow one change to things, and that is white, so I guess I was okay there anyway. I’ve been thinking lately of putting some molding around the front door (the builder does not have ANY) and painting it white. . . .

  4. Your front garden is lovely and hard to believe you just did it last year. The contrast of the red lettuce with the white and green is great. Are you going to plant purple basil in place of the red lettuce. Purple basil makes a wonderful rich colored vinegar that I used to give as gifts along with raspberry vinegar from wild raspberries. Question: what variety is the red lettuce as I’ve never seen any quite so red.

  5. I have designed gardens for others before and consulted on others before. I am not able to do the actual landscaping work, though. I would need a crew of people and a license to do that. I realized that I would have loved to major in that a few weeks before my last semester in college–but as I was only a semester away from my degree, there was no changing it then.

  6. More exercise! I love it! I always think exercise should be a part of one’s regular work for the day and not a separate thing. Of course that’s not always possible to do, depending on where you live (not everyone can walk to work, for example) but I personally prefer it that way 🙂 It’s supposed to be 100º here today; I think I’ll take those buckets out right away :)Check out my edible landscaping board on Pinterest for some ideas; there are lots of ideas there for beauty and food. I have a white garden board there was well, and a side yard/patio board too. I think it’s helpful to look at lots of gardens and pin the ones you like, and then realize what the ones you like have in common in shape and design. When I planned our backyard (which is actually the same shape design for part of it, interestingly enough) I used magazines, and I kept coming back to the same shape. Pinterest just made it easier to find more garden images.I’m grateful now that I couldn’t do the front garden right away. I had other ideas for the space before, and I like what I have now SO much better than those ideas. Time is not a bad thing in helping you to determine what you love.

  7. The city here often has landscaping pictures (with flowering, non-edible perennials) of people’s houses (they actually have a contest) showing how the desert can be lush looking and full of color with plants instead of lawns. They still always have rocks in the design, and I was so happy to be rid of the rocks 🙂 I had no problem putting in concrete instead.Drip irrigation waters just underneath the plants. It keeps the weeds down, too, because there isn’t water to other places.

  8. I have some alpine strawberries growing from seed along the walkway (in front of the lettuce). Next year I should start to get some. I planted some last year and three of them took. I think it was too hot when I planted them; they germinate at 55º. Now I have them growing all along the walkways and also in the upper planter behind the bench. The ones from last year are flowering now. They are a white berry when ripe.Strawberries of any kind are an excellent landscaping plant. I have seem them used in other gardens that way before and I think they’re fantastic that way.

  9. HOA’s can sure be hard. I know, we learned the hard way. A few years ago, we put up a car cover over our drive way. There are others in our subdivision so we never dreamed it was against the rules. Turns out that the HOA had passed some new rules and the covers were not allowed. After we spent the money to have it put in we received a notice it had to be removed and we were fined. Lesson learned. I am going to the check out your pinterest board. I went back to my own pinterest garden boards and there are a lot of white flowers etc. there. Thanks for taking the time to explain.

  10. I love the snappies! Snapdragons are my favorite. I’ve had a harder time finding white ones, but currently have red and yellow growing.My coworker has a white garden, but she calls it a “moon garden” because you can see the garden glowing in the moonlight.

  11. I think it’s awesome that the new garden uses less water than what you had before. If we had stayed in Las Vegas, I wanted to experiment with xeriscaping. Thank you for showing how much you can do with so little water!I think the contrast of the red lettuce with the green plants is my favorite part of the garden; that and the concrete work. It is much classier than rocks!

  12. New Red Fire is one of them (the ruffled one). I am not certain now which one the other one is. The seeds are from Territorial Seed company. They have 5 or 6 really dark red choices for lettuce.

  13. Originally I had flower carpet roses there, but 3 of the 4 died within a month, so they were returned to the nursery and I replaced them with snapdragons. The snapdragons bloom quite early and for a long time, so I’m glad I made the switch.

  14. thank you – I do have New Red Fire which seems to be red on the top half of the leaves. I will look for Continuity. I try hard to eat as many different colors of greens as possible – for the antioxidant properties mainly and secondarily for the beauty of the plants.

  15. You are incredibly inspirational! I am determined to learn to be a successful gardener! The only thing I’ve managed to keep alive this year are my herbs and my meyer lemon tree, Also I think my strawberry plants are still alive, but their leaves keep changing colors, so I’m thinking they may have a disease.Anyways, do you have any suggested reading material for beginners?

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